Article

Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 309-333

First online:

Managing stress and managing illness: Survival and quality of life in chronic disease

  • Andrew BaumAffiliated withDivision of Behavioral Medicine and Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
  • , Holly HerbermanAffiliated withDivision of Behavioral Medicine and Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
  • , Lorenzo CohenAffiliated withDivision of Behavioral Medicine and Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

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Abstract

Interest has been steadily building in the impact of stress on psychological and physiological functioning, in particular on immune system responses, furthering the concept of a strong connection between the mind and the body. Implications for prevention of disease onset or treatment of stress-induced illness or immunocompromised conditions have been explored through the implementation of stress management techniques. Cognitive behavioral stress management interventions, biofeedback, relaxation, guided imagery, hypnosis, individual and group psychotherapy, aerobic exercise, and guided self-efficacy treatment are briefly reviewed to identify possible treatment mechanisms that may affect immune function and promote quality of life. The application of behavioral techniques to reduce distress and sharpen coping skills has great promise in reducing the costs associated with chronic disease and in enhancing quality of life among those afflicted.

Key words

stress stress management quality of life psychoneuroimmunology cancer