Social and Behavioral Factors That Influence Drug Efficacy

Psychosocialpharmacology is an interdisciplinary approach that includes psychology, sociology and clinical pharmacology.

Xu J, Mercury J, Zhang Z, and Xu F 

RESEARCH Over the last two decades little attention has been paid to two psychosocial dimensions of pharmacology. The first dimension includes the psychological response of patients and families to medications and pharmacotherapy. Individuals in modern countries may accept medications with unwavering belief in their effectiveness, whereas some ethnic groups do not. The second dimension that has been largely overlooked is the psychological, social and behavioural factors that influence drug metabolism, efficacy and side-effects. In order to describe the phenomenon as well as to differentiate it from psychopharmacology, we here coin a new term: psychosocialpharmacology.

Psychopharmacology studies drug-induced changes in mood, sensation, thinking and behaviour. Psychosocialpharmacology is a new interdisciplinary approach that includes psychology, sociology and clinical pharmacology. It explores the puzzling efficacy differences associated with nonpharmacological factors among patients. It advocates considering the patient's psychological, social and behavioural components that influence drug efficacy in a similar manner as does the patient's genetics and physiology, and the disease itself. Furthermore, psychosocialpharmacology also studies the effect of the medical professional's manner and speech on medication efficacy.

Tags: clinical trial study, depression, mental, pharmaceutical, qol, quality of life, research


Read complete 2008 article at British Pharmacological Society.