Behavioral medicine: The contribution of the experimental analysis of behavior to medical care

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Abstract

There has been a great increase in research and clinical activity using psychological methods and procedures for understanding and modifying patterns of behavior that affect physical health. The term “behavioral medicine” has come into use to describe some of these activities. The present article reviews the contribution of the experimental behavioral sciences in the understanding and treatment of medical disorders and disease and examines some of the implications of the new field for psychology. Current definitions, which emphasize either a biopsychosocial or a behavioral framework, are discussed. Major themes in clinical behavioral medicine are identified, including the modification of overt behavior or physiological responses that constitute problems in their own right, the modification of behavior of health care providers, the improvement of adherence to prescribed treatment, and the modification of behavior or responses that constitute risk factors for disease. (95 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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