Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Usual Care

  • Manjunath HarlapurEmail author
  • Daichi Shimbo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_1297-2



Although the definition of usual care has not been standardized, it can include the routine care received by patients for prevention or treatment of diseases.


In cardiology, the type of routine care can vary by disease type and severity, the practice in which the patient is seen, health care system, and individual physician. Major task forces such from the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association have published guidelines on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of several cardiovascular diseases. These guidelines are based on expert opinion as well as on the strength of the evidence. The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure that these recommendations are disseminated to the practicing cardiology community, as the type and quality of diagnostic, preventive, and treatment strategies widely varies.

In randomized trials, there has been some debate about the advantages and...

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References and Further Reading

  1. ALLHAT Officers and Coordinators for the ALLHAT Collaborative Research Group. (2002). Major outcomes in moderately hypercholesterolemic, hypertensive patients randomized to pravastatin vs usual care: The antihypertensive and lipid-lowering treatment to prevent heart attack trial (ALLHAT-LLT). Journal of the American Medical Association, 288, 2998–3007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Smelt, A. F., et al. (2010). How usual is usual care in pragmatic intervention studies in primary care? An overview of recent trials. British Journal of General Practice, 60(576), e305–e318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center of Behavioral Cardiovascular Health, Division of General MedicineColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Linda C. Baumann
    • 1
  1. 1.School of NursingUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA