Interview Techniques for Assessment and Management of Somatization

  • Kyung Bong Koh


Interviewing techniques are essential for the identification and management of somatizing patients. Somatizing patients need explanations and understanding, above expectations for support and for tests and diagnosis. In this regard, nonpsychiatric physicians should avoid mind-body dualism. Instead, from the beginning of assessment, equal attention should be devoted to each of biopsychosocial factors. Physicians need to adopt patient-centered care with an emphasis on illness experience as a way of helping somatizing patients. Medical students and primary physicians should learn how to refer a somatizing patient for psychiatric or psychological assessment. Role-playing is known to be effective in teaching psychological skills (e.g., interview techniques) both to psychiatrists and general practitioners. A positive explanation of possible causes, combined with an optimistic prognosis, may be effective in management as well as referral of somatizing patients.


Interview techniques Somatizing patients Explanations Understanding Nonpsychiatric physicians Biopsychosocial factors Patient-centered care Role-playing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyung Bong Koh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryYonsei University College of MedicineSeoulKorea

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