Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States and most other westernized nations. 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, and social 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. Here we propose to create a compendium of work in the field of cardiovascular behavioral medicine, the purposes of which are to summarize research in this area, promote multidisciplinary 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.
In this volume, we propose several sections. Section I will provide an overview of basic cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, cardiovascular disease classification, and application of the biopsychosocial model to the study of cardiovascular disease. Section II will cover sociodemographic, behavioral, psychosocial, biomedical, and psychophysiological risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Each chapter will offer a discussion of construct definition, measurement issues, and epidemiological evidence for relations to cardiovascular disease. Chapters on biomedical and psychophysiological risk factors will also describe sociodemographic, behavioral, and psychosocial correlates of these risk factors. Section III will summarize literature on biopsychosocial investigation of specific cardiovascular disease entities, the evidence base for relevant biopsychosocial interventions, and evaluation of the impact of cardiovascular diseases on behavior. Section IV will cover select special topics in the field of cardiovascular behavioral medicine including common comorbidities, special populations, special issues, and data analytic issues.
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 will greatly enhance the utility of the work.
The primary audiences for this work are multidisciplinary researchers, clinicians, and students in cardiovascular behavioral medicine or behavioral medicine more broadly. Representative disciplines include psychology, psychiatry, medicine, nursing, and epidemiology. The prospective authors listed below represent each of these disciplines.