From 1997 to 2000, researchers at the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM), in a study called "Health and Behavior: The Interplay of Biological, Behavioral, and Societal Influences," examined information developed over the last two decades about the links between behavior and health, the influence of social environment on behaviors, and interventions to improve health by modifying behavior or personal relationships.
Among the study's findings:
- Health and disease are determined by dynamic interactions among biological, psychological, behavioral, and social factors that occur over time.
- Psychosocial factors such as socioeconomic status, social inequalities, social networks and support, work conditions, depression, anger, and hostility interact with biological processes to influence health and disease.
- Changing behavior and sustaining that behavior change is more difficult than learning a new behavior.
- Behavior can most effectively be changed via interventions that target multiple factors, although maintaining a changed behavior over time is difficult.
- Individual behavior, family interactions, relationships and resources in the community and workplace, and public policy all affect health and behavior change. Changing behavior and sustaining that behavior change is more difficult than learning a new behavior.
- Funding agencies support interdisciplinary research and intervention studies that integrate biological, psychological, behavioral, and social variables, and evaluations that extend over appropriate lengths of time.
- Research studies should include ways to clarify how social and psychological factors influence health and which interventions most effectively alter these factors in order to improve health.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $450,000.
RWJF Scholar examines neighborhood-based death rates from opiate-based painkiller overdoses, compared with heroin overdose deaths.
Adverse working conditions contribute substantially to the risk of depression for working-age adults, according to new research from a team ...
Unengaged patients can incur costs of up to 21% higher than patients who are highly engaged in care. This suite of materials from RWJF's AF4...
America is not getting good value for its health care dollar. These resources explore issues of cost and value of health care.
RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar Jennifer Bellot writes about losing her grandmother to complications from a medical error.
A national conversation highlighting efforts to improve care transitions, reduce avoidable hospital readmissions, and lift overall quality o...
While the need to address disparities in care is well known, few strategies for reducing disparities have been studied systematically.
The reconvened Commission to Build a Healthier America will provide new guidance in three key areas: early childhood, healthy communities, a...
Learn how The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is dedicated to building a culture of health in Risa Lavizzo-Mourey's 2014 annual message.
RWJF Scholar puzzles out why people who do not drink alcohol are at greater risk for premature death than light to moderate drinkers.
Judith Halstead, president of the National League for Nursing, writes about the role of nursing education in realizing a transformed health ...
The Health and Medical Care Archives at the University of Michigan's Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research is the of...