PSYC 1F90 Lecture 10: PSYC 1F90 - Health Psychology Lecture

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Health Psychology
-Health Psychology: A study consisting of psychological factors and its impact in one’s
physical health.
We are in transition from thinking about health from the old model to a new one -
Biomedical Model of Health (old model):
-Out of date and problematic model but still seeps our perspective
1. Everything about the medical system
2. You get back pain and it causes all sorts of problems. The physician is going to question if
it is it real back pain or is it just in your head? ALL PAIN IS IN YOUR HEAD in one
sense.
-Physical  Disease  Symptoms (&response)  Treatment
-Physical factors lead to disease and disease leads to symptoms and response, even though
these two aren’t differentiated. The response is the response to the pain
3. Some people react different to the same situation. Therefore, there is a difference between
symptoms and response. In the biomedical model of health, they are not differentiated.
-Body and mind are seen as separate, this is the old world model but has a philosophical
root, assumes that they co-exist without effecting each other
4. Psychological factors can cause disease without physical disease/ Psychological factors can
cause symptoms in the absence of disease
-Psychological  Symptoms/Response  Treatment
Role of physicians in this model?
- They deal with physical problems, that are caused by physical factors and can be treated
physically
- Technical skills matter most
Role of psychologists? (Or psychotherapist?)
-They deal with psychological problem; they often don’t work with medical patients, tend to
work with psychological patients. In the past when a problem becomes physical the case
would be taken away. Who owns psychoses, based on world view?
Problems with the biomedical model of health:
1. Arrows are not linear in one direction. E.g. response can affect symptoms, disease, physical
factors
-Health is not linearly caused. The arrows don’t go in one direction, and this model treats
them as if they did.
-Causes are not linear and simple, they don’t go in one direction, there is a lot more
interaction (Ex. Muscle injury is usually healed by resting and then slightly beginning to
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use it while it still hurts. The injury isn’t going to heal as it should, it’s going to affect you
in other ways (weight gain))
2. The barrier is artificial
-(embodied mind—not separated) – Division between body and mind doesn’t work well.
3. Causes and treatment are not tightly related. Sometimes have slim to no relations.
Bio-psycho-social Model of Health (New model):
1. Causality is not tidy, nor linear
-It is a medley of things that tip the scale. (We don’t need to know why, sometimes we want
to but we can’t) -Physical factors and psychological factors are not separated in a tidy way.
Multiple causes systems affect each other. Treatment is not informed by cause always.
2. The barrier is artificial
Physical factors affect psychological well-being
-Physical things can affect us indirectly, for example being sick makes you mad/sad.
Nutrition can affect emotion regulation.
Psychological factors affect physical symptoms & response
Psychological factors can affect fundamental disease processes… Some examples
The ultimate DV: death
Death following loss of spouse (2 examples)
-Elderly people have a 30% higher mortality rate if their spouse dies.
-If your spouse dies due to cancer, no matter what your age you are more likely to die
quicker
Happiness and longevity: Danner, Snowdon & Friesen (2001) “The Nun Study”
-Had a rule that If you want to join the convent (as a nun) you had to write an
autobiography.
-60 years later they read them (58% were still alive). They tried to find the differentially
between the ones that have passed away and the ones that are alive.
-They measured the types of positive emotions or the amounts of positive emptions in the
autobiographies.
-The ones with the most positive emotions are more likely to live longer than the ones that
don’t.
Indirect effects of psychological factors on disease
-People with history of trauma or difficult childhoods tend to smoke, drink more, workout
less, eat more junk food etc.
-Why do they do it? They say it’s for comfort and avoiding discomfort; trying to comfort
one self.
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