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November 2, 1957


JAMA. 1957;165(9):1152. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980270062014

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IN THIS issue of The Journal, page 1110, there is a plea for the physician to explain to the patient the nature of his illness, the rationale of its management, and the general prognosis. The article discusses the need for such an explanation, but does not dwell on the mode of presentation. While explaining the mechanism and significance of symptoms is important for patients with all forms of sickness, such expressions of sympathetic interest become even more meaningful where the disease has a prominent emotional veneer.

Physicians are well aware of psychosomatic influence as a partial, or on rare occasion even total, cause of organic disease. The consideration of the emotional factor in illness is now almost "second nature," especially in the diagnosis of allergic or dermatological manifestations. Yet, the lack of some specific emotional pattern in any form of these particular diseases, or the failure of some even vaguely

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