chapter  5
45 Pages

Psychology and Medicine David S. Krantz and David C. Glass

The behavioral sciences are developing an increasingly significant relationship with medicine. This interdisciplinary contact has matured and expanded beyond one area of mental health to a far broader area called "behavioral medicine", which is concerned with behavioral factors in physical disease. At the same time. old disciplinary boundaries are being erased: behavioral and biomedical scientists alike are studying the joint influence of psychosocial and biological factors 011 somatic health and illness,

The interface between psychology and medicine has its historical roots in pre-Cartesian philosophy (Alexander. 1950: McMahon, 1976). Early physicians believed that intense emotions had the potential to produce acute imbalances in bodJly function which culminated in various forms of organ pathology, Western medical thinking \\las radically altered in the late seventeenth century when the biomedical model. based on the Cartesian dualism of mind and body, became the accepted basis for explaining health and illness (McMahon & Hastrup. 1980). According to this model, disease was viewed as a purely biological phenomenon, that is a product of specific agents or pathogens and bodily dysfunction.