Psychosomatic research: brief review of conceptions, development and contemporary issues

Anna Havelková, Alena Slezáčková


Despite the wide range of studies focused on the relationship between mental and somatic health, researchers still have not reached the agreement on the definition of the concept of psychosomatic. Views on psychosomatic illnesses and its causes are constantly changing according to historical context as well as research approaches. Due to uncertainties and conception ambiguity comparability of studies becomes very challenging. Foreign scientific resources focus on psychosomatics in adequate extent. Despite the fact that this topic is widely popularized in our country relevant studies are still at its beginnings and secluded in separate fields of medicine. The aim of this overview study is to outline the development of psychosomatic concepts, introduce the most influential directions in psychosomatic research, point out the diversity of understanding of concepts of psychosomatic, illustrate current research trends and provide a fundamental summary of psychosomatic research in Czech Republic.

(Fulltext in Czech)


psychosomatics, psychosomatic medicine, research


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.

Barth, J., Schumacher, M., & Herrmann-Lingen, C. (2004). Depression as a risk factor for mortality in patients with coronary heart disease: A meta-analysis. Psychosomatic Medicine, 66, 802–13.

Baštecká, B. a kol. (2003). Klinická psychologie v praxi. Praha: Portál.

Baštecký, J. (2002). Od psychosomatické k behaviorální medicíně. In Höschl, C., Libiger, J., Švestka, J. (Eds.), Psychiatrie. Praha: Tigis.

Baštecký, J., Šavlík, J., Šimek, J. a kol. (1993). Psychosomatická medicína. Praha: Avicenum.

Brodziak, A. (2015). Letters to the Editor: Characteristics and trends of psychosomatic medicine in top mainstream medical journals. Psychosomatics, 56(2), 213–214. doi:10.1016/j­.psym.2014.12­.001

Bronstein, C. (2011). On psychosomatics: The search for meaning. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 92(1), 173. doi:10.1111/j­.1745–8315.2010.00388.x

Březinová, K., Hamplová, D., & Buriánková, J. (2015). Sociálně psychologické aspekty zdraví a nemoci u žen diagnostikovaných a léčených s karcinomem prsu. Československá psychologie, 59(2), 115–136.

Capitanio, J. P. (2008). Personality and disease. Brain Behavior and Immunity, 22, 647–650. doi:10.1016/j­.bbi.2008.02.002

Carter, F. A., Frampton, C. M., & Mulder, R. T. (2006). Cesarean section and postpartum depression: A review of the evidence examining the link. Psychosomatic Medicine, 68, 321–330.

De Greck, M., Scheidt, L., Bölter, A. F., Frommer, J., Ulrich, C., Stockum, E., Enzi, B., Tempelmann, C., Hoffmann, T., Han, S., & Northoff, G. (2012). Altered brain activity during emotional empathy in somatoform disorder. Human Brain Mapping, 33, 2666–2685. doi:10.1002/ hbm.21392

De Groot, M., Anderson, R., Freedland, K. E., Clouse, R. E., Lustman, P. J. (2001). Association of depression and diabetes complications: A meta-analysis. Psychosomatic Medicine, 63, 619–30.

De Vries, U., Schussler, G., & Petermann, F. (2012). Psychotherapy in Psychosomatics  Trends in diagnosis and therapy. Zeitschrift für Psychiatrie Psychologie und Psychotherapie, 60(4), 301–307.

Dickens, C., McGowan, L., & Dale, S. (2003). Impact of depression on experimental pain perception: A systematic review of the literature with meta-analysis. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 369–75.

Dickens, C., McGowan, L., Clark-Carter, D., & Creed F. (2002). Depression in rheumatoid arthritis: A systematic review of the literature with meta-analysis. Psychosomatic Medicine, 64, 52–60.

Faleide, A. O., Lian, L. B., & Faleide, E. K. (2010). Vliv psychiky na zdraví: soudobá psychosomatika. Praha: Grada.

Fava, G. A. (2016). Well-being therapy: Current indications and emerging perspectives. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 85(3), 136–145. doi:10.1159/000444­11

Fava, G. A., Cosci, F., & Sonino, N. (2016). Current psychosomatic practice. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 86(1), 13–30. doi:10.1159/000448­856

Fava, G. A., Freyberger, H. J., Bech, P., Christodoulou, G., Sensky, T., Theorell, T., Wise, T.N. (1995). Diagnostic criteria for use in psychosomatic research. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 63(1), 1–8. DOI:10.1159/000288­931

Friedman, B. H. (2010). Review: Feelings and the body: The Jamesian perspective on autonomic specificity of emotion. Biological Psychology, 84, 383–393. doi:10.1016/j­.biopsycho.2009­.10.006

Friedman, M., & Rosenman, R. H. (1986). Type a behavior pattern: Its association with coronary heart disease. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 1(1), 57.

Frommer, J. (2013). Contemporary perspectives on psychosomatics in Germany: A commentary on Karen Gubb's paper, ' Psychosomatics today: A review of contemporary theory and practice'. Psychoanalytic Review, 100(1), 155. doi:10.1521/prev­.2013.100.1.155

Gini, G., & Pozzoli, T. (2013). Bullied children and psychosomatic problems: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 132(4), 720–729.

