The research of Richard J. Seime, Ph.D., L.P., is focused on the area of psychosomatic and behavioral medicine, a field that explores problems at the interface of medicine and psychiatry. The clinical focus of the Behavioral Medicine Program has resulted in productive collaboration in research. This research includes examining the role of past adversity, such as sexual and physical abuse, in medical and psychiatric morbidity.
Dr. Seime's particular clinical and research focus is on patients with functional neurological symptoms, functional gastroenterological symptoms and those with health anxiety. He and his colleagues are conducting a series of studies to examine the role of health anxiety in predicting disability. These studies contribute to an improved understanding of the mechanisms that underlie the development of physical morbidity and disability in those with somatic symptom disorders.
- Psychosomatics. In his research and clinical practice in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Dr. Seime investigates psychosomatic disorders such as behavioral spells, chronic dizziness, functional gastrointestinal tract disorders and functional movement disorders.
- Health anxiety. Dr. Seime and his colleagues investigate health anxiety, depression and anxiety in medically ill patients.
- Predictors of disability. Dr. Seime's research team studies indicators to predict disability and the utilization of health care services.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Seime anticipates that through his research, patients with psychosomatic symptoms or health anxiety will benefit from an improved understanding of the ties between mental and physical health. His work is directed toward clarifying how psychological issues and past traumas manifest physical neurological or gastrological symptoms, understanding when and how patients use health care services, and working for improved methods of diagnosis and treatment.