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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