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Staff Comments on NIH-NIMH Conference Report: Behavioral Factors and Cardiovascular Disease

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  • Medicine
  • Psychology


STAFF COMMENTS ON NHI-NIMH CONFERENCE REPORT BEHAVIORAL FACTORS AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE We have carefully studied the conference report of the NHI-NIMH special consultants on behavioral factors and cardiovascular disease. The tone of the report is vigorous, hortatory and frankly action-oriented, and properly so, ,since it is focused on invigorating the Institutes' approach to a crucial set of overlapping problems, which, because of their overlapping nature, have not previously received appropriate attention. We strongly recommend a second meeting of the original conferees to discuss in greater detail, in real depth, the numerous issues identified at the March meeting, and feel that it would result in a much better program effort. We believe that such a second meeting ought to be backed by staff involvement of a substantive nature, far more than that which took place at the earlier meeting. From our point of view, the conference report does not sufficiently emphasize critical areas--specifically, basic etiological research and conceptual and methodological issues in psychosomatic studies. We feel, furthermore, that it might be premature to launch a crash program now which would focus only on practical problems at the possible expense of continued efforts to unravel basic etiological issues and to investigate fundamental conceptual and methodological questions. In view of the high incidence of cardiovascular disease, the high sudden-death rate from myocardial infarction, and the relevance of psychological factors in the course of the disease and in the rehabilitative process, we feel there is an urgent need for the develop- ment of additional knowledge on the relationship of biobehavioral factors to cardiovascular disease. Our comments on the committee's recommendations follow: RECOMMENDATION 1: AN IMMEDIATE CONCERTED EFFORT SHOULD BE MADE TO ATTEMPT TO AI'PLY VISCERAL LEARNING TECHNIQUES IN PATIENTS WITH ACUTE CARDIOVASCULAR DISORDERS. THIS SHOULD H

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