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Health Psychology Division 38 (Health Psychology) Education & Training Committee Regan A. R. Gurung (Chair) Created 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Health Psychology Division 38 (Health Psychology) Education & Training Committee Regan A. R. Gurung (Chair) Created 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Health Psychology Division 38 (Health Psychology) Education & Training Committee Regan A. R. Gurung (Chair) Created 2008

2 Sample Research Findings in Health Psychology One of the strongest predictors of who is likely to have a heart attack among American adults is a hostile personality trait and a tendency towards hostile interactions with others. One of the strongest predictors of who is likely to have a heart attack among American adults is a hostile personality trait and a tendency towards hostile interactions with others. After surgery, patients in a hospital room with a pleasant view go home sooner and with fewer complications that those looking at a blank wall. After surgery, patients in a hospital room with a pleasant view go home sooner and with fewer complications that those looking at a blank wall. Premature infants in the hospital given 15 minutes of light massage per day gain weight faster and go home sooner Premature infants in the hospital given 15 minutes of light massage per day gain weight faster and go home sooner Keeping a diary where one writes about important thoughts and events boosts the body’s immune system and improves physical health. Keeping a diary where one writes about important thoughts and events boosts the body’s immune system and improves physical health. Hostile and conflictual interactions with one’s spouse or partner can suppress the immune system and increase the risk of developing colds. Hostile and conflictual interactions with one’s spouse or partner can suppress the immune system and increase the risk of developing colds. Laughter is a powerful painkiller. Laughter is a powerful painkiller.

3 Sample Research Findings in Health Psychology (cont.) Some people with asthma can suffer full-blown attacks after looking at artificial flowers. Some people with asthma can suffer full-blown attacks after looking at artificial flowers. People with few friends and who lead isolated lives are twice as likely to die during a given time period. People with few friends and who lead isolated lives are twice as likely to die during a given time period. After a heart attack, patients who owned pets were significantly less likely to die in the following year. After a heart attack, patients who owned pets were significantly less likely to die in the following year. Blood pressure decreases when pet owners talk to their pets or are in the presence of their pets during stressful events. Blood pressure decreases when pet owners talk to their pets or are in the presence of their pets during stressful events. Men who performed volunteer work once a week lived longer and were healthier than men who volunteered less than once a week. Men who performed volunteer work once a week lived longer and were healthier than men who volunteered less than once a week. Depression is a stronger predictor of heart attacks and poor recovery from a heart attack than high cholesterol or cigarette smoking. Depression is a stronger predictor of heart attacks and poor recovery from a heart attack than high cholesterol or cigarette smoking. When people watch tropical fish in an aquarium with their full attention, they lower their blood pressure and heart rate significantly. When people watch tropical fish in an aquarium with their full attention, they lower their blood pressure and heart rate significantly. People taught relaxation and meditation techniques showed lower blood pressure and less complications during surgery. People taught relaxation and meditation techniques showed lower blood pressure and less complications during surgery.

4 The Area Psychologists who strive to understand how biological, behavioral, and social factors influence health and illness are called health psychologists. Psychologists who strive to understand how biological, behavioral, and social factors influence health and illness are called health psychologists. The term "health psychology" is often interchanged with the terms "behavioral medicine" or "medical psychology". The term "health psychology" is often interchanged with the terms "behavioral medicine" or "medical psychology".

5 Illnesses related to Psychological/Behavioral factors: Heart disease and stroke Cancer HIV/AIDS COPD Type II diabetes Poor birth outcomes Chronic pain conditions Infectious illnesses

6 Actual causes of death in the US *: 1.Smoking / tobacco 2.Sedentary lifestyle and poor diet 3.Alcohol 4.Microbial agents 5.Toxic agents 6.Motor vehicle accidents 7.Firearms 8.Sexual behavior 9.Drug abuse *Mokdad et al. Actual causes of death in the US JAMA 2004:291: Half of all deaths that occurred in the United States in 2000 can be attributed to a limited number of largely preventable behaviors and exposures (Mokdad et al., 2000). This is where Health Psychologists are particularly effective.

