Foto del docente

Chiara Rafanelli

Full Professor

DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY "RENZO CANESTRARI"

Academic discipline: M-PSI/08 Clinical Psychology

Head of Scuola di Specializzazione in Psicologia Clinica

Research

Keywords: Psychosomatics Psychological well-being Cognitive-behavioral therapy Cardiovascular diseases Affective disorders

1) My research group and I have evaluated the role of psychological well-being in the determination of the health-disease balance. Randomized controlled studies have been conducted through the use of well-being therapy, especially in clinical settings. 2) My research group has developed the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR). These criteria have been compared with traditional psychiatric standards in medical settings. 3) My research group has formulated a sequential model of treatment for affective disorders. It provides the use of pharmacotherapy in initial phase and cognitive-behavioral in the residual one. 4) My research group evaluates psychological characteristics of patients with heart diseases, especially of those affected by acute coronary syndromes. 5) My research group is interested in the clinimetric approach of residual symptomatology of affective disorders. Symptoms persist during pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatment of these disorders in medical practice.



1) My research group and I have evaluated the role of psychological well-being in the determination of the health-disease balance both in anxiety and depressive disorders and in physical illness. Randomized controlled studies have been conducted through the use of a specific psychotherapeutic tecnique for enhancing psychological well-being (well-being therapy), both in clinical and in school settings (with a preventive aim). The tecnique has been developed by my research group. 2) Psychiatric nosographic tools are of limited interst in medicine, where the psychological distress often presents with subclinical characteristics. To this purpose, a group of international researchers, including my research group, have developed  the Diagnostic Criteria for Psychosomatic Research (DCPR). These DCPR criteria have been compared with traditional psychiatric standards of both cardiac and endocrinologic settings. 3) The treatment of anxious and depressive disorders is often unsatisfactory. My research group has developed innovative approaches that have aroused international interest. In particular, a sequential model of treatment for affective disorders has been formulated . It provides the use of pharmacotherapy in initial phase and cognitive-behavioral in the residual one. Pilot studies have been performed through the use of new combinations of sequential treatment (e.g. pharmaco and family therapy in depressive disorders). 4) My research group evaluates psychological characteristics as risk factors of cardiac morbility of patients with heart diseases. Of particular interest is the pilot study on stressful life events, depressive states and coronary heart diseases. 5) My research group is interested in the clinimetric approach of residual symptomatology of affective disorders. Symptoms persist during pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments of  anxiety and depressive disorders in medical practice. My group is also interested in the side effects of the treatments for these disorders. Clinimetrics is an interdisciplinary field including medicine, psychology and statistics, with the aim of measuring different clinical variables.