Over recent years, the extent of psychiatric morbidity among patients seen in general hospital practice and primary care has been well established. Physicians and surgeons are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of recognising and treating the psychiatric problems that their patients experience, and consultation-liaison psychiatry has become a distinct field of research and clinical practice. In the context of general medicine and its specialities, psychiatric morbidity may coexist with definite organic pathology or present largely with somatic symptoms in the absence of organic disease. This area is receiving more attention in postgraduate and undergraduate teaching, but there are few specialist textbooks that cover the topic.This series is introduced to review particular areas of medicine in which psychological factors and psychiatric morbidity are especially significant. Each is written or edited by a clinician with extensive experience in the area, and combines clinical insight with a discussion of relevant research. The series is aimed at senior clinicians and trainees, particularly in psychiatry, internal medicine and general practice, and individual volumes will interest a wider audience in the health professions.