To understand the integrative psychosomatic, I will take as an example a study in January 2012 proposing to establish a relationship between depression and myocardial infarction. This kind of study is interesting in psychosomatic because it can provide us an understanding of the relationship between an event, emotion and somatic disorders.
However, we must move very carefully, because the "epidemiological" studies presented by scientists can induce us deeply in error.
First epidemiological studies worldwide since the end of World War II, are exceptional, as these studies must take into account the vital files very large populations in many to follow over the long term.
Secondly the studies that are presented by the medical press are indeed studies we "cohorts" which results are relevant only for the members of the study cohort and the period.
I take these precautions so that you can perceive more acutely the results of a study, and that such results do not shake you emotionally.
The American cardiological association published January 9, 2012 a statement of a new study conducted by researchers including Elizabeth Mostofsky Murray and Mr. Mittelman (Risk of acute myocardial infection after death of a significant person in one's life: the determinants of onset MI study, TRAFFIC, 111.061770).
The study cohort includes 1,985 heart attacks between 1989 and 1994; researchers evaluated the questions the relationship between heart attack and the loss of a loved one during the previous year, taking into account the quality of their relationships.
This is an assumption that we are moving as integrative psychosomatic to understand the effect of a traumatic event, mourning for example, the whole of human psychosomatic unity.
The research findings are as follows: following the death of a close relative, there is a risk 21 times higher than normal infarction in the first day following the death, and six times higher during the first week. The risk of myocardial gradually disappears during the following month. The risk varies with the severity of the crisis, it is 1/320 of people for light attack, and 1/1394 for a serious heart attack. It is for researchers and especially for Dr. Mittelman Murray, a cardiologist at Harvard Medical School, an important finding for the prevention of cardiac risk. We know that psychological stress increases heart rate, blood pressure and blood clotting which increases the risk of heart attack; at the beginning of the grieving process, sleep is disturbed and appetite and cortisol levels.
In truth, among the 1985 subjects studied, only 270 are 13.6% of the cohort had been proven in the first six months of the death of a close relative. The absolute risk of myocardial infarction is very low (5% at 10 years) and the average risk is 20% at 10 years, which represents a tiny percentage of the overall cohort.
Are now trying to critically analyze such a study using the methods developed in Integrative Psychosomatic:
US researchers have considered that biological variables and strongly neglected the psychological, familial and environmental specific patient cohort. Nothing is known of the stability of the family, social and professional environment for patients as well as individual mental resilience to emotional shocks (resilience). Now we know that the emotional shock following a bereavement is experienced very differently depending on the individual history in the light of their life events; a stable family environment absorbs emotional shocks.
Also we know that an element of individual resilience is the use of spiritual resources, whatever the beliefs and this element does not appear in any way and the other variables that I advanced in this study.
The researchers know nothing about individual suffering due to bereavement and different processes used to comfort a human being and thus weaken the emotional shock.
It is understandable that while taking into account the results of these researchers, I can emit doubts about the relevance of their results. I think that great efforts must therefore still be made by researchers to incorporate into their research items that are currently ignored in the psychological, cultural and anthropological dimensions.
Do consider in medical research that biological variables, under the pretext of their quantitative validity, pushes me to doubt their validity.