Medically unexplained symptoms appear to be the rule in primary care and disturbances such as depression, anxiety, hostility and illness behaviour may affect the course, therapeutic response and outcome of a given illness episode. The use of psychotherapeutic strategies has yielded a substantial improvement in quality of life, coping and the course of several medical disorders.
The need to include consideration of function in daily life, productivity, performance of social roles, intellectual capacity, emotional stability and well-being, has emerged as a crucial part of clinical investigation and patient care.
Thirty years ago George L. Engel, the father of North American psychosomatic medicine, highlighted the inadequacies and limitations of the traditional biomedical model and advocated the endorsement of a psychosomatic (biopsychosocial) approach. The article, published in Science, attracted nearly 2000 citations. According to Giovanni A. Fava (University of Bologna) and Nicoletta Sonino (University of Padova) the challenge to biomedicine is more timely today than it was thirty years ago.
In an editorial published in the January issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, the Authors report that, in line with Engel’s biopsychosocial approach, the study of every disease must include the individual, his/her body and his/her surrounding environment as essential components of the total system. Psychosocial factors may operate to facilitate, sustain or modify the course of illness, even though their relative weight may vary from illness to illness, from one individual to another and even between 2 different episodes of the same illness in the same individual. However, the dominant model of disease today is, as 30 years ago, still biomedical, with molecular biology being the basic scientific discipline.
A large body of research documents the role of stressful life events and repeated or chronic environmental challenge in modulating individual vulnerability to illness. Medically unexplained symptoms appear to be the rule in primary care and affective disturbances (such as depression, anxiety, hostility) and illness behaviour, the ways in which individuals experience, perceive, evaluate and respond to their own health status, may affect the course, therapeutic response and outcome of a given illness episode. The need to include consideration of function in daily life, productivity, performance of social roles, intellectual capacity, emotional stability and psychological well-being, has emerged as a crucial part of clinical investigation and patient care. Moreover, in controlled investigations for a number of medical disorders, the use of psychotherapeutic strategies has yielded a substantial improvement in quality of life, coping and the course of disease.
As George Engel stated 30 years ago ‘… nothing will change unless or until those who control resources have the wisdom to venture off the beaten path of exclusive reliance on biomedicine as the only approach to health care’ (p. 135).
Giovanni Andrea Fava | alfa
Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Life Sciences