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Psychological research

Priority: Increase federal funding for basic and translational psychological and behavioral research and training to develop and evaluate empirically based treatments to improve health care


Is treatment for mental disorders effective? Yes. In fact, treatment success rates for mental problems, such as depression and panic disorder, surpass that for some medical conditions like heart disease.

Much more remains to be learned. Continued psychological and behavioral research can dramatically improve our capacity to prevent and treat mental and substance abuse disorders.

In addition, increased understanding of behavioral factors is also key to preventing and treating such medical conditions as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, HIV/AIDS and cancer.

  • Depression treatment. What happens when anti-depressant medication doesn't work? Switching to or adding cognitive therapy is usually just as effective as changing medications, found a 2007 study in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Those who switched to cognitive therapy were also spared the side effects that can accompany medication.
  • Diabetes prevention. A randomized controlled trial found that an intensive lifestyle intervention was significantly more effective at reducing the incidence of Type 2 diabetes than medication alone, according to a 2002 study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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