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HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY AND CARRIER PROSPECTS - MEERA JACOB

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Title: HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY AND CARRIER PROSPECTS - MEERA JACOB


1
TRAINING AND CAREER PROSPECTS IN HEALTH
PSYCHOLOGYMEERA JACOBI M.SC CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
2
HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY
  • Health Psychology- the educational, scientific
    and professional contributions of Psychology
  • to the promotion and maintenance of health
  • the prevention and treatment of illness
  • the identification of etiology and diagnostic
    correlates of health, illness and related
    dysfunctions
  • the improvement of the health care system and
  • health policy formation.

3
  • Health psychology is concerned with all aspects
    of health and illness across the life-span.
  • Health psychologists focus on health promotion
    and maintenance which includes such issues as how
    to get children to develop good health habits,
    how to promote regular exercise, and how to
    design a media campaign to get people to improve
    their diets.
  • They also study the psychological aspects of the
    prevention and treatment of illness. A health
    psychologist might teach people in a high-stress
    occupation how to manage stress effectively so
    that it will not adversely affect their health.
    He might work with people who are already ill to
    help them adjust more successfully to their
    illness or to learn to follow their treatment
    regimen.

4
  • Health psychologist also focus on the etiology
    and correlates of health, illness and
    dysfunction. Health psychologists are especially
    interested in the behavioral and social factors
    that contribute to health or illness and
    dysfunction. Such factors can include health
    habits such as alcohol consumption, smoking,
    exercise, the wearing of seat-belts and ways of
    coping with stress.
  • Finally, the health psychologists analyze and
    attempt to improve the health care system and the
    formulation of health policy. They study the
    impact of health institution and health
    professionals on peoples behavior and develop
    recommendations for improving health care.

5
HEALTH PROMOTION
  • In recent years, Americans have made substantial
    gains in altering their poor health habits. Many
    people have successfully stopped smoking and many
    have reduced their consumptions of
    high-cholesterol and high fat foods.
  • Coronary heart disease and other chronic diseases
    have shown dramatic decreases as a result.
    Although alcohol consumption patterns remain
    largely unchanged. Exercise has increased.
  • Despite these advances overweight and obesity are
    currently endemic and will shortly take over from
    smoking as the major avoidable contributor to
    mortality.

6
  • In particular it is expected to see the design of
    interventions for mass consumption at the
    community level, the workplace level and the
    schools.
  • By reaching people through the institutions in
    which they work and live and by integrating
    health behavior-change materials into existing
    work and community resources, we may reach the
    goal of modifying most peoples behavior in the
    most efficient and cost-effective manner.

7
MAJOR ASPECTS OF HEALTH PROMOTION
  • Focus on those at risk
  • Prevention
  • Focus on the elderly
  • Refocusing health promotion efforts.
  • Promoting resilience
  • Promotion as a part of medical practice
  • Socioeconomic status and health disparities
  • Social change to improve health
  • Gender health

8
Subfields Within Health Psychology
  • Clinical Health Psychology This subfield of
    health psychology is strongly linked to clinical
    psychology and involves activities such as
    psychotherapy, behavior modification and health
    education.
  • Community Health Psychology Individuals working
    in this subfield of health psychology often focus
    on developing interventions and prevention
    techniques at the community-level. These
    professionals may conduct assessments of
    communities or work with groups to encourage
    healthy behaviors or promote behavior change.

9
  • Public Health Psychology These health psychology
    professionals focus on understanding health at
    the population-level and often offer advice to
    health care professionals, government agencies
    and health educators.
  • Occupational Health Psychology This is an
    emerging subfield within health psychology that
    incorporates industrial-organizational psychology
    and related disciplines. Occupational health
    psychologists focus on understanding how
    workplace issues are linked to both physical and
    mental illness.

10
TRAINING IN HEALTH 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, and board
    certification is available in health psychology
    through the American Board of Professional
    Psychology.
  • Often, psychologists preparing for a career in
    health psychology obtain general psychology
    training at the undergraduate and doctoral
    levels, but then receive specialty training at
    the postdoctoral or internship level.

11
  • Some programs have been developed which offer
    specialized training in health psychology at
    undergraduate and graduate levels. Here are some
    specifics of training in health psychology at
    various levels
  • Undergraduate Because of the field's
    biopsychosocial orientation, students are also
    encouraged to take courses focusing on abnormal
    and social psychology, learning processes and
    behavior therapies, psychophysiology, anatomy and
    physiology, psychopharmacology, community
    psychology, and public health.

