2. Learning outcomes
By the end of this term you will be able to:
• Acquire an understanding about the components of the field of
• Assess the credibility of health information dissemination within the
• Become more aware of cultural differences and similarities in health
care attitudes, beliefs, and practices.
4. • The field of health psychology developed relatively in the 1970s, to be
exact—to address the challenges presented by the changing field of health
and health care.
• A century ago, the average life expectancy in the US was approximately 50
years of age, far shorter than it is now. When people in the US died, they
died largely from infectious diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis,
diarrhea, and enteritis.
• Life and death are now different than they were a century ago. Life
expectancy in the US is nearly 80 years of age & some countries boast even
longer life expectancy.
• Heart disease, cancer, and stroke—all chronic diseases—are now the
leading causes of mortality in the US and account for a greater proportion of
deaths than infectious diseases ever did.
Health psychology is an aggregate of the educational, scientific and
professional contributions of the discipline of psychology to:
• the promotion and maintenance of health
• the prevention and treatment of illness
• the identification of etiologic and diagnostic correlates of health,
illness and related dysfunction
• the improvement of the health care system and health policy
6. Foundations of health psychology
• Hippocrates is credited with the establishment of the medical
profession and the Hippocratic Oath.
• He was born around 460 BC on the Greek island and sought to
understand the processes which cause different illnesses. Hippocrates
linked behavior, including diet, to health and emphasized the healing
power of the doctor–patient relationship.
7. The Contribution of Psychosomatic Medicine
• The biopsychosocial model accepts that psychological and emotional
factors contribute to physical health problems.
• Socrates and Hippocrates proposed similar ideas.
• In 1932,emotional causes to illness drew from Walter Cannon’s
observation that physiological changes accompany emotion (Kimball,
• Cannon’s research demonstrated that emotions can cause
physiological changes that are capable of causing disease.
8. The Emergence of Behavioral Medicine
• The field of behavioral medicine developed from a 1977 conference
at Yale University. Behavioral medicine is “the interdisciplinary field
concerned with the development and integration of behavioral and
biomedical science knowledge and techniques relevant to health &
illness the application of this knowledge and these techniques to
prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation” (Schwartz &
Weiss, 1978, p. 250).
9. The Emergence of Behavioral Health
• Maintenance of health & prevention of illness in currently healthy
individuals through the use of educational inputs to change behaviors
• Role of behavior in determining one’s health status
• Integration of mind & body
10. The Emergence of Health Psychology
• In 1978, with the establishment of Division 38 of the American
Psychological Association, the field of health psychology officially
• Health psychology includes psychology’s contributions to the
enhancement of health, the prevention and treatment of disease, the
identification of health risk factors, the improvement of the health
care system, and the shaping of public opinion with regard to health.
11. PSYCHOLOGY IN THE CONTEXT OF THE REFORM OF
• The practice of medicine was placed on a more scientific basis in the
last quarter of the 19th century.
• This resulted in greater success in the treatment of some diseases and
a higher status for medicine.
• In a few instances, there were genuine collaborations, such as in child
guidance and neuroscience but in other fields, such as mental testing
and psychotherapy, physicians strongly resisted what they viewed as
presumptuous incursions by psychologists into the domain of
• Psychologists won the battle over mental testing in the United States.
12. WHY DID PSYCHOLOGY FAIL TO BE INCLUDED IN THE
• First, psychologists and their partners in psychiatry and neurology
were marginal to the leaders of medical education.
• Secondly, psychologists and psychiatrists agreed that medical
students would benefit from a practical psychology, the psychologists
were unable to articulate a version of psychological science that was
appealing enough either to their partners or to leading medical
13. The modern concept of health & illness
The Meaning of Health
As suggested by Balog (1978), three major views of health have
emerged in more recent time:
(a) the traditional medical concept,
(b) the WHO concept, and
(c) the ecological concept.
14. The Traditional Health Concept
Traditional medical concept of health was based on the assumption that health and
disease were objective and observable phenomena. Developments in the areas of
anatomy, bacteriology and physiology contributed to this view.
The World Health Organization Concept of Health
In late 1940, WHO proposed this definition of health “a state of complete physical,
mental and social well-being and not merely as the absence of disease or infirmity”.
The Ecological Concept of Health
More ecological and relative concepts of health emerged in the 1960s and 1970s.
Such perspectives differed from the previous medical and holistic approaches mainly
in two aspects:
1. By conceiving health as a more relative sort of concept
2. By placing a greater emphasis on the interrelationships between the
environment and the individual’s quality of life.
These ecological and relative definitions of health tended to be were heavily based
on an evaluation of the person’s level of functioning and adaptation to the
15. The concept of illness
illness is defined as the ill health, the person identifies themselves
with, often based on self reported mental or physical symptoms.
16. What are the 4 concepts of health?
Four distinct conceptions of health emerged from responses to the
"how do you know" question:
17. What are the 4 types of illness?
There are four main types of disease:
• infectious diseases
• deficiency diseases
• hereditary diseases (including both genetic diseases and non-
genetic hereditary diseases)
• physiological diseases
18. What is the difference between health and
The health differs from disease by the absence of any discomfort in the
body which may be because of external or internal factors. So, we can
say that to enhance our understanding: “A disease is diagnosed by a
doctor while illness is a specific instance of ill”. Always an illness has a
cause followed by a negative consequence.
19. What is the modern concept of health education?
Health education can be defined as the principle by which individuals
and groups of people learn to behave in a manner conducive to the
promotion, maintenance, or restoration of health.
21. Health Behavior
• Kasl and Cobb (1966a: 246) defined health behavior as ‘any activity
undertaken by a person believing themselves to be healthy for the
purposes of preventing disease or detecting it at an asymptomatic
• This definition was influenced by a medical perspective which
assumes that healthy people engage in particular behavior, such as
exercise or seeking medical attention, purely to prevent their chance
of disease onset.
22. What is Behavioral Medicine?
• Behavioral medicine (BM) is a newly developing field of study which
integrates behavioral, psychosocial, and biomedical concepts to
prevent, diagnose, and treat patients with psychosomatic disorders.
The practice of BM targets the relation between how both thought
and behavior can affect mental and physical health.
• The goals of behavioral medicine include comprehensive care that
ranges from prevention of disease and promotion of health, better
diagnosis and treatment of illness, and enhanced rehabilitation and
recovery following disease.
23. Health Psychology & Behavioral Medicine
Health/Behavioral Medicine Psychologists often are trained in a
biopsychosocial approach to assessment and treatment. This
perspective acknowledges the role and interplay of biological,
psychological, and social factors in the way people feel, think, act, and
how this affects their health and illness.
24. CURRENT PERSPECTIVES ON HEALTH AND
• The new perspective, called the
biopsychosocial model, expands the
biomedical view by adding to
biological factors connections to
psychological and social factors
(Engel, 1977, 1980; Kazarian & Evans,
• This model proposes that all three
factors affect and are affected by the
25. What Factors Led to the Development of
• The Nature of Illnesses Has Changed
• The Biomedical Model Is Unable to Fully Account for Health
• Health-Care Costs Have Risen Dramatically
26. Scope of Health Psychology
1. Stress and Coping
2. Identification of psychological variables responsible for illness
3. Health and illness relationship
4. Health related behaviour
• Health Promoting behavior
• Health deteriorating behavior
5. Patient-Physician Relationship
6. Management of health and illness
7. Relationship between mind and body in context of health
8. Lifestyle choices
9. Behavioural Intervention techniques
10. Research on origin and correlates of illness