Health‐Related Disciplines

Stress is a main area of research in both behavioral medicine and health psychology, and both disciplines have developed techniques to identify and deal with stress‐related problems.

Behavioral medicine. The relationship between stress and disease has led many health care professionals to become interested in ways that behavior could be modified and psychological information used to improve health. The interdisciplinary field of behavioral medicine attempts to combine medical and behavioral knowledge in that endeavor.

Health psychology. The discipline of health psychology focuses on promoting good health and health care and investigates psychological and social factors important in preventing and treating illness. Health care psychologists are interested in reasons people do (or do not) comply with medical advice or act on information concerning maintenance of good health (losing weight, stopping smoking, regularly exercising, and so forth). Many habits, personality traits, and stressful situations, when identified, may be modified to reduce health risks. Health psychologists participate both in the identification of stress and in stress‐modification procedures.