The Behavioral Medicine Research Council is an independent committee made up of representatives from the four leading U.S.-based behavioral medicine organizations, including the American Psychosomatic Society, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and the Society for Health Psychology. In this issue, the journal publishes the first joint position statement from the group. The statement, which is being published simultaneously in Health Psychology and Annals of Behavioral Medicine, recommends a variety of open science practices that potentially will increase research quality and reliability.
Statement: Pages 298–307; https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000001186
Editorial: Pages 296–297; https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000001185
Nocebo effects refer to sensations such as pain and itch resulting from treatment-related negative experiences. Thomaidou et al. conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of experimental nocebo studies on healthy participants (n = 37 studies, published 2008–2021). Nocebo effect sizes were moderate to large on average. The combination of conditioning and verbal suggestions yielded stronger nocebo responses, particularly for pain. These findings support future consistency in study design and systematic examination of the effects of different verbal suggestions on magnitudes of learned nocebo effects.
Pages 308–321; https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000001194
Alessandri et al. explored the association between “regulatory emotional self-efficacy beliefs in managing negative emotions” (RESE-NE) and heart rate variability (HRV). HRV is a measure of parasympathetic modulation of the heart that has been positively associated with ability to flexibly adjust to a changing environment. Adults (n = 161) working in professions that interact directly with the public (such as social workers and physicians) with higher RESE-NE also had higher HRV, a physiological indicator of adaptability to environmental demands. This was true only for men, suggesting sex differences in physiological stress reactivity and regulation.
Pages 322–331; https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000001191
Risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been shown to increase with psychological distress. Nübel et al. examined the association between chronic stress and risk score among adults without diabetes (n = 4654). Among those whose chronic stress was above-average to high, the adjusted mean predicted 5-year risk was significantly higher than among those whose chronic stress was below average. Perceived chronic stress was independently associated with an increased predicted T2D risk in cross-sectional analysis and should be considered as a T2D risk factor.
Pages 332–340; https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000001183
Sexual and physical abuse are highly prevalent among women living with HIV and are risk factors for development of mental health and substance use disorders (MHDs, SUDs) and cognitive and medical comorbidities. Rubin et al. examined empirically derived patterns of trauma, MHD, and SUD and their associations with later cognitive and health outcomes in diagnostic interviews of women with HIV (n = 1027). Complex multisystem profiles of abuse, MHD, and/or SUD predicted midlife cognitive, metabolic/cardiovascular, and HIV outcomes in women living with HIV.
Pages 341–350; https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000001192
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic events are often coupled with chronic pain. Manuel et al. assessed the prevalence of trauma and PTSD in chronic pain patients at an outpatient pain clinic (n = 914). Of these, 25% had no trauma, 23% accident traumas, 31% interpersonal traumas, 11% PTSD, and 10% could not be classified. The PTSD group had the highest maximal and widespread pain, sleep impairment, disability, stress, anxiety, depression, and somatization, followed by interpersonal traumas. The accident trauma group was largely not different from the no-trauma group. Larger pain area and widespreadness and co-occurring traits of sensory sensitivity are compatible with central sensitization in comorbid patients.
Pages 351–357; https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000001181
Hispanic/Latino adults in the US have a high prevalence of obesity. However, not all individuals are equally affected, perhaps due to marked sociocultural diversity. Fernández-Rhodes et al. analyzed the modification of body mass index (BMI) genetic effects in Hispanic/Latino adults (n = 11,747) by their level of acculturation and interactions with gender or background. Individuals with higher US acculturation had stronger relationship per allele between genetic risk score and BMI. Some SNPs exhibited evidence of heterogeneity by gender. Studies of obesity in the Hispanic/Latino community should account for sociocultural environments and consider their intersection with gender.
Pages 358–365; https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000001193
Functional somatic disorder (FSD) is a recent unifying term for persistent and distressing physical symptoms that are associated with impaired quality of life and higher healthcare costs. Sattel et al. conducted the first investigation of FSD prevalence and characteristics in a representative community sample (n = 2379). A liberal FSD concept demarcated subtypes with specific treatment needs. The presence of comorbidity and dysfunctional behavioral/psychological features contributed to impaired quality of life.
Pages 366–375; https://doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000001187