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Psychology Notes

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Psychology 2036A/B
Yves Bureau

Psychology NotesFeb 2812 Communication in medical settings It is important to deliver proper information and proper health care Young educated people go to their doctor more as a consumer than as a patient Perceiving symptoms Variability in peoples perceptions of symptoms stems from different factors such as individual differences in the way we attend to our bodies our current mood transitory situational factors ex stress that affect where we direct our attention and ageis a complex relationship Each body has different thresholds to their environment and there are individual differences in the perception of symptoms People who pay more attention to their internal states are more likely than others to notice a symptom People in a good mood view their health more positively than people in a bad mood and they report fewer symptoms and fewer illnessrelated thoughts People who are depressed will have more severe symptoms Stressful periods in peoples lives can aggravate the experience of symptoms and people who are stressed out are more vulnerable to illness People who direct their attention inward may interpret stressrelated physiological changes as symptoms of illness Older people tend to perceive normal agerelated bodily changes as illness As people get older their bodies start to deteriorate and they may go to their doctor claiming to have some illness but it turns out it is normal for their age Older people overreport their symptoms Conversion disorder occurs in people who experience medical symptoms even though theres nothing causing it These people are not actually physically sick it is a psychological disorder Sometimes you might be sick but when you go to the doctor you may not feel as bad when you get there This is because you might start to feel stressed out when youre there and this releases cortisol masking the feeling of pain Interpreting symptoms Once a symptom is perceived it must then be interpreted Various factors influence how a symptom is interpreted such as prior experience with the symptom you might become fearful if you have pain youve never experienced before the commonality of the symptoms among people we know if we know other people with the same condition we may not be as scared cultural factors different cultures have different ways of interpreting and treating illnesses and learning from parents and friends we learn which symptoms are important and which are trivial we also receive advice from people in our lay referral system but this can vary in its helpfulness Seeking medical care Most helpseeking occurs when symptoms are new painful highly visible and affecting valued body parts arms legs genitals because these symptoms are interpreted as more serious People may also get pressure from loved ones to go to the doctor if they see them struggling Females older people and those of higher socioeconomic status are more likely to seek medical careDelaying medical care Patient delay is the period between an individuals first awareness of a symptom and treatment for that symptom Patient delay occurs in stages 1 Appraisal delaythe time it takes to decide that a symptom is a sign of illness 2 Illness delaythe time taken between recognizing that one is ill and deciding to seek medical care 3 Behavioural delaythe elapsed time between the decision to seek medical care and acting on this decision by making an appointment 4 Medical delaythe time between scheduling time and appointment time time between making an appointment and first receiving medical care The process isdetects unexplained symptom infers illness decides to seek medical attention acts on decision by making an appointment first receives medical attention begins treatment for illness Cancer is a problem in terms of delays because it can metastasize if there is a delay Delaying medical care Factors contributing to patient delaysymptom features pain new age gender societal role obligations psychosocial attributes fear and quality of relationship with physician Middleaged people tend to delay seeking medical care because theyre too busy and they
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