Personalised medicine: The cognitive side of patients

Ilaria Cutica, Gordon Mc Vie, Gabriella Pravettoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Although the fashion for the personalised or stratified approach to medicine is valuable in exploiting the omic signatures of the individual patient, too little attention has been paid to the influence of psychological and cognitive factors in the care process. The aim of this paper is to highlight the importance of those individual psycho-cognitive components in affecting how people act to prevent, cope and react to illness, decide about different therapeutic options, interact with health care providers, and adhere to treatment.

Methods: We reviewed the medical and psychological literature about the effect of cognitive and psychological dimensions on treatment efficacy, on patients' global satisfaction, and on treatment compliance. Results: Psychological dimensions have been proved to impact on treatment efficacy, on patients' global satisfaction, and on compliance to treatment. However, there are substantial individual differences among patients; therefore, it is important that physicians recognise how to apply these general recommendations to each individual patient, alongside the omic information emerging from the molecular diagnostic laboratory.

Conclusion: The exam of the current literature allows one to derive several strategies which can help health professionals to improve the patients' understanding of their disease and involvement in the whole care process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)685-688
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Doctor-patient communication
  • Medical decision making
  • Personalised medicine
  • Treatment compliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Medicine(all)


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