Cardiac Psychology: Psychosocial and Behavioral Assessment and Treatment for Cardiovascular Conditions
Psychological and behavioral factors increase risk for primary cardiovascular disease (CVD) and worsen prognosis and quality of life among patients with CVD. The current paper highlights the unique psychological, behavioral, and psychosocial challenges faced by patients with CVD, particularly among vulnerable and historically marginalized populations, and offers recommendations and considerations for evidence-based treatments. A case example is utilized to illustrate the biopsychosocial experience of CVD and related treatment, as well as the opportunities for psychosocial and behavioral interventions. Psychologists with specialized training in cardiac psychology are uniquely positioned to address these risk factors, collaborate with interdisciplinary teams in diverse medical settings, and significantly improve patients’ cardiovascular health and quality of life.