The recognition of somatization process in cancer patients is a challenging and neglected area, for the extreme difficulty in differentiating and assessing the psycho(patho)logical components from those biologically determined and related to cancer and cancer treatment, as well as for the scarce usefulness of rigid categorical DSM criteria. However, several dimensions of somatization (and the interconnected concept of abnormal illness behavior) have been shown to be diagnosable in cancer patients and to negatively influence coping and quality of life outcomes. An integration of the formal DSM-ICD nosology with a system specifically taking into account the patients’ emotional responses to cancer and cancer treatment, such as the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR), is suggested. More data on some specific symptom dimensions, including pain, fatigue, sexual disorders, are needed to examine their possible psychological components. More research is also needed regarding the association of somatization with personality traits (e.g., type D – distressed personality, alexithymia), developmental dimensions (e.g. attachment), and cultural issues (e.g. culturally-mediated attributional styles to somatic symptoms). Also the impact and effectiveness of specific therapeutic intervention in “somatizing” cancer patients is necessary

Somatization and somatic symptom presentation in cancer: a neglected area

GRASSI, Luigi;CARUSO, Rosangela;NANNI, Maria Giulia
2013

Abstract

The recognition of somatization process in cancer patients is a challenging and neglected area, for the extreme difficulty in differentiating and assessing the psycho(patho)logical components from those biologically determined and related to cancer and cancer treatment, as well as for the scarce usefulness of rigid categorical DSM criteria. However, several dimensions of somatization (and the interconnected concept of abnormal illness behavior) have been shown to be diagnosable in cancer patients and to negatively influence coping and quality of life outcomes. An integration of the formal DSM-ICD nosology with a system specifically taking into account the patients’ emotional responses to cancer and cancer treatment, such as the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR), is suggested. More data on some specific symptom dimensions, including pain, fatigue, sexual disorders, are needed to examine their possible psychological components. More research is also needed regarding the association of somatization with personality traits (e.g., type D – distressed personality, alexithymia), developmental dimensions (e.g. attachment), and cultural issues (e.g. culturally-mediated attributional styles to somatic symptoms). Also the impact and effectiveness of specific therapeutic intervention in “somatizing” cancer patients is necessary
Grassi, Luigi; Caruso, Rosangela; Nanni, Maria Giulia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11392/1694916
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