Symptoms: a new approach
Sharpe M., Walker J.
Symptoms are a major reason for patients to see doctors. Modern medicine and modern psychiatry both conceptualize symptoms in terms of pathology. For medicine it is organic bodily pathology and for psychiatry it is psychopathology. However, these simple pathology-based approaches to symptoms are increasingly found to be both scientifically and clinically inadequate. An alternative is to regard symptoms not simply as a manfestation of pathology but rather as the expression of a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. This comprehensive approach transcends the traditional division of symptoms into medical and psychiatric, has major implication for the organization of services and provides new opportunities for research. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.