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A Pathways Approach to the Metabolic Syndrome

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Abstract

Psychosocial factors interact with genetics, environment, and lifestyle to increase risk for the metabolic syndrome (essential hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and obesity). Patients with the metabolic syndrome often suffer from anxious and depressive symptoms, negatively affecting motivation for self-management. A biopsychosocial approach is important in the care of patients such as Carmella, the case described in this chapter. Treatment of this multifaceted chronic disorder is complex and is best coordinated among multiple specialists and in addition requires the active participation of the patient. Based on the Pathways Model, the mental health provider’s role is to empower the patient in effective self-management. Psychophysiological therapies offer the opportunity for regulation of physiological stress responses, engaging the relaxation response. Patients learn to make daily decisions which benefit their short- and long-term health. The psychotherapies, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy are consistent with the theme of self-awareness, patient choices, and significant changes in behavior. One of the complementary therapies, Reiki is also utilized by Carmella to achieve her goal of better metabolic control.

Keywords

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Obesity
  • Pathways Model

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In health care research, this factor of early adversity is operationalized as adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and recognized as a significant contributor to negative adult physical and mental health outcomes (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2014).

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McGrady, A., Moss, D. (2018). A Pathways Approach to the Metabolic Syndrome. In: Integrative Pathways. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-89313-6_10

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