Gottlieb, R. (2013). On our need to move beyond folk medicine: A commentary on Karen Gubb's paper, „Psychosomatics today: A review of contemporary theory and practice“. Psychoanalytic Review, 100(1), 143–154. doi:10.1521/prev­.2013.100.1.143

Gubb, K. (2013). Psychosomatics today: A review of contemporary theory and practice. Psychoanalytic Review, 100(1), 103. doi:10.1521/prev­.2013.100.1.103

Heffernan, S. P., & Stern, T. A. (2014). Original research reports: Characteristics and trends in peer-reviewed publications in the field of psychosomatic medicine. Psychosomatics, 55450–457. doi:10.1016/j­.psym.2014.02­.002

Honzák, R. (2016). Psychosomatická medicína v Německu (excerpta). Psychosom, (16)4, 278–280.

Honzák, R., & Chvála, V. (2014). Psychosomatická medicína. Psychosom 12(2), 97–107.

Howren, M. B., Lamkin D. M., & Suls, J. (2009). Associations of depression with C-reactive protein, IL-1, and IL-6: A meta-analysis. Psychosomatic Medicine, 71, 171–86.

Chida, Y., Hamer, M., & Steptoe, A. (2008). A bidirectional relationship between psychosocial factors and atopic disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychosomatic Medicine, 70, 102–16.

Chromý, K., & Honzák, R. (2005). Somatizace a funkční poruchy. Praha: Grada. Chvála, V. (2010, srpen). Sekce psychosomatická. Dostupné z…chosomaticka

Irmiš, F. (2015). Spiritualita a etika v psychosomatické medicíně – biopsychosoci­ospirituální vztahy. Časopis lékařů českých, 154(3), 115–120.

Kebza, V. (2005). Psychosociální determinanty zdraví. Praha: Academia.

Lane, R. D., Waldstein, S. R., Critchley, H. D., Derbyshire, S. W., Drossman, D. A., Wager, T. D., Schneiderman, N., Chesney, M. A., Jennings, J. R., Lovallo, W. R., Rose, R. M., Thayer, J. F., & Cameron, O. G. (2009). The rebirth of neuroscience in psychosomatic medicine, part II: Clinical applications and implications for research. Psychosomatic Medicine, 71(2), 135–151. doi:10.1097/PSY­.0b013e318198a11

Luborsky, L., Docherty, J. P., & Penick, S. (1973). Onset conditions for psychosomatic symptoms: a comparative review of immediate observation with retrospective research. Psychosomatic Medicine, 35(3), 187–204. Retrieved from

Lyketsos, C., Huyse, F., Gitlin, D., & Levenson, J. (2006). Psychosomatic medicine: A new psychiatric subspecialty in the U. S. focused on the interface between psychiatry and medicine. European Journal of Psychiatry, 20(3), 165–171.

Milette, K., Roseman, M., & Thombs, B. D. (2011). Original article: Transparency of outcome reporting and trial registration of randomized controlled trials in top psychosomatic and behavioral health journals: A systematic review. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 10(11), 205–217. doi:10.1016/j­.jpsychores.2010­.09.01

Nemiah, J. C., & Sifneos, P. E. (1970). Affect and fantasy in patients with psychosomatic disorders. In O. W. Hill (Ed.), Modern trends in psychosomatic medicine, Vol. 2 (pp. 26–34). London: Butterworth Press.

Porcelli, P., & Guidi, J. (2015). The Clinical Utility of the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research: A Review of Studies. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 84(5), 265–272. doi:10.1159/000430­788

Porcelli, P., & Sonino, N. (2007). Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Conditions . A New Classifi cation for DSM-V. Advances in Psychosomatic Medicine, vol. 28. Basel: Karger.

Procházka, R. (2009). Soudobé koncepce alexithymie. E-psychologie. 3(3), 34–45. Dostupný z WWW: <…rochazka.pdf>.

Psychosomatická klinika (2017). Výzkum v psychosomatice. Dostupné z Raudenská, J. (2004). Psychosomatická medicína a chronická bolest. Bolest, 7(4), 210–213.

Rutledge, T., & Hogan, B. E. (2002). A quantitative review of prospective evidence linking psychological factors with hypertension development. Psychosomatic Medicine, 64, 758–766.

Siegel, D. (1999). The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are. New York: The Guildford Press.

Sirri, L., & Fava, G. A. (2013). Diagnostic criteria for psychosomatic research and somatic symptom disorders. International Review of Psychiatry, 25(1), 19.

Společnost psychosomatické medicíny ČLS (2016, únor). Výzkum. Dostupné z…

Sundin, E. C., & Horowitz, M. J. (2003). Horowitz’s Impact of Event Scale evaluation of 20 years of use. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 870–6.

Tak, L. M., Meijer, A., Manoharan, A., de Jonge, P., & Rosmalen, J. G. (2010). More than the sum of its parts: meta-analysis and its potential to discover sources of heterogeneity in psychosomatic medicine. Psychosom Med, 72(3), 253–265.…3e3181d714e1

Tress, W., Krusse, J., & Ott, J. (2008). Základní psychosomatická péče. Praha: Portál.

Tschuschke, V. (2004). Psychoonkologie: psychologické aspekty vzniku a zvládnutí rakoviny. Praha: Portál.

Show all Hide