Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States and worldwide. It is well recognized that traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease have limited predictive utility in the identification of new cardiovascular disease cases and outcomes. Thus, investigators have argued that application of a biopsychosocial research paradigm in this field may be of particular utility in understanding cardiovascular disease pathogenesis. Accordingly, a subdiscipline within the field of behavioral medicine – cardiovascular behavioral medicine – examines interrelations among biological, behavioral, psychological, social, and environmental factors in cardiovascular health and disease.
In 1989, Schneiderman and colleagues published a seminal work entitled "Research Methods in Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine." Since that time, there has been an exponential increase in the amount and scope of work in this topic area, but no similar edited volume has been undertaken. The present handbook provides a compendium of work in the field of cardiovascular behavioral medicine, the purposes of which are to summarize research in this area, promote transdisciplinary research and clinical practice, and encourage researchers and clinicians to consider all relevant facets of the disease process in their evaluation and study of cardiovascular disease pathogenesis and outcomes.
This handbook has four sections: Section I provides perspectives on the past, present, and future of cardiovascular behavioral medicine, an overview of basic cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, cardiovascular disease classification, and application of the biopsychosocial model to the study of cardiovascular disease. Section IIcovers risk factors for cardiovascular disease from a behavioral medicine perspective, including sociodemographic, behavioral, psychosocial, biomedical, psychophysiological, and environmental risk factors for cardiovascular disease.These chapters offer a discussion of construct definitions, measurement issues, and epidemiological evidence for relations to cardiovascular disease. Section III offers review of multi-level influences in specific cardiovascular disease entities, the evidence- base for relevant biopsychosocial interventions, evaluation of the impact of cardiovascular diseases on behavior, and consideration of common co-morbidities. Section IV covers select statistical and bioethical topics relevant to the field of cardiovascular behavioral medicine.
This volume is unique in several respects. First, there is no similar work available in terms of the scope of topic coverage. Second, the inclusion of relevant measurement issues and construct definitions of a comprehensive set of risk factors will be of great assistance to researchers and clinicians in this area who wish to improve their assessment of these variables yet are not familiar with or trained in the various methodologies. Third, the use of multidisciplinary contributors enhances the utility of the work. Representative disciplines include psychology, psychiatry, medicine (e.g., cardiology), nursing, epidemiology, and public health. The primary audiences for this work are researchers, clinicians, and students in each of these disciplines.