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Health Psychology Lecture 1 doc.doc

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Nevena Simic

Health Psychology Lecture #1 May 14 , 2012 Syllabus: • Recent news stories (peaks interest) • A page deliver main message - 2-3 references (studies primary research papers) - Has to have a thesis/focus (bring points back to thesis • Multiple choice, short answer, fill in the blanks - Short answer and fill in the blanks (lecture), multiple choice (textbook) What is Health Psychology? • Understanding psychological influences on: - How people stay healthy - Why they become ill - How they respond when they do get ill • In 1948, the W.H.O. defined health as “a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” - Not only physical but can be a problem elsewhere (there is a mental aspect of being healthy) - Good relationships with others (social support, information that you are cared for and that you are important) • Four main points in health psychology: 1) Focus on health promotion and maintenance (study all the issues surrounding this)  How to get children to develop good health habits (wash hands after washroom) 2) Prevention and treatment of illness (cutback bad habits)  Teach how to better cope with stress so that it doesn’t adversely affect the person (psychotherapy, cope with illness) 3) Etiology and correlates of health, illness, and dysfunction  Etiology refers to the causes of illness and health psychology is interested in behavioural and social factors that contribute to health or illness/dysfunction. 4) Analyze and improve the health care system and the formulation of health policy (applying their knowledge to improve the system (Canada publicly funded). • Small group exercise (10 examples of what a health psychologist may do) - Work with social networks - Help cope with terminally ill - Rehab - Mental to physical - Physical to mental Health Psychology: • Study how psychological processes (mind) influence physical well-being (body) • Mind- body relationship Mind & body vs. Mind-Body - One unit or two entities (dualism) pendulum swings back and forth Earliest Times: • The mind and body were seen as a unit - Disease=evil spirits entering the body - Treatment= spirits could be exorcised (penance) Stone Ages... • Trephination is small holes made in skull which altered the “evil spirit” to leave the body as the “physician/shaman” performed treatment ritual Historical Perspectives on the mind and body: • Are they separate systems or part of the same system? • Figure 1.1 timeline of mind-body relationship Trephination: • Oldest human surgical procedure • Cave paintings suggest that it was used as a cure for epileptic seizures, migraines, mental disorders - Have evidence of medicine kit with tools needed to perform surgery • Differences in holes: precision, numbers, location, size The Greeks: • First to realize role of bodily functions in health and illness • Developed a humoral theory of illness - Changes with physical self (proposed by Hippocrates, expanded by Galen) - Diseases= 4 circulating fluids of the body are out of balance (out of homeostasis) - Treatment= restore balance Humoral Theory (associated with various elements): • 4 humours (from greek “juice”): - Black bile (Gk. Melan chole) earth - Yellow bile (Gk. Chole) fire - Phlegm (Gk. Phlegm) Water - Blood (Lt. Sanguis) air - For example, wet +cold (phlegm) damage to regain balance to warm + dry • Greeks, Romans, Muslims, Western Europeans (subscribed to this theory) • Balance depends on diet and exercise, vapors (promote health) Humoral Theory & Temperament • Temperament (Lt. “to mix”) • Galen used “temperament” to refer to bodily dispositions, which determined a person’s susceptibility to particular diseases as well as behavioural and emotional inclination (affect + mood) • Later personality - Example overexpressing= blood predisposed to optimism - Phlegm= more apathetic - Black bile= more melancholic (sad or depressed) - Yellow bile= easily irritated Middle Ages • Back to mental explanations of illness • Mysticism and demonology - Disease= “Gods punishment of evildoing” - Treatment= driving the evil out by torturing the body (physical forms) • Later this therapy was replaced by penance through prayer and good works; bloodletting, leaching • Church= guardian of medical knowledge Renaissance (the Enlightenment) • Trying to break with the superstitions of the pasts, physicians strongly reinforced the dualistic concept of mind and body - Physicians= guardians of the body (nauseous) - Theologians & philosophers= caretakers of the mind (sin)  Separate things • For the next 300 years physicians focused on organic and cellular changes and pathology as a basis for their medical inferences - Physical evidence: sole basis for diagnosis and treatment As the years go by... Rise of Modern psychology (bring mind + body back together): • Freud- physical problems result from unconscious processes • Conversion Hysteria: idea that specific illnesses are produced by individual’s internal conflict. - Patient converts conflict into symptom • Conversion occurs via voluntary nervous system: enables humans to react consciously to environmental changes. - By treating conflict you would treat the malady Conversion Hysteria • Rather than a single specific conflict, Dunbar (1930s) and Alexander (1940s) linked patterns of personality to specific illnesses • Helped shape emerging field of psychosomatic medicine: bodily disorders can be caused by emotional conflict (ulcers, etc.) • Physiological mechanism: conflicts anxietyphysiological toll on body via autonomic nervous system  organic disturbance • Example... repressed emotions increased acid in stomachulcer - Unconscious internal conflict turn into a physical process which results in illness if not treated Criticisms • Work on which many of the foundations were based were methodologically problematic (poor science) - No control group • Researchers now believe that a particular conflict or personality type is not sufficient enough to produce illness - Requires an interaction like genetics, environmental stressors, learning experiences, individual cognitions/coping strategies • Restricts that range of medical problems to which psychological and social factors were deemed to apply • BUT, it is known that physical health is inextricably interwoven with psychological and social environment. Current views mind-body relationship • All conditions of health and illness are influenced by psychological and social factors • Treatment and prognosis depends on relationship between patient and practitioners and expectations about pain • Good health ha
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