Behavioral strategies may help control diseases

Researchers suggest behavioral economics, social psychology to motivate patients to assert control over chronic diseases.

By UCLA, HEALTH SCIENCES
December 2, 2012 10:42
3 minute read.
PATIENTS SPEND 70,000 hospital days a year in hospital corridors, IMA Chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman c

Hospital 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

One of the most important health problems in the United States is the failure of patients with chronic diseases to take their medications and do all that is necessary to control their illnesses.

In a study published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, UCLA researchers and their colleagues suggest that physicians take a serious look at tools and strategies used in behavioral economics and social psychology to help motivate their patients to assert better control over chronic diseases. Breaking large goals into smaller, more manageable parts, for example, may help patients better manage diseases such as diabetes, the researchers say.

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