AS MANAGED CARE groups become major players in providing and financing health care services, experts in behavioral medicine see a golden chance to fulfill their objective of integrating psychosocial with biomedical approaches to health and illness.
"The impetus for behaviorial and psychosocial approaches in disease prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation comes from public health and the efforts to change lifestyles. Along with this has come an interest in health care utilization, so there's an opportunity here," said C. Barr Taylor, MD, speaking at the Fourth International Congress of Behavioral Medicine, held in Washington, DC.
"We think that, as more capitated systems take over in health care, this gives us the chance to intervene and apply new models that might be successful in treating illness. At least 25% of the patients in a primary care practice present with emotional problems, like anxiety, depression, or drug or alcohol abuse," Taylor said. He is