Purpose of review: This paper critically reviews recent studies that have used behavioral or psychosocial interventions aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS as well as the psychosocial management of cardiovascular disease, HIV and cancer.
Recent findings: Behavioral (lifestyle) interventions can decrease risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. Psychosocial interventions have proven efficacy for alleviating distress in patients medically treated for cancer, cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS. These interventions may also help to prevent HIV infection, and improve medication adherence in HIV/AIDS.
Summary: Behavioral and psychosocial interventions are useful in preventing some chronic diseases and for alleviating distress in patients who have been medically treated for diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS. Findings regarding the effects of psychosocial interventions on disease processes, morbidity and mortality are not yet well established and require appropriate clinical trials.