Patients’ influence on doctors’ behavior: a case study of patient strategies in somatization

Salmon, Peter and May, Carl R. (1995) Patients’ influence on doctors’ behavior: a case study of patient strategies in somatization. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 25, (4), 309-319.


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Objective: Extensive empirical data and theory describe the inequality of power in relations between doctors and their patients. However, the focus has been on the ways in which doctors control the doctor-patient relationship. This has meant that the extent to which patients influence the consultation, and the ways in which they do this, have been neglected. Methods: In this article, we use a single case to identify and illustrate distinct ways in which patients exert power to determine the outcome of consultations. Conclusion: This analysis leads to a more powerful explanation than is presently available to understand the somatization of psychological needs. According to this, the patient organizes strategies, which include the presentation of emotional and social distress, around a biomedical model. Because of their prior decisions as to their role, doctors permit themselves to be trapped in this model.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0091-2174 (print)
1541-3527 (electronic)
Related URLs:
Keywords: doctor-patient relationship, biopsychosocial model of health, communication skills, professional power, somatization
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Health Sciences
ePrint ID: 163711
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2010 14:53
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:29

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