Applied Health Behavior Research

Health behavior research is a multidisciplinary field that applies psychology, public health, behavioral medicine, communication science and statistics to promote health and prevent disease. Researchers in this area do the following: (1) study the broad range of factors that influence health behaviors and their impact on health outcomes and quality of life; (2) design and test innovative interventions to promote health and reduce disparities; and (3) disseminate evidence-based programs in diverse settings globally. Health behavior research is an important component of clinical research involving human participants, because benefits from medical care are dependent on health behaviors such as clear doctor-patient communication, patient adherence, self-management and risk avoidance.

Applied research seeks to solve practical, real-world problems; to develop innovative treatments, interventions and methods; and to immediately and practically apply its findings in clinical and community settings.

The skills-based graduate programs in Applied Health Behavior Research (AHBR) are offered through the Washington University School of Medicine. The AHBR program provides a strong foundation for graduates to contribute to the development and evaluation of programs and research trials to improve health behaviors, health care quality, health outcomes and quality of life.


All courses are held on the School of Medicine campus after 4:00 p.m. to accommodate working professionals and full-time students participating in mentored research activities.

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Amy McQueen, PhD
Program Director

Sara O'Neal, PhD, M.Ed
Associate Director of Education

Shelby Cripe, MA
Senior Project Manager

Washington University School of Medicine
Applied Health Behavior Research Program
Division of General Medical Sciences
600 South Taylor Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110

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