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PSYC 3110 (49)
Chapter 1

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3110
Kieran O' Doherty

Page 3-12 and 16-22 (Chapter 1) Page 3-12 Definition of Health Psychology – Health psychology is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the application of psychological knowledge and techniques to health, illness and health care What Do We Mean By Health - World „health‟ derived from Old High German and Anglo-Saxon words meaning whole, hale and holy - Etymology of „heal‟ has been traced to Proto-Indo-European root „kailo-„ meaning whole, uninjured, or of good omen - Old English became „haelan‟ = to make whole, sound and well - Links exist between health, wholeness, holiness, hygiene, cleanliness, sanitariness, sanity, saintliness, goodness, and godliness - Galen – believed that health and soundness occur when there is a balance between the 4 humours of the body: black bile, yellow bile, blood, phlegm o Imbalances of each humour could lead to certain diseases/illnesses, etc. - World Health Organization (WHO) (1946) – defined health as „state of complete physical, social and spiritual well-being, not simply the absence of illness‟ o Health is never seen as „complete‟, it is more something we strive for Health as Need-Satisfaction - Maslow‟s hierarchy of needs – initial guidance – healthy if all of needs are satisfied o Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem, Self-Actualization o As need-satisfaction moves toward top of pyramid, we become more and more „satisfied‟ – thus physically and mentally healthy - Doyal and Gough – “health” and “autonomy” most basic of human needs, need to satisfy 3 basic needs (physical health, autonomy of agency and critical autonomy) to achieve avoidance of serious harm o 11 intermediate needs = adequate nutritional food and water, adequate protective housing, safe environment for working, safe physical environment, appropriate health care, security in childhood, significant primary relationships with others, physical security, economic security, safe birth control and child-bearing, appropriate basic and cross- cultural education - Rejecting WHO definition, Doyal and Gough decide that health can only be defined negatively – as minimization of death, disablement and disease - Seedhouse – basic needs as food, drink, shelter, warmth and purpose in life The Nature of Health Psychology - Traditional view of Western societies is ideology of individualism which views individuals as „agents‟ who are responsible for own health o E.g. smoke a pack a day and get lung cancer – that person is responsible for causing a preventable, costly, terminal illness - Health care systems would become more efficient and evidence based if benefits of scientific medicine complemented with psychosocial and other evidence0based approaches – lead to wholistic system offering „health for all‟ - Built environment (sum total of objects place din natural world by humans) is equally important to social one. o Toxic environment propels people towards unhealthy behaviours and causes large amounts of mortality and illness o Obesogenic environment – exposes people to, and actively promotes, large number of foods and drinks that have high % of fats - Health psychology based on ideology of individualism based on interests and values embedded in mass culture - Communitarian perspective to health work can lead to more effective interventions o Working towards social justice and reduction of inequities, people‟s rights to health and freedom from illness are life an
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