Multimorbidity: Implications and directions for health psychology and behavioral medicine

Jerry Suls, Paige A. Green, Cynthia M. Boyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The increasing prevalence of multimorbidity in the United States and the rest of the world poses problems for patients and for health care providers, care systems, and policy. After clarifying the difference between comorbidity and multimorbidity, this article describes the challenges that the prevalence of multimorbidity presents for well-being, prevention, and medical treatment. We submit that health psychology and behavioral medicine have an important role to play in meeting these challenges because of the holistic vision of health afforded by the foundational biopsychosocial model. Furthermore, opportunities abound for health psychology/behavioral medicine to study how biological, social and psychological factors influence multimorbidity. This article describes three major areas in which health psychologists can contribute to understanding and treatment of multimorbidity: (a) etiology; (b) prevention and self-management; and (c) clinical care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)772-782
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2019


  • Biopsychosocial model
  • Comorbidity
  • Integrated models of care
  • Multimorbidity
  • Patientcentered care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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