7 Health over Time 3000 years ago: 3000 years ago: Spirits, Mind, and body seen as oneSpirits, Mind, and body seen as one Greeks onward (e.g., Descartes): Greeks onward (e.g., Descartes): Mind and body separateMind and body separate Age of Scientific Discovery (17-19 th century): Age of Scientific Discovery (17-19 th century): Rise of the biomedical model of diseaseRise of the biomedical model of disease Inventions drive health care (e.g., 1668 Microscope)Inventions drive health care (e.g., 1668 Microscope) Beginnings of Health Psychology as we know it Beginnings of Health Psychology as we know it 1930s Society for Psychosomatic Medicine formed1930s Society for Psychosomatic Medicine formed 1970s Society for Behavioral Medicine formed1970s Society for Behavioral Medicine formed 1970s Health Psychology formed1970s Health Psychology formed Mind and body are seen as one againMind and body are seen as one again

8 Historical moments in health psychology -Walter Cannon (1932) - stomach movements affected by emotional state. Stress increases blood sugar, epinephrine, BP, respiration rate (“Fight or flight”) -Framingham study ( ) - lifestyle factors are significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease -Hans Selye (1956) – physiological arousal from stress leads to disease if prolonged or chronic -Lazarus (1960’s+) – appraisals of events are critical for understanding health outcomes -Neal Miller (1970’s) – can learn to control bodily functions like BP, intestinal contractions, muscle tension -Robert Ader (1970’s) – classical conditioning of immune system responses to immune-suppressant drugs

9 Health Psychology’s Main Goals Understanding psychological influences:- - on how we stay healthy, - why we become sick, and - how we respond when we do.

10 GOALS of Field 1. Promote and maintain health (e.g., stop smoking, buckle belts). 2. Prevent and treat illness (e.g. reduce High Blood pressure). 3. Focus on cause and detection of illness: influence of personality, cognitive processes. 4. Improve the health care system/health policy.

11 The Main Approach Used The Biopsychosocial Model The Biopsychosocial Model views health and illness as the product of a combination of factors includingviews health and illness as the product of a combination of factors including Biological factors (e.g., genetic predisposition), Biological factors (e.g., genetic predisposition), Psychological factors (e.g., personality, lifestyle, stress, health beliefs), and Psychological factors (e.g., personality, lifestyle, stress, health beliefs), and Social factors (e.g., cultural influences, family relationships, social support). Social factors (e.g., cultural influences, family relationships, social support).

12 Biopsychosocial Approach to Health and Illness  Traditional biomedical model has limited usefulness with current patterns of illness and the health challenges of the 21 st century.  Integrates biological, psychological, and social influences in order to understand health and vulnerability to illness and successfully treat disorders.  Addresses limitations of a traditional medical model that attempts to cure disease. We are not healthy until we become sick. Mental problems are not clearly distinguishable from physical problems.

13 Sample Major Theories BEHAVIOR CHANGE BEHAVIOR CHANGE Health Belief ModelHealth Belief Model Theory of Planned BehaviorTheory of Planned Behavior Transtheoretical ModelTranstheoretical Model STRESS STRESS Fight and Flight responseFight and Flight response General Adaptation SyndromeGeneral Adaptation Syndrome Cognitive Appraisal ModelCognitive Appraisal Model

14 Current Issues Interactions between health psychologists and medical doctors. Interactions between health psychologists and medical doctors. Cultural differences in health. Cultural differences in health. Technology and health. Technology and health. Reducing Obesity. Reducing Obesity.

15 Where Do Health Psychologists Work? Health psychologists participate in health care in a multitude of settings including: Health psychologists participate in health care in a multitude of settings including: primary care programs,primary care programs, inpatient medical units, andinpatient medical units, and specialized health care programs such asspecialized health care programs such as pain management, pain management, rehabilitation, rehabilitation, women's health, women's health, oncology, oncology, smoking cessation, and smoking cessation, and headache management headache management They also work in colleges and universities, corporations, and for governmental agencies.They also work in colleges and universities, corporations, and for governmental agencies.

16 Clinical Activities Health Psychologists: Health Psychologists: Help measure/assess for mental and behavioral problems,Help measure/assess for mental and behavioral problems, Conduct clinical interviewsConduct clinical interviews Administer surveys and personality tests.Administer surveys and personality tests. Design interventions to help:Design interventions to help: With stress management, With stress management, Educate about disease and illness, Educate about disease and illness, Ways to cope with disease, Ways to cope with disease, Perform more health behaviors such as physical activity. Perform more health behaviors such as physical activity.

17 Research Activities Health psychologists are on the leading edge of research focusing on the biopsychosocial model in areas such as: Health psychologists are on the leading edge of research focusing on the biopsychosocial model in areas such as: HIV,HIV, CancerCancer Compliance with medical regimens,Compliance with medical regimens, Health promotion, andHealth promotion, and the effect of psychological, social, and cultural factors on numerous specific diseasesthe effect of psychological, social, and cultural factors on numerous specific diseases diabetes, diabetes, cancer, cancer, hypertension and coronary artery disease, hypertension and coronary artery disease, chronic pain, and chronic pain, and sleep disorders. sleep disorders.

18 Health psychology research examines: The causes and development of illness,The causes and development of illness, Methods to help individuals develop healthy lifestyles to promote good health and prevent illness,Methods to help individuals develop healthy lifestyles to promote good health and prevent illness, The treatment people get for their medical problems,The treatment people get for their medical problems, The effectiveness with which people cope with and reduce stress and pain,The effectiveness with which people cope with and reduce stress and pain, Biopsychosocial connections with immune functioning, andBiopsychosocial connections with immune functioning, and Factors in the recovery, rehabilitation, and psychosocial adjustment of patients with serious health problems.Factors in the recovery, rehabilitation, and psychosocial adjustment of patients with serious health problems.

19 Careers Elaborate on career opportunities in this area Elaborate on career opportunities in this area Describe potential intrinsic and extrinsic benefits Describe potential intrinsic and extrinsic benefits Describe working conditions Describe working conditions Describe training required Describe training required Potential for upward career movement Potential for upward career movement Other professional opportunities Other professional opportunities

20 Training for Health Psychology Careers: Health psychologists typically hold a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology. Health psychologists typically hold a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) in psychology. Applied health psychologists are licensed for the independent practice of psychology in areas such as clinical and counseling psychology Applied health psychologists are licensed for the independent practice of psychology in areas such as clinical and counseling psychology Board certification is available in health psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology. Board certification is available in health psychology through the American Board of Professional Psychology.

21 Preparing for a career in health psychology Obtain general psychology training at the undergraduate and doctoral levels, Obtain general psychology training at the undergraduate and doctoral levels, Receive specialty training at the postdoctoral or internship level. Receive specialty training at the postdoctoral or internship level. Predoctoral Internships: Clinical and counseling psychologists are required to complete a one-year internship/residency before obtaining their doctorates.Predoctoral Internships: Clinical and counseling psychologists are required to complete a one-year internship/residency before obtaining their doctorates. Postdoctoral Fellowships: Many university medical centers, universities, health centers, and health psychology programs offer specialized research and/or clinical training in different areas of health psychology.Postdoctoral Fellowships: Many university medical centers, universities, health centers, and health psychology programs offer specialized research and/or clinical training in different areas of health psychology.

22 Resources APA Division 38 (Health Psychology) Webpage: APA Division 38 (Health Psychology) Webpage: Major Journal in Field Major Journal in Field Health Psychology: Psychology: Careers Page: Careers Page:


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