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Relapse Prevention

  • By: Katie Witkiewit & Sharon Hsu
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Relapse, defined as an act or instance of backsliding, worsening, or subsiding, is a common outcome in the treatment of psychological problems. That is, most people who attempt to change a behavior (e.g., lose weight, quit smoking), will experience setbacks (lapses) that often lead to a return to problematic behavior (relapses). In this vein, relapse can be viewed as both an event and a process of behavioral change. The difficulty in defining relapse can be attributed to the inherent complexity in the process of behavioral change. This entry discusses relapse and relapse prevention, focusing on the history and new developments in the study and treatment of addictive behavior relapse.

Relapse and Relapse Prevention

Coined in the late 1970s, the term relapse prevention (RP) has been used to ...

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