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Towards an evidence-based ‘Medicine of the Person’: the contribution of psychiatry to health care provision


  • John L. Cox BM BCh DM (Oxon) FRCPsych FRCP(Lon. & Edin.)

    1. Secretary General, World Psychiatric Association, Geneva, Switzerland, Professor Emeritus, Keele University, Staffordshire, UK and Professor of Mental Health, Faculty of Education, Humanities and Natural Science, University of Gloucestershire, Cheltenham, UK
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John L. Cox
Faculty of Education
Humanities and Natural Science
University of Gloucestershire
Francis Close Hall
Cheltenham GL50 2BR


The purpose of this essay is to outline how the conceptual and clinical approaches of psychiatry contribute to increased understanding about the nature of evidence, and the art and science of medicine. It is based on the author's search for a more integrative medicine, the influence of Paul Tournier's ‘Medicine de la Personne’ and the Institutional Programme on Psychiatry for the Person led by the World Psychiatric Association. Evidence to support this approach from palliative care and general practice is cited, but new educational and research initiatives from other international organizations, such as the World Medical Association, the World Federation for Medical Education and the World Association of Family Practice and the medical Royal Colleges, are proposed.