ther research has supported most of what was presented in the 1982 report, but exciting progress has been made in the new areas, such as psychoneuroimmunology (Chapter 2).

Times have changed since 1982, with consequent changes in perspective. It is now acknowledged, for example, that cardiovascular disease is an important killer of women as well as of men, necessitating research and improvements in practice. National concern about the public health consequences of tobacco use has led to a wide range of interventions and the evaluation of approaches. The emergence of new medical and public health problems, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other infectious diseases, since the 1982 report has again demonstrated the importance of behavior to health and has led to the application of information about health and behavior to new problems as well as to the development of new knowledge itself.

Finally, advances in methods and conceptual models since 1982 have enriched and challenged the biobehavioral sciences—the fields that have contributed knowledge and application in the areas of health and behavior addressed in this report.


The 1982 Health and Behavior report adopted the term biobehavioral sciences to encompass the many disciplines that contribute to behavior and health. After considerable discussion, the Committee on Health and Behavior: Research, Practice and Policy also chose to use this term, as defined in 1982, because it reflects the rich, dynamic, and interactive nature of the fields contributing to knowledge of health and behavior and because it is still current:

The term biobehavioral sciences is used…to refer to the panoply of basic, applied, and clinical sciences that contribute to an understanding of behavior. It naturally includes the behavioral sciences that conduct experimental analyses of animal and human conduct. It also includes such basic sciences as neurology, neurochemistry, endocrinology, and neuroanatomoy, as well as the fields of psychology, ethology, sociology, and anthropology. One merit of a broadly inclusive terminology is that it encompasses the many changes in specialties and subspecialties that currently characterize the area. As overlapping areas of interest emerge, they often are labeled with compound names, such as behavioral genetics, psychoneuroimmunology, immunohistochemistry, or behavioral medicine. All are part of the biobehavioral sciences. (IOM, 1982)

Biopsychosocial is a related term used in this report to encompass con-

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