An Office-Based Approach to Emotional and Behavioral Risk Factor Reduction for Cardiovascular Disease

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There are many psychological risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and the ability to reduce mortality depends on an ability to integrate care of these risk factors with traditional Framingham cardiovascular risk and use them both in routine practice. The aim of this article is to provide an update of all the major emotional and behavioral cardiovascular risk factors along with a practical treatment model for implementation. First, we provide a review of major emotional and behavioral cardiovascular risk factors, the associated primary effect, and proposed mechanism of action. Second, we provide an office-based approach to cardiovascular risk factor reduction and methods of reducing barriers to implementation, called Prevention Oriented Primary Care–Abridged. The approach integrates several forms of detection, assessment using the 3As (ask, assess, assist), and Stages of Change approaches, and subsequent efficient and targeted treatment with either Motivational Interviewing or further office intervention. A case example is provided to help illustrate this process.

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