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.

Chapter 27: Practical Research in a Medical Setting Is Good Medicine

Practical Research in a Medical Setting Is Good Medicine

Practical research in a medical setting is good medicine

Conducting clinical research in medical settings is becoming increasingly important in the behavioral health care field. In the wake of managed care, the role of the behavioral health care provider is shifting. Some experts speculate that the 50-minute therapy session will eventually become extinct (Cummings, 2000; Hayes, Barlow, & Nelson-Gray, 1999). Behavioral health care specialists will increasingly need to function within different contexts.

As the practice of behavioral care specialists shifts, so must the focus of research. There is a growing need to assess the effectiveness of psychological treatments outside of controlled laboratory settings. Controlled studies assess the efficacy of treatments by testing whether interventions work under ideal circumstances. ...

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