(a) How would you define health? How is it different from illness? Describe.
Many people define health in different ways but the standard definition of health is given by World Health Organization is that, “State of complete physical, mental, and social well being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition of health by WHO is accepted by all medical fields because according to WHO only absence of disease is not health but it also says that to be healthy one should also be physically and mental well being. In addition to this the research done by Australian Health in 2014 further defines health as follow. Health is an essential for individuals in the way they feel perform their daily chores. A healthy life contributes to good social and economic supports for people and healthy people able to manage risks and prevent disease. Illness is defined as the experience of a disease and disease is, “A physical or mental disturbance involving symptoms, dysfunction or tissue damage.” (Australian Health, 2014) when a person is ill he/she can’t perform any thing well as result many aspects of his/her life are effected by bad health. For instance, an ill student will not able to concentrate on his/her studies well and as a result they will end up with bad grades or even in some cases they may not be able to continue their studies.
(b) What is health psychology? What are the main focuses of health psychology?
According to American Psychological Association (APA) “Health Psychology seeks to advance contributions of psychology to the understanding of health and illness through basic and clinical research, education, and service activities and encourages the integration of bio-medical information about health and illness with current psychological knowledge.” Further APA says that health psychology focuses on the bio-medical aspects of psychology and how it affects health and well being of individuals. Health psychology works for better health, disease prevention. The main focus of health psychology is the upgrading of mental and physical health of people. Health psychology comes under the health care sector of any state. Health psychology helps to prevent serious disease and illnesses by focusing on the healthy behavior and help people in modifying the unhealthy behavior in a sustainable way. Such as, emphasizing on regular exercise, nutritious diet, quit smoking and alcohol and other healthy behaviors. It helps people to change their life-style for good health and get rid of chronic and fatal diseases to ensure a long and healthy life of the people. (American Psychological Association, 2016)
(c) Why is the field of health psychology needed? Justify your answer.
Health psychology is important because it works on the “impact of behavior on health and the influence of health and disease states on psychological factors.” (APA, 2016) Earlier most of the people suffer from communicable and infectious diseases but in today’s world most of the people are suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases and such diseases can be prevent or delay with the implement of good health behavior. For instance, heart diseases, stroke, diabetes, obesity and some other fatal diseases can be prevented by a good diet and a regular exercise. So here health psychology helps people to change their bad health habits in order to have a healthy life. In this way health psychology is not only helps individuals but also it helps to have a healthy generation in a long run. It is difficult to change people’s behavior therefore; we need train health psychologists to give a hand to people.
(d) Present a model which is suitable for health psychology research or practice? Elaborate.
According to Rosemary Walker, the Diabetes Specialist Nurse at Havering Hospitals’ Trust, Romford, in his research article, Model in Health Psychology: An Introduction says that, whiling making a model for health psychology we need to know the essential factors which effect the health psychology. As he mentions that, to make a health psychology model the bio-psycho-socio status on individuals should be considered. As the health, psychological and social status of people varies so as the health model for individuals also varies. Therefore, we need to make such a health psychology model which can be beneficial for as many people as we can and it should be feasible and above all sustainable. While keeping all these factors in mind I think we should have health psychology interventions in schools because children are in the age of learning their new behavior so that is the perfect time to teach them good health behavior. For that school syllabus should have health related topics and in schools there should be physical health classes to encourage students to do regular exercise. In this way we will able to promote good health behaviors in individuals. For adult people government should make sure that there are enough public spaces for people to spend a quality time in clean atmosphere and in a healthy environment. Smoking and other unhealthy behavior should be banned by government in public places. Implementation of such policies will persuade people to practice healthy habits.