Origin Of Health Psychology | Research In Health Psychology

Origin Of Health Psychology | Research In Health Psychology

This article will cover the following topics related to Health Psychology

1. Introduction And Historical Background Of Health Psychology

2. Emergence Of The Field of Health Psychology

3. Mind And Body Connection

4. Bio-Medical Model Of Health Psychology

5. Research In Health Psychology

Let us go through all these topics related to Health psychology one by one.

About Health Psychology

According to the World Health Organization, “health” is not just the absence of sickness or infirmity but also includes one’s overall level of physical, mental, and social well-being.

Health is now understood to be a feat including the balance between physical, mental, and social well-being rather than merely the absence of disease.

Health psychology looks at psychological factors that affect how people stay healthy, what causes them to get sick, and how they react when they do.

What Do Health Psychologists Do?

Health psychologists research these topics and create treatments to promote wellness or speed up the healing process after disease.

Focusing on themes like how to encourage regular exercise in children and adults, among other things, health psychologists work to promote and maintain good health.

Health psychologists focus on the psychological aspects of sickness prevention and treatment. For example, they may work with those who are already unwell to help them adhere to their treatment plan or teach those who are in high-stress situations how to manage stress and health hazards.

Health psychologists also concentrate on the causes of sickness, dysfunction, and their relationships with each other. Ecology, which refers to the origins or causes of disease, focuses in particular on the behavioral and social aspects of health, disease, and dysfunction, such as smoking, exercise, alcohol usage, stress management techniques, etc.

Health psychologists examine the healthcare system and the creation of health policies and work to make them better. They research how medical institutions and practitioners affect people’s behavior in order to make suggestions for bettering healthcare.

In conclusion, health psychology investigates the psychological and social elements that contribute to improving health, preventing and treating sickness, and assessing and modifying health policies that have an impact on health care.

Origin Of Health Psychology – Historical Background of Health Psychology

Most archaic cultures believed that the body and intellect were connected. Treatment mostly involved making an effort to control these spirits because it was believed that the disease developed when evil spirits invaded the body.

Greeks created a humoral philosophy of illness rather than attributing illness to malevolent spirits. According to this perspective, the disease develops when the body’s four humors—blood, black bile, yellow bile, and phlegm—are out of balance. Restoring the equilibrium of the humors was the aim of the treatment.

They discussed the personality traits connected to each of the four humors, with blood being connected to a passionate temperament, black bile being connected to sadness, yellow bile connected to anger, and phlegm being connected to a laid-back outlook on life.

However, the pendulum had swung to supernatural explanations for illness by the medieval ages. The illness was seen as God’s retribution for wrongdoing, and the remedy frequently involved torturing the patient in order to drive out the bad spirits.

Later, repentance by prayer and good deeds took the place of this type of rehabilitation. Because the church was the keeper of medical knowledge, the medical practice took on religious undertones.

The humoral theory of sickness was disproved as cellular pathology knowledge advanced.

The medical profession used laboratory findings more frequently and attributed health and illness to physical rather than ment

The Biomedical Model

According to the ensuing “Biomedical Model,” all diseases can be attributed to abnormal somatic biological processes, such as biochemical imbalances or neurophysiological anomalies. It is predicated on the idea that social and psychological processes are essentially unrelated to the development of disease.

Biomedical Model’s Limitations

sickness to its most basic components, such as chemical imbalances and disorganized cells.

1. Assumes a mind-body duality and fails to understand social and psychological factors and their strong influences on physical properties.

2. Instead of concentrating on actions that promote health, the disease is prioritized over health.

3. This paradigm is unable to solve many of the practitioners’ current conundrums.

The Rise Of The Biopsychological Model In Health Psychology

With the development of modern psychology, particularly with Sigmund Freud‘s early work on conversion hysteria, the biomedical perspective started to shift.

Check out our article on Sigmund Freud On Neurosis Summary

He asserts that certain unconscious conflicts might result in bodily alterations that represent repressed psychological conflicts.

Although this view is no longer fundamental to health psychology, the area of psychosomatic medicine was founded on it.

By providing profiles of certain ailments thought to be psychosomatic in origin, that is, caused by emotional problems, such as ulcers, Dumbar and Alexander’s work contributed to the development of a new area of psychosomatic medicine

It makes sense to assume a model for examining these topics if you believe that the mind and body work together to determine health and illness. The biopsychosocial model is the name given to this one.

Its basic tenet is that biological, psychological, and social variables interact to produce health and wellness.

Advantages Of The Biopsychosocial Model

According to the biopsychosocial paradigm, social, psychological, and biological aspects are all significant contributors to health and illness.

Macro-level factors that affect health and illness, as well as how they develop, include cellular disorders, chemical imbalances, and macro-level factors like the presence of depression or social support.

Both health and illness are emphasized. From this perspective, health is no longer something that is taken for granted but rather something that can be achieved by paying attention to biological, psychological, and social demands.

Clinical Implications Of The Biopsychosocial Model In Health Psychology

According to the biopsychosocial paradigm, social, psychological, and biological aspects are all significant contributors to health and illness.

Understanding how biological, psychological, and social elements interact to determine a person’s health or illness can help in the diagnosis process. All three sets of factors may be the subject of treatment recommendations.

The importance of the connection between the patient and the practitioner is made clear. A strong patient-practitioner bond can enhance a patient’s usage of services, the effectiveness of treatment, and the speed at which sickness is cured.

The Need For Health Psychology

Since the early 20th century, when psychology first emerged, psychologists have made a significant contribution to health by researching the causes of illness, the reasons why some people get sick while others do not, how people cope with their health conditions, and the motivating factors behind healthy behavior.

The APA established a task committee to examine psychology’s potential contribution to health research in 1973 in response to these trends. Within the APA, the division of health psychology was established in 1978.

Factors That Fueled The Growing Field Of Health Psychology

1. Changing Patterns of Illness

Improvements in public health standards, such as better waste management and sewage, and new treatments have reduced the prevalence of acute infectious illnesses.

The leading causes of disability and death nowadays are chronic illnesses, including heart disease, cancer, and respiratory ailments.

The discipline of health psychology was influenced by chronic disorders because:

1. Causes that are psychological and social in nature.

2. Management of them encounters psychological problems (due to prolonged illness). Health psychologists assist people with chronic illnesses in making psychological and social adjustments.

2. Advances In Technology And Research

Health psychologists can help with problems caused by new medical technologies and scientific discoveries. Some medical procedures that increase life expectancy might seriously degrade the quality of life. Patients are being questioned more frequently about their preferences for life-supporting procedures, and they may need counseling in these areas.

3. Expanded Healthcare Services

Health psychology places a strong emphasis on prevention because keeping healthcare expenditures in check is so crucial. By changing people’s dangerous health behaviors before they get sick, health psychology can save money that would otherwise be spent on treating sickness.

Health psychologists can assist in the design of a user-friendly healthcare system since they are knowledgeable about what makes people happy or unhappy with their healthcare.

4. Increased Medical Acceptance

To address health-related issues, health psychologists have created a number of short-term behavioral interventions, such as managing pain, changing unhealthy habits like smoking, and managing treatment side effects. Techniques that may just require a few hours to teach can last for years.

Such measures, especially those that address risk factors like nutrition and smoking, have helped to reduce the prevalence of various diseases, particularly coronary heart disease.

In the end, for a health-related subject to thrive, it must show a solid track record both as a research area and as a foundation for interventions. Both of these goals will be successfully accomplished by health psychology.

5. Research In Health Psychology

Let us check the health psychology research impact factor. A theory is a collection of analytical propositions that explains a number of facts. They offer instructions on how to conduct research and intervene. They produce precise predictions that can be checked and adjusted in response to new information.

Let us know if you want content on Health Psychology theories.

6. Experiments

In an experiment, a researcher sets up two or more situations that are precisely and deliberately different from one another. The responses of the subjects are then measured after being randomly assigned to these various situations.

Randomized clinical trials, which compare a targeted treatment to the current standard of care or placebo control, a biologically inert treatment, are experiments to assess the effectiveness of treatments/interventions over time.

Evidence-based medicine entails that before becoming the norm of care, medical and psychological interventions are rigorously tested and their efficacy is assessed. Typically, this is done through randomized clinical trials.

We can conclusively demonstrate a cause-and-effect link when we change a variable and see its effects. The best practices in medicine and research are thus experiments and randomized clinical trials.

7. Correlational Studies

If one variable changes, health psychologists check to see if another variable also changes.

Demerit: It’s challenging to accurately pinpoint the casualty’s direction.

Merit is more versatile, allowing us to analyze problems when experimental manipulation of the factors is not possible.

8. Prospective And Retrospective Designs 

A prospective study examines the future to determine how a population evolves or how the relationship between two variables shifts through time.

Numerous prospective studies are conducted by health psychologists to better understand the risk factors associated with various health disorders.

Longitudinal research, in which the same individuals are observed over time, is one sort of prospective study.

Retrospective research goes back in time in an effort to piece together the circumstances that gave rise to the current state of affairs.

Goals Of Health Psychology / Functions Of Health Psychology

Concentrate on maintaining and promoting health

Examine the psychological effects of sickness prevention and treatment.

Focus on the causes and correlations of dysfunction, sickness, and health

Analyze the healthcare system, make an effort to improve it, and develop health policies.

Final Words:

We hope that you find our content useful. If you are a psychology student, let us know what else you would want our next articles about. Also, check out our article on On Mirror Stage By Lacan – Jacques Lacan Mirror Stage Summary

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