This comprehensive yet practical handbook consolidates information needed by health psychologists working alongside other healthcare professionals. It facilitates the progression of the learner from the classroom to the clinical setting by focusing on the translation of science to practice using practical examples. The Handbook is divided into four major parts. Part I highlights practical issues faced by health psychologists in a medical setting (how to motivate patients, consultation-liaison, assessment and screening, brief psychotherapies, ethical issues, etc.) Part II concentrates on treating unhealthy behaviors (alcohol and nicotine use, noncompliance, overeating/obesity, physical inactivity, stress). Part III considers behavioral aspects of medical problems (pain management, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, sexual dysfunction, HIV/AIDS, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia). And Part IV takes up special issues relevant to practice and research in the field (minority issues, women’s issues, working with geriatric populations, public health approaches to health psychology and behavioral medicine). The Handbook will prove to be an invaluable resource for those already working in the field of health psychology as well as for those in training.
Hypertension is a major risk factor of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. It contributes to stroke, the third leading cause of death, and it also contributes to approximately one fourth of kidney failures. These devastating diseases exact a high toll in human suffering, deteriorating quality of life, and financial cost, making a strong case for continuous effort to identify causes and develop means to control hypertension. As is described in more detail later in this chapter, hypertension is one of the risk factors that can be controlled by available behavioral and pharmacological interventions. However, many challenges face clinicians in their efforts to implement and ensure compliance with regimens for this disorder.
The term hypertension is used to indicate high ...