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Health Psychology Lecture 1&2.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Scotney Evans

Week 1 Lecture 1/2 Health Psychology Introduction to Health Psychology Definition of Health Psychology • Health as ‘a complete state of physical, mental and social well being’(WHO) • Health as a state of well being with physical, cultural, psychosocial, economic and spiritual aspects, not simply the absence of disease • Goal of Health Psychology o Adeeper understanding of psychological processes as an aid to improving physical health outcomes for individuals Health Psychology • Study of social, behavioural, cognitive, and emotional factors that influence the: o Maintenance of health o Development of illness and disease o Course of illness or disease o Patient’s and family’s response to illness and disease • Text Definition: Health psychology is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the application of psychological knowledge and techniques to health, illness and health care The Psychology of Health Behaviours • How does a person’s personality impact their health?Are certain people (ex. TypeA Personality) more likely to get sick than others? • What impact does thinking positively have on health? • What is stress and how does it affect health? • What role does the media play in eating disorders? • Why should we bother exercising? • Healthy versus Unhealthy Choices o Autonomy of the individual o Shaped by social factors such as friends, family, media Evolving View of Diseases • Germ Theory o Discovery that particles in the air that could not be seen (ex. Bacteria) could cause disease • Magic Bullet o Aspecific cure could be found for every ailment that restore the person to perfect health • Biopsychosocial Model o Mind, body, and environment interact in causing disease The Discipline of Health Psychology • “The patient, though his condition is perilous, may recover his health simply through his contentment with the goodness of his physician” (Hippocrates) • Health psychology research articles Week 1 Lecture 1/2 o 1950’s • 1970’s was a decade of great progress o Division of Health Psychology inAPA, 1978  Devoted to promoting health maintenance and illness prevention • 1990’s Field of Psychoneuroimmunology o Combines behavioural science, immunology and neuroscience Why Health Psychology • Shift to causes of death where behavioural pathogens are a primary source • Estimated contributions of different factors to health status (in table below) Week 1 Lecture 1/2 Personal Responsibility • Nanny State vs. Social Responsibility • “Coke didn’t makeAmerica Fat” • Trends in adolescent health-related behaviours that show stable or improving patterns of personal responsibility, 1991-2007 Optimizing Defaults • Combine personal and collective responsibility approaches in ways that best serve the public • Although we ultimately need to rely on individuals making the ‘right decision’, we need to recognize that conditions can be changed to create more optimal defaults • How do we enhance responsible choices? Where can Health Psychology Play a Role? • Health Onion Week 1 Lecture 1/2 • Social Ecological Model o This perspective emphasizes the multiple dimensions, multiple levels, and complexity of human situations o CDC Colorectal Screening: Multiple Levels  Individual: the need for cancer screening, the risks and benefits of screening, and access to affordable and convenient screening (i.e. knowledge, skills, self-efficacy)  Interpersonal: making screening recommendations to patients, patients receiving reminders about the need of screening, patient navigators helping to remove logistical and other barriers to screening (i.e. family
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