Psychosomatic Medicine

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-04-01
  • Publisher: Springer Verlag

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Our plague is mental health. (WHO, 2005)The key to improving care of the mentally ill is not only the expansion of psychiatric and psychosomatic services, but in strengthening the medical doctor in his or her psychosocial competences. Each medical doctor is a psychosocial care giver. (Michael Shepherd, noted British psychiatrist,1966)Worldwide, psychosocial problems appear mainly within a medical context and are a major burden to health. In any country, depression, anxiety, medically unexplained symptoms, and traumatic and stress-related disorders are the most frequent non-communicable diseases. They account for the highest number of days off work, years lost to disability and health costs. In these times of globalization, the burden of disease and risk factors (WHO, 2009) shows a common pattern wherein the lifetime prevalence for psychosocial disorders ranges from 40-50%. Most health care systems and many primary care physicians are not equipped to meet these challenges. Psychosocial disorders are recognized late, if at all, and treatment is rarely appropriate.Psychosocial Medicine in Primary Care takes a uniquely global approach in laying the foundations of biopsychosocial basic care (recognizing psychosocial and psychosomatic problems, basic counseling, collaboration with mental health specialists) and provides relevant information about the most common psychosocial disorders. The scope of the book is intercultural-it addresses global cultures, subcultures living in a single country, and strengthening the care given by physicians working abroad.This is a clinically useful book which provides the skills necessary to diagnose the most common psychosocial disorders and master the most common communication challenges (e.g. doctor-patient-conversation, breaking bad news, dealing with difficult patients, family and health systems communication and collaboration). Every chapter integrates basic theoretical background and practical skills and includes trans-culturally sensitive material, important for the work with patients from different cultures. A self-examination scheme is provided and the electronic material allows teachers and students to view actor-based examples of psychosocial problems and communication tasks.

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