Indexed on: 28 Oct '10Published on: 28 Oct '10Published in: Current Psychiatry Reports
This article reviews the principles and skills involved with psychosomatic medicine and their potential ability to improve global health care. New awareness of the escalating global public health impact of noncommunicable diseases, including chronic medical conditions and mental disorders, has stimulated interest in determining how best to organize health services. Home to the biopsychosocial model, the field of psychosomatic medicine is well-suited to inform such efforts by virtue of its emphasis on cross-disciplinary collaboration and specialized knowledge at the interface of medicine and psychiatry that takes into account individual and contextual influences on health. Consistent with the principles of psychosomatic medicine, promising strategies to improve global health care include integrating mental health care into primary care, applying the chronic care model in programs aimed at enhancing disease self-management, and using innovative models such as Internet-based therapy and telemedicine to increase access to quality care.