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Liaison psychiatry—is it possible? 

Liaison psychiatry—is it possible?
Liaison psychiatry—is it possible?

Silvia Ferrari

, Annegret Dreher

, Giorgio Mattei

, and Albert Diefenbacher

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date: 29 June 2022

Consultation–liaison psychiatry (CLP) deals with clinical, research, and training activities at the interface between psychiatry and the rest of medicine, typically medical–psychiatric co-morbidities, in the conceptual frame of the biopsychosocial paradigm. It developed gradually during the twentieth century, as dramatic changes in the conceptualization and the clinical management of mental illness took place, and operates typically in the general hospital and in primary care. The main clinical competencies of CLP include medical–psychiatric co-morbidity (coexisting psychiatric and non-psychiatric disorders affecting reciprocally); medically unexplained physical symptoms, ‘somatization’, and functional disorders; and liaison activities, addressed to medical workers and teams. CLP may effectively impact on prognosis of medical illnesses and consequently on quality of life, disability, and use of healthcare resources. Furthermore, research in the field of CLP and psychosomatic medicine may massively contribute to understanding of the aetiology of mental illness, by adoption of a translational, interdisciplinary perspective.

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