PSYC 3170 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Biomedical Model, Systems Theory, Autonomic Nervous System

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24 Apr 2012
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Chapter 1 Health Psychology
Health psychology:
o understanding psychological influences and how ppl stay healthy.
o Why they become ill
o How they react to getting ill
Health definition
o “complete state of physical, mental and social well-being not merely the absence of
infirmity
o Some use ‘’wellness’’ instead
Health psychologists focus on:
o Health promotion and maintenance
o Prevention and treatment
o Etiology, correlates of health, illness, dysfunction.
Etiology -is origins that cause illness: tend to look at social factors, and states of
mind to determine illness’ cause. Also habits and learned activities.
o Develop recommendations to improve health care and promotion
Early Philosophers: evil spirits cause of disease.
Greeks: bodily functions to attribute health.
o Hippocrates/Galen: disease caused by bodily factors, which also impact on mind.
Middle ages: evils and punishment
Morgannis 1682- autopsy and rejection of humoral theory of illness
Psychoanalytic:
o Freud: conversion hysteria
Unconscious conflicts produce psychological disturbances
o Psychosomatic Medicine
Dunbar/Alexander: linked patterns of personality to specific conflicts and illness
Conflicts produce anxiety; takes physiological toll on body via
autonomic nervous system.
Medicine: profiles of particular disorders caused by psychological disorders
Current view of Body-Mind Relationship
o Good habits, under ones control, culture, social factors, socio-economic factors, stress
all attribute to health.
BioPsychological Model:
o Body n mind together determine health/illness; study both.
o Health and illness are consequence of interplay between biological, psychological and
social factors
o Biomedical model:
Biomedical model is the basis that all illness can be explained by biochemical
imbalances or neuropsychological abnormalities
Is a reductionist model
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Reduces illness to low level processes(disordered cells/chemical)
Rather than to habits and social/psychological processes
Single cause model of illness
Assumes a mind-body dualism.
o BioPsychological bases on many factors at all levels and uses system theory:
System theory: hierarchy of linked systems affecting each and every levels
Biomedical
BioPsycholgical
Reductionist
Macro/micro levels considered
Single cause factor
Multiple cause and factors
Mind-body dualism
Inseparable mind/body
Emphasizes illness over health
Both health/illness emphasized
Clinical implications of BioPsycho-model
o Interdisciplinary approach
o Recommendations for treatment must examine all three sets of factors
o Explicit significance relationship b/w patient and practitioner
Changing Patterns of Illness
o Until 20th century
Acute illnesses such as TB, pneumonia, infections, were leading illnesses in
Canada
o NOW
Chronic Illnesses(slowly developing, stay for long time) such as heart disease,
cancer, diabetes, disabilities
Therefore Health Psychology has come about to investigate the cause/effect
relationship and habits which cause or prevent these illnesses
Help them adjust psychologically/socially to the changing illnesses
Technology
o Identifying genes to attribute a disorder or to inspect early in life
o Identify carriers of life threatening diseases...
Epidemiology
o Study of frequency, distribution, cause for infectious diseases
Based on investigations of Physical and Social environments
Search why some places have more prevalent than others
o Morbidity: number of cases of diseases at any point in time
o Mortality: number of deaths attributed to a particular cause
Both statistics are essential to creating safer environments
(Car accidents a good example)(along with the precautions instituted)
o Concerned not only with biological outcomes, but also health related quality outcomes
o Not only prevention, but also improving quality of life to symptomatic complaints from
chronic illnesses
Changing Perspectives on Health/Health Care
o WHO: health is a positive state rather than a mere absence of disease
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