Psichoneuroinmunology, stress and health
The aim of this article is to review the main advances and open questions on the up-todate Psychoneuroimmunology. The reciprocal interactions and influences between the nervous, endocrine and immune systems are exposed. The fundamental measurement methods used in this investigation are analyzed. The major findings and the present perspectives about classical conditioning, stress, coping, humor and depression are exposed; and the empirical evidence of the efficacy of psychological treatments in increasing immunocompetence are discussed. Last of all, the relevance of psychoneuroimmunology in the study and treatment of cancer is exposed. It is concluded that stress and depression produce an immunological deficit, but its clinical significance is not demonstrated. Psychological treatments have not been proven to increase immunocompetence. Hence, further research is needed considering the recommendations on empirically valid treatments of APA (Division 12 Task Force). In the case of cancer, psychological treatments have not been efficient in improving survival; it is necessary to continue studying the way in which psychological interventions may affect endocrine and immunological parameters.
Ansiedad y Estrés
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