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J Behav Med. 1978 Jun;1(2):201-16.

Changing the coronary-prone (type A) behavior pattern in a nonclinical population.


This report presents the design and initial findings of an attempt to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in healthy men by modifying their type A behavior pattern. A group of 27 professional and executive volunteers, aged 39--59, who had been medically assessed as free from coronary heart disease, were randomly assigned to brief psychotherapy and behavior therapy groups. Each treatment group met for 14 sessions over a period of 5 months. Pre- and postmeasures of physiological (serum cholesterol, serum triglycerides, blood pressure) and psychological (anxiety, psychological symptoms, satisfaction) variables were taken. Results indicate that both treatment groups changed in the desired direction on most of the psychological and physiological variables without apparent change in habits of diet, exercise, smoking, or work load. The findings are provocative, but only tentative, leaving questions of clinical validity, durability, and generalizability unresolved. Nevertheless, they indicate that this approach to modifying type A behavior may reduce coronary risk and therefore warrants further exploration.

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