The Specifics of HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY By Charles Gilpin What is Health Psychology? Definition: A field of psychology that contributes to both behavioral medicine and behavioral health; the scientific study of behaviors that relate to health enhancement, disease prevention,
and rehabilitation. Emphasis Enhancement of health and prevention of disease rather than diagnosis and treatment. Biomedical vs. Biopsychosocial Models Biomedical Model Exposure to pathogens (disease-causing organism).
Biopsychosocial Model Biological, psychological, and social influences. Two basic advantages. Incorporates biological, psychological and social factors. Views health as a positive condition. Psychologists First, Health Specialist second.
Health psychologists course work: Ph.D. or Psy.D Core graduate psychological course work. Specialized graduate courses: Biostatistics Epidemiology Physiology Biochemistry Cardiology Where do I start? Undergraduate Psychology Courses: Epidemiology Study of factors contributing to increased health or
occurrence of disease in a given population. Behavior Change Health Psychology Undergraduate Non-Psychology Courses: Biomedical science Chemistry Areas of Interest Stress and Disease Sources of stress:
Family, workplace, community, ect. Side effects of increased stress. Decreased immune system functioning Psychoneuroimmunology A multidisciplinary field that focuses on the interactions among behavior; the nervous system, the endocrine system, and the immune system. Areas of Interest (cont.) Pain Acute, Chronic, and Prechronic.
Biofeedback Electromyograph (EMG) Ex. Low back pain and headaches. The experience of pain and Coping. Personal control and hardiness Relaxation training Cognitive Therapy Areas of Interest (cont.) Smoking, Alcohol, and Drug Cessation. Intervention for reducing consumption. Education on hazards of consumption. Drug misuse and abuse.
Effective treatment methods. Effects of quitting. Identifying positive heath benefits. Coping with negative symptoms. Areas of Interest (cont.) Cancer, Diabetes, Obesity and Other Chronic Illnesses. Medication Adherence. Programs to help patients take their meds properly. Changing risky behavior. i.e. smoking, drinking, diet, sedentary lifestyle ect.
Coping with risk factors beyond personal control. Impact on patients and families. Coping with the affects of treatment. Health Psychologists Today Job Market Popularity within the field of psychology. Rise in chronic diseases. Obesity, type-2 diabetes, cancer, ect.
Average Pay Middle 50%: $45,300 $77,750 High: $102,730; Low: $35,280 - Bureau of Labor Statistics For More Information MSU faculty Ann D. Branstetter Ph.D.
APA Psychology Advisement Office Information regarding schools with a health psychology emphasis. Information on which courses you should take to get started pursuing a career in the health psychology field.
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