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Sept 2, 1968

Psychological Aspects of Physical Symptoms: A Dynamic Study of Forty-Five Hospitalized Medical Patients

JAMA. 1968;205(10):707-708. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140360067034

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Physical symptoms as well as psychological factors are thoroughly investigated in this penetrating study of 45 consecutive admissions to the medical wards of a general hospital.

Interviewing techniques used to elicit psychological material are adequately illustrated. Psychological data are presented along with a complete account of the physical findings and pertinent laboratory, roentgenographic, and other tests. In each patient, the psychological material is explored in depth in order to ascertain overt as well as hidden indications of psychological stress and shifts in psychological equilibrium. In addition, adequate references are made to the literature in each of the diagnostic categories encountered.

This method of presentation of psychosomatic case material provides more than a mere token coverage of the somatic features present in each patient. Other psychosomatic studies too frequently pursue a unilateral approach which deals only with the psyche and completely represses the somatic material.

A most stimulating opening chapter reviews