Health Psychology is an expanding discipline. Its attention is on implementing psychological methods and models for the understanding of behavior which is related to illness, health and well-being.

The understanding behavior related to illness and health involves the exploration of how biological, sociocultural and psychological factors influence illness and health.

Current issues in Health Psychology:

  • Weight management
  • Stress management
  • Smoking cessation
  • Chronic illness
  • Sleep problems (e.g. sleep disturbance, insomnia)
  • Reduction of unhealthy behaviors

Health Psychologists help patients across any age with different psychological or physical health issues respond to and manage the psychological aspects of their illness.

To improve the health care system health psychologists work with other health professional such as nurses, physiotherapists and GPs.Health Psychologists also work with family members who are affected by the patient's illness.

Health Psychologists work may directly with individuals or small groups.

This can include:

  • Adjustment to serious chronic health conditions and management of chronic health conditions e. pain management
  • Encouraging health behaviours such as exercise, a healthy diet, medical screening etc.
  • Stress management
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Improving doctors-patient communication
  • Adherence to treatment
  • Provide group or individual/ self-help psychological interventions to help patients cope better with their illness

Through psycho-education patients and their relatives receive practical and theoretical information about their condition, its causes, prognosis, treatment, treatment effects etc. The aim is for individuals to receive support for better coping and management of their condition.

Research evidence shows that psycho-education is significantly related to increased compliance with treatment, improved doctor-patient communication and patient’s quality of life and reduced anxiety, stress and depression.

  • The patient receives information about the condition and how the condition may affect their future, their role in the family etc.
  • Lifestyle changes which can help manage the condition.
  • Information about the treatment. The information will include details about the treatment, the side-effects, when it should be taken, the purpose of the treatment etc.
  • Stress management.
  • Any other information for better adjustment to the illness.