Issues in psychoneuroimmunology research.

J. Ratliff-Crain, L. Temoshok, J. K. Kiecolt-Glaser, L. Tamarkin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Careful design of studies is crucial for meaningful progress in this area of inquiry. Along with systematic evaluation of immunologic factors, clear understanding of antecedent factors is also important. Age, sex, and other sociodemographic factors might play a major role in how an individual reacts to a given situation when compared with another individual. Assessment of the impact of these factors on the immune system might be further complicated by immunosuppressive viruses like HIV or by the use of many common medications such as beta-blockers for hypertension (Kiecolt-Glaser & Glaser, 1988). Longitudinal studies are needed to understand the process of change and the dynamic patterning of psychosocial and immunologic relationships over time. Additionally, use of multimodal measures to assess psychological events such as stress is imperative (Baum, Grunberg, & Singer, 1982). It will not serve our understanding of psychological influences on the immune system to jump to the conclusion that an event is "stressful" because it seems as if it should be. Finally, establishing a "core" battery of widely accepted immune tests will be important in establishing comparability across studies. The standardization and acceptance of specific biochemical measures will facilitate the infusion of talented clinical and basic scientists into the area of psychoneuroimmunology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-752
Number of pages6
JournalHealth psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1989


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