The purpose of the research paper is to allow you to synthesize research about
and apply the
biopsychosocial model to a specific health issue. Your paper involves choosing a specific health
issue, researching how that situation/disease develops and the factors that contribute to it, and
current treatment, education,and/or prevention approaches.
Choose a topic from the following list;
Exercise (e.g., to treat depression
Behavioral Factors in Cardiovascular Disease
Eating disorders or obesity
(e.g., multimodal smoking cessation programs)
Alcohol/Substance Abuse (e.g.,
changing problem behaviors)
Stress and illness
Adherence to medical treatment regimens
Health impact of caregiving (e.g., family members
of Alzheimer’s patients
Behavioral Factors in Cancers
Behavioral Factors in Diabetes
Living with Chronic Illness
Survivorship & grief
Hospice vs. hospital care for the dying
Narrow your topic and consider what kind of information you need
For example, if your chosen topic is “adherence to medical treatment regimens,”you could focus on issues surrounding adherence to treatment in newly diagnosed diabetics or HIV patients
.You then need to think about issues related to prevention, coping, or treatment
.Your focus will depend upon the topic you select. For example you may focus on
prevention if you choose smoking,coping if you choose cancer, or treatment if you choose stress and illness How you narrow your topic dictates what key words you need to search the literature (and what you find in the literature may
help you narrow your topic).
Conduct research Your paper must include at least 5 primary scholarly references (i.e., not textbooks, not popular magazine articles, not the Web).
It is fine to use your textbook for useful information about your topic, but you must move beyond your
text and search the relevant literature.
Focus on sources that help you understand:
the nature of the topic or its
how this behavior or disease develops and important contributing
(look for biologica
l, social, emot
ional, and cognitive
current treatment or prevention approaches (e.g., cognitive or family
therapy, drugs, exercise)
WRITING THE PAPER
(depending on your topic, you may need to organize your paper
differently than this, but the content should still include these kinds of issues):
Describe the natu
re of your topic (~1 page
Discuss factors that cause and contribute to the behavior or dise
e (hint: think BPS
Synthesize the research by topic rather than summarizing article
Note that for every factual statement you make in your paper, you must include an
text reference (which is then included in the reference
list at the end of the
Further, you may only include those sources in your reference list that are
actually cited in the paper.
Summarize current treatments
or prevention approaches (~2
Reflect on this health issue from the perspective of t
he BPS model (e.g., what’s left out?)
and your ow
n life experience (~1
The body of the paper (excluding title page
rences page) should be 6
spaced, typed pages.
Papers must follow APA style in terms of the
title page, proper referencing
, and professional writing style.
If you have questions about APA style,
you should consult the APA’s publication manual (6
nces must be from 2000 or later.
The best papers will:
demonstrate good understanding of a specific example of the chosen topic
demonstrate comprehension of the factors involved in causing, maintaining, contributing
to, preventing, and treating the health issue
demonstrate your ability to apply the biopsychos
ocial model to this issue
demonstrate your ability to synthesize information from a variety of sources
written and meet the format and APA
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