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Experimental Psychosocial Interventions 

Experimental Psychosocial Interventions
Chapter:
Experimental Psychosocial Interventions
Author(s):

Thomas A. Glass

, Amii M. Kress

, and Lisa F. Berkman

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780195377903.003.0011
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date: 04 June 2020

This chapter examines psychosocial intervention as a core function of the mission of social epidemiology. The focus is on experimental interventions aimed at changing some psychosocial process for the explicit purpose of modifying physical health or functioning. This includes the primary prevention of disease onset, recovery from illness, secondary prevention of disease, and modification of disease course. The design, evaluation, and implementation of psychosocial interventions are challenging enterprises. This chapter aims to delineate boundaries and characteristics of experimental psychosocial interventions, highlight previous studies, propose theoretical tools to guide new intervention studies, summarize major methodological and conceptual pitfalls and ameliorative strategies, and suggest areas of future research.

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