The somatically preoccupied patient in primary care: Use of attachment theory to strengthen physician-patient relationships

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Abstract

Individuals with somatic preoccupation constitute a substantial number of primary care patients. Somatically preoccupied patients are challenging to primary care physicians for several reasons including patient complaints consuming a great deal of physician time, expense to diagnose and treat and strain on the physician-patient relationship. This paper examines and discusses how disruptions in early attachment relationships such as often occurs when a female is a victim of child sexual abuse may result in somatic preoccupation in adulthood. Attachment theory provides a useful framework for primary care physicians to conceptualize somatic preoccupation. Utilization and containment techniques grounded in an understanding of attachment dynamics aid the physician in developing a sound physician-patient relationship. Successfully engaging the patient in treatment prevents misunderstandings that frequently derail medical care for somatically preoccupied patients.

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APA

Miller, R. C. (2008, April 29). The somatically preoccupied patient in primary care: Use of attachment theory to strengthen physician-patient relationships. Osteopathic Medicine and Primary Care. https://doi.org/10.1186/1750-4732-2-6

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