Core Principles

The role of behavioral science faculty is to consult and teach physicians and other health care providers; treat patients and families on emotional, family, and psychosocial issues; contribute to the knowledge base through research, publications and presentations; and continually upgrade one's knowledge and skills in behavioral science. Behavioral science faculty and practitioners operate from a core set of principles, drawing upon behavioral and social science pedagogy and research. The principles include elements of other related evidence-based fields such as behavioral medicine, behavioral health, health psychology, integrative medicine, and integrated mental and behavioral health. These core principles apply, but are not limited to, physicians, nurses, behavioral medicine specialists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, or counselors working in health care or community settings. Those who apply these principles:

  1. use biopsychosocial and relationship-centered approaches to care;
  2. promote patient self-efficacy and behavior change as primary factors in health promotion, disease prevention, and chronic disease management;
  3. integrate mental health and substance abuse care into primary health care services;
  4. integrate psychological and behavioral knowledge into the care of physical symptoms and diseases;
  5. promote the integration of sociocultural factors within the organization and delivery of health care services;
  6. demonstrate the importance to health of familial, social, cultural, spiritual, and environmental contexts in patient care to improve health outcomes;
  7. practice a developmental and life-cycle perspective with learners and clients; and
  8. encourage and support provider self-awareness, empathy, and well-being


Read the Core Principles Rationale