The Effects of a Basic Psychosomatic Course on Knowledge and Practice of Family Medicine Residents


  • Farzad Goli Head of Danesh-e Tandorosti Institute, Isfahan, Iran
  • Ziba Farajzadegan Department of Community and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
  • Anahita Babak Department of Community and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
  • Shiva Rouzbahani School of Medicine, Islamic Azad University, Najaf Abad Branch, Isfahan, Iran
  • Masoud Ferdosi Health Management and Economics Research Center, Department of Health Services Management, School of Management and Medical Information Sciences, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Psychosomatic medicine is a systemic model of care based on the biopsychosocial model in which the physical, emotional, and social aspects of clinical conditions are considered. Family Medicine (FM) and psychosomatic medicine have many similarities in their community-based and family-based approaches. Studies have shown the necessity and effectiveness of psychosomatic medicine training for general practitioners ‎(GPs) and family physicians.

Methods: We designed a psychosomatic course for FM residents. This semi-experimental study was performed at Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran, in 2018. The target population included 11 FM residents. A compact 20-hour module (4 days, 5 hours each) was designed for the training. The Knowledge and Practice of Psychosomatic Medicine Questionnaire (self-administered) for the concepts and skills of psychosomatic medicine was filled out by each of the FM residents before and after the intervention. For each resident, caring for patients was monitored and a Performance Appraisal Checklist was completed by the supervisor. Finally, the questionnaire scores before and after the intervention were compared using paired t-test.

Results: The total knowledge and practice score increased significantly after the intervention (258.5 ± 40.3 vs. 174.6 ± 62.9; P = 0.002). There was also a significant increase in the mean psychosomatic care performance scores after the intervention (28.65 ± 3.52) compared with baseline (21.18 ± 5.94) (P = 0.001).

Conclusion: This study showed that basic psychosomatic care training for family physician residents, even in short courses, can have a positive effect on their clinical knowledge and performance.


Fritzsche, K., Monsalve, S. D., Zanjani, H. A., Goli, F., Chen, F. K.-Y., & Dobos, C. M. (2020). Psycho-cardiology. In K. Fritzsche, S. H. McDaniel, & M. Wirsching (Eds.), Psychosomatic Medicine: An International Guide for the Primary Care Setting (pp. 191-202). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Zipfel, S., Herzog, W., Kruse, J., & Henningsen, P. (2016). Psychosomatic Medicine in Germany: More Timely than Ever. Psychother.Psychosom., 85(5), 262-269. doi:000447701 [pii];10.1159/000447701 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:27509065

Deter, H. C., Orth-Gomer, K., Wasilewski, B., & Verissimo, R. (2017). The European Network on Psychosomatic Medicine (ENPM) history and future directions. BioPsychoSocial Medicine, 11(1), 3.

Goli, F., Afshari, H., Zamani, A., Ebrahimi, A., & Ferdosi, M. (2017). The Relationship between the Family Physician and Psychosomatic Medicine. Int J Body Mind Culture, 4(2), 102-107.

Wortman, M. S. H., van der Wouden, J. C., Grutters, J. P. C., Visser, B., Assendelft, W. J. J., van der Horst, H. E. et al. (2019). Psychosomatic therapy for patients frequently attending primary care with medically unexplained symptoms, the CORPUS trial: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. Trials., 20(1), 697. doi:10.1186/s13063-019-3913-3 [doi];10.1186/s13063-019-3913-3 [pii]. Retrieved from PM:31818310

Rothermund, E., Kilian, R., Hoelzer, M., Mayer, D., Mauss, D., Krueger, M. et al. (2012). "Psychosomatic consultation in the workplace": a new model of care at the interface of company-supported mental health care and consultation-liaison psychosomatics: design of a mixed methods implementation study. BMC Public Health, 12(1), 780. doi:1471-2458-12-780 [pii];10.1186/1471-2458-12-780 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:22974257

Andersen, B. L., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., & Glaser, R. (1994). A biobehavioral model of cancer stress and disease course. Am.Psychol, 49(5), 389-404. doi:10.1037//0003-066x.49.5.389 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:8024167

Roter, D. L., & Hall, J. A. (1992). Doctors talking with patients/patients talking with doctors: Improving communication in medical visits. Westport, CT, US: Auburn House/Greenwood Publishing Group.

Fritzsche, K., Scheib, P., Ko, N., Wirsching, M., Kuhnert, A., Hick, J. et al. (2012). Results of a psychosomatic training program in China, Vietnam and Laos: successful cross-cultural transfer of a postgraduate training program for medical doctors. Biopsychosoc.Med, 6(1), 17. doi:1751-0759-6-17 [pii];10.1186/1751-0759-6-17 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:22929520

Waldstein, S. R., Neumann, S. A., Drossman, D. A., & Novack, D. H. (2001). Teaching psychosomatic (biopsychosocial) medicine in United States medical schools: survey findings. Psychosom.Med, 63(3), 335-343. doi:10.1097/00006842-200105000-00001 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:11382261

Scheidt, C. E. (2017). Psychosomatic Medicine in Germany. International J Body Mind Culture, 4(2), 78-86.

Ferdosi, M., Goli, F., Aghili, G., & Daneshvar, S. M. A. (2018). A Brief History of Family Medicine Development and Training in Iran (2005-2018). Int J Body Mind Culture, 5(2), 89-93.

Ferdosi, M., Goli, F., Scheidt, C. E. Psychosomatic medical services for family physicians in Iran (2021). [Manuscript Submitted to Publish].

Stewart, M., Brown, J. B., Donner, A., McWhinney, I. R., Oates, J., Weston, W. W. et al. (2000). The impact of patient-centered care on outcomes. J Fam.Pract, 49(9), 796-804. Retrieved from PM:11032203

Fava, G. A., Sonino, N., & Wise, T. N. (2012). Principles of psychosomatic assessment. Adv Psychosom.Med, 32, 1-18. doi:000329997 [pii];10.1159/000329997 [doi]. Retrieved from PM:22056895




How to Cite

Goli, F., Farajzadegan, Z., Babak, A., Rouzbahani, S., & Ferdosi, M. (2021). The Effects of a Basic Psychosomatic Course on Knowledge and Practice of Family Medicine Residents. International Journal of Body, Mind and Culture, 8(3), 186-192. Retrieved from



Quantitative Study(ies)

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 > >>