Assessment and importance of personality disorders in medical patients: An update

Dirk M. Dhossche, Stewart A. Shevitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background. Personality disorders in medical patients have received less attention than depression, anxiety, or somatization. Method. We conducted a selective literature search to assess the role of personality disorders in medical patients. Results. Review of recent studies suggests a high prevalence and morbidity of personality disorders in medical populations. Important correlates in selected groups are depression, somatization, noncompliance, sexual risk taking, and substance abuse. Difficulties in physician-patient relationships are also frequently reported. Psychiatric interventions are considered beneficial, though no single treatment of choice is available. Conclusions. We recommend that physicians consider the possibility of personality disorders in medical patients to choose appropriate treatments for selected symptoms. Training in interviewing skills may enhance recognition of personality disorders and management of associated psychiatric conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-556
Number of pages11
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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