Update on consultation-liaison psychiatry (psychosomatic medicine)

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;21(2):196-200. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3282f393ae.


Purpose of review: Current issues in consultation-liaison psychiatry, which is now labeled psychosomatic medicine as a formal subspecialty by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, are discussed.

Recent findings: There is continued interest in how to best manage depression and anxiety in a primary-care setting. Collaborative care that utilizes a psychiatrist within the treatment center, as well as case management by a nurse, have been reviewed and meta-analyses suggest it is an efficient and effective approach. The diagnostic issues within psychosomatic medicine are also an area of concern as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5 edition, is in the planning stages. How to improve both the reliability and validity of somatoform disorders will be a major challenge. Organ transplantation is a clinical challenge for patients, donors and healthcare providers. Issues in assessment and management continue to evolve. Ethical questions also arise due to the shortage of available organs.

Summary: Psychosomatic medicine continues to manage patients in medical settings that cut across a continuum from primary-care to complex medical and surgical centers. The clinical problems containing a medical-psychiatric interface offer a clinical challenge but also an area for new knowledge and better interventions.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Psychiatry / trends*
  • Psychosomatic Medicine / trends*
  • Referral and Consultation*