12
  • Graduate Many doctoral programs in clinical,
    counseling, social, or experimental psychology
    have specialized tracks or preceptor ships in
    health psychology. A number of programs now exist
    in the United States and other countries
    specifically for doctoral training in health
    psychology. These programs are quite diverse
    some specialize in training students either for
    research careers or for direct clinical service
    to patients.
  • Predoctoral Internships Clinical and counseling
    psychologists are required to complete a one-year
    internship/residency before obtaining their
    doctorates. Many of these programs offer some
    training in health psychology. A number of
    internship programs provide specialized training
    in health psychology in which at least half of
    the trainee's time is spent in supervised health
    psychology activities.
  • .

13
  • 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.
  • Training programs often vary with regard to
    specific educational emphases, formats and
    content of formal instruction, research
    opportunities, and opportunities to engage in
    supervised clinical training..
  • While a doctorate degree is usually required in
    order to become a licensed health psychologist,
    there are some employment opportunities for those
    with a bachelor's degree or master's degree.

14
  • .
  • Professional training influences the way in which
    health care professionals think about clinical
    issues and influence the tools with which they
    evaluate and subsequently treat patients.
  • The training in Clinical Health Psychology is
    complementary to the medical training of
    physicians due to its focus on the empirical
    investigation of cognition, behavior, emotions
    and interpersonal relationships.
  • The focus on health behavior change and
    prevention in training for the Health psychology
    subspecialty equips practitioner with a
    perspective that has advantages over both
    traditional Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry
    training models.

15
  • Specifically, Psychologists are trained in
    research, program evaluation and measurement of
    behavior, areas in which Psychiatrists and other
    mental health practitioners are not as thoroughly
    trained.
  • Training in Health Psychology incorporates the
    study of behaviors that promote good physical and
    emotional health, such as smoking cessation,
    weight management, development of adaptive coping
    mechanisms, and adjustment to chronic illness, in
    addition to traditional mental health training.
  • Health psychologists are thereby able to assess
    these areas and intervene to promote healthy
    behaviors with or without a DSM-IV diagnosis.

16
CAREER PROSPECTS
17
  • What do health psychologists do?

18
  • Where do health psychologists work?

19
The Work Setting of a Health Psychologist
  • Health psychologists participate in health care
    in a multitude of settings including primary care
    programs, inpatient medical units, and
    specialized health care programs such as pain
    management, rehabilitation, women's health,
    oncology, smoking cessation, headache management,
    and various other programs. They also work in
    colleges and universities, corporations, and for
    governmental agencies.

20
  • Clinical health psychologists take the scientific
    knowledge obtained from research in health
    psychology and apply it to patients with physical
    and emotional illnesses.
  • They are interested in preventing illness, in
    treating those who are ill, and in improving
    peoples' general physical and mental well-being.
  • They are knowledgeable about the critical
    interrelationships between behavior, mental
    health, physical diseases, interpersonal
    relationships, the health care delivery system,
    and optimum health.
  • Clinical health psychologists work with patients
    to modify the effects of stress, lifestyle, and
    personality functioning in optimizing health and
    preventing and treating illness.

21
  • The health psychologist has many options
    available for involvement in matters of health
    and illness, and the medical care delivery system
    can benefit greatly from the expertise of the
    psychologist.
  • In todays medical care arena, many psychologists
    function as independent clinicians and
    consultants to the entire health care team. They
    are often indispensable in evaluating the
    psychological aspects of patient care.
  • They work directly with the patients or in
    consultation with the medical care team to design
    treatments that are suited not only to the
    patients physical needs but to the patients
    psychological needs as well.

22
  • The psychologist must work with the patient to
    help him or her evaluate the life-plan changes
    that are required to accommodate the limitations
    of illness and to adjust to the treatment
    necessary to maintain optimal functioning.
  • The psychologist might also work with the
    patients family members to assist them in coming
    to terms with the changes in their own lives that
    result from the patients condition.
  • The psychologist must support their attempts to
    assist the patients in coping with illness.
  • Many health psychologists with considerable
    training work with clients whose emotional
    concerns are influenced by the complications of
    illness.

23
  • In this capacity, he must be extremely
    knowledgeable about the current research on the
    connection between mind and body and remain
    constantly up-to-date on the latest findings
    relevant to the connection between physical
    health and psychological processes.
  • Some health psychologists go into the allied
    health professional fields such as social work,
    occupational therapy, dietetics, physical therapy
    and public health.

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  • Clinical Work In clinical and medical settings,
    health psychologists often conduct behavioral
    assessments, clinical interviews and personality
    tests.
  • Other tasks often involve participating in