Psychopathological dimensions and the clinician's subjective experience

Angelo Picardi, Mauro Pallagrosi, Laura Fonzi, Massimo Biondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Classical psychopathology highly valued the interaction between clinician and patient, and recent findings have provided preliminary evidence of an association between categorical psychiatric diagnosis and the clinician's subjective experience during the first clinical assessment. To extend these findings, the present study examined the relationship between psychopathological dimensions and clinicians' subjective experiences. The study involved 45 clinicians and 783 patients in several psychiatric inpatient and outpatient units. When they saw a new patient, the clinicians completed the Assessment of Clinician's Subjective Experience questionnaire (ACSE) and the 24-item Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). Scores on five core psychopathological dimensions supported by meta-analytic evidence (Affect, Positive Symptoms, Negative Symptoms, Activation, Disorganization) were derived from the BPRS. Multivariate analysis revealed that each psychopathological dimension was characterized by a distinct pattern of independent associations with certain aspects of Clinician's Subjective Experience, as measured by the ACSE. This study provided preliminary evidence of significant and theoretically consistent relationships between major psychopathological dimensions and the psychiatrist's subjective experience during the first clinical evaluation. Improving the understanding of intersubjective processes may have important implications for theory, practice, research, and training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-414
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Dimensional psychopathology
  • Psychiatric diagnosis
  • Intersubjectivity


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