Criteria for psychosomatic research (DCPR) in the medical setting

Piero Porcelli, Chiara Rafanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR) represent a diagnostic and conceptual framework that aims to translate psychosocial variables derived from psychosomatic research into operational tools whereby individual patients can be identified. A set of 12 syndromes was developed: disease phobia, thanatophobia, health anxiety, illness denial, persistent somatization, functional somatic symptoms secondary to a psychiatric disorder, conversion symptoms, anniversary reaction, irritable mood, type A behavior, demoralization, and alexithymia. The aim of this article is to survey the research evidence that has accumulated on the DCPR in several clinical settings (cardiology, oncology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, primary care, consultation psychiatry, nutrition, and community), to examine prevalence and specific diagnostic clusters of the more prevalent DCPR syndromes, and to review their clinical utility in terms of clinical decision, prediction of psychosocial functioning, and treatment outcomes. The implications for classification purposes (DSM-V) are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-254
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Psychiatry Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Abnormal illness behavior
  • Alexithymia
  • Demoralization
  • Diagnostic criteria for psychosomatic research
  • Health anxiety
  • Somatization
  • Type A behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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