Psychophysiological Disorders

  • Donald A. Williamson
  • Susan E. Barker
  • Staci Veron-Guidry


Some physical or medical problems can be strongly influenced by psychological factors such as stress, emotion, or personality. These medical problems are generally called psychosomatic or psychophysiological disorders. It is important to recognize that there is a physiological basis to these disorders and, therefore, problems such as headache or ulcer are not just “all in the patient’s head.” Headaches and ulcers really do hurt. The term psychophysiological means “interaction of psychological and physiological variables.” Consequently, a psychophysiological disorder occurs when psychological and physiological variables interact to produce a pathological state.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Essential Hypertension Migraine Headache Cardiovascular Reactivity Joint National Committee 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald A. Williamson
    • 1
  • Susan E. Barker
    • 1
  • Staci Veron-Guidry
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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