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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 58-68

Articulating Social Psychiatry and Person-Centered Medicine: Conceptual Bases and International Implications for COVID-19


1 Department of Psychiatry, International Center for Mental Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA; Hipolito Unanue Chair of Person Centered Medicine, School of Medicine, San Marcos National University, Lima, Peru
2 Department of Psychiatry, Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India
3 Minkowska Center, Sigmund Freud University, Paris, France
4 Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Western Bretagne University, Brest, France
5 Department of Psychiatry, National Kapodistrian University, Athens, Greece
6 Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Iuliu Hatieganu, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
7 Chairman, Pakistan Psychiatric Research Centre, Fountain House, Lahore, Pakistan
8 Specialist in Psychiatry, Frederiksberg, Denmark
9 Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Bioethics, University of Chile, Santiago de Chile, Chile
10 Department of Psychiatry, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
11 Psychosocial Recovery Center, Yerevan, Armenia
12 Geha Mental Health Center, Tel Aviv University, Petah Tikva, Israel

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Juan E Mezzich
Department of Psychiatry, International Center for Mental Health, Icahn School of Medicine At Mount Sinai, Box 1093, Fifth Avenue and 100th St, New York 10129, USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/WSP.WSP_60_20

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Background: The World Association of Social Psychiatry (SP) and the International College of Person-Centered Medicine (PCM), while having their own background and goals, share some significant interests and concerns, raising hope for collaboration and synergism. Consideration of the COVID-19 pandemic that is severely challenging the world may also offer opportunities for organizations and programmatic perspectives to reflect on and optimize their paths. Objectives: This article is aimed at delineating a pattern of points of conceptual and strategic articulation between SP and PCM as perceived by scholars familiar with these perspectives, and to examine their implications for general health care and for responding to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This is primarily a consultation study involving clinical scholars familiar with the two perspectives at hand around a list of prospective articulation points between SP and PCM based on a selective literature review. The specific methods engaged involved elucidation of prominent SP/PCM articulation patterns through tabular displays of panelist ratings and contrast between such articulation points and recommendations from the UN and WHO for advancing general health care and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Results: The initial explorative elucidation of potential articulation points between SP and PCM, including a) Contextualized approach, b) Ethical commitment, c) Humanization of medicine, d) Concern for broad determinants of health, e) Commitment to health care and public health, and f) Contributing to UN SDGs, was supported by the ratings of panelists familiar with both perspectives and the recommendations of authoritative international health declarations (including those focused on COVID-19 response). This was particularly the case for complementary concern for health care and public health, a contextualized person/whole society approach, and ethical commitment to persons' values. Conclusions: The thrust of the results of the present study and their contrast with the emerging professional and scientific literature stimulated by the COVID-19 pandemic affords clarification and validity on the concepts and strategies of SP and PCM and opens new avenues for useful collaboration.


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