Essay Title: 

Health Psychology Literature Review

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in psychology, social sciences


Health Psychology

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Health psychology can be safely termed as one of the relatively newer faces of applied psychology . As defined by Taylor : . the use of psychological principles to promote health and to prevent illness (Taylor 1990 . The biopsychosocial model has been adopted in this field in which it considers the social , biological , behavioral , emotional cognitive , psychosomatic and environmental factors as they relate to health care at the level of individuals [banner_entry_middle]

(Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia Although Health Psychology traces its origin from clinical psychology it has been classified into four different approaches : clinical , public health , community and critical health psychology (Marks , Murray et al 2005

This purpose of this study is to provide a critical analysis of the current state of knowledge and literature available in the field of health psychology . It has been verified in literature that physical health may be influenced by psychology through different direct and indirect means . There is also some evidence that certain negative mental states such as depression and anxiety can directly affect physical immunity through production of stress hormones , such as the catecholamines and glucocorticoids (Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia There has been much debate on this research , however , there is also some indication that negative psychological states may lead to faster disease progression in certain diseases such as HIV and heart disease through these direct biological mechanisms . Also , disease processes can be indirectly affected by emotional states through their influence on health behaviors of individuals

Health psychologists have critiqued and deconstructed the individualism of mainstream health psychology and proposed innovative qualitative methods and frameworks for investigating health experience and behavior (Marks , Murray et al , 2005

Literature Review

As more and more advance theories and research methodologies are being studied , health psychology is now considered both a theoretical and applied field . Many different and innovative methods are employed including questionnaires , interviews , controlled studies , and actions designed to bring about change using “action research (Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia . Health psychologists conduct health interviews with clients that aim to construct a more holistic picture of each person ‘s health , one that includes their genes , religious beliefs , social supports , living conditions , emotional state , and beliefs of health etc . They use this information to work alongside a person ‘s physicians and therapists to develop a treatment tailored for individual needs or to develop greater empowerment among the community ‘s members so that the community is able to strengthen and sustain its own quality of life (Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia

To support the above argument a study by Raeburn et al was based on community needs assessment , empowerment , community control and other community psychology principles and combined with a cognitive-behavioral approach to stress management derived from health psychology (Raeburn 1993 . Generally stress is seen as involving the interaction of the person with his or her environment and is evidenced psychologically behaviorally , cognitively , emotionally and socially when demands are perceived as excessive or where one… [banner_entry_footer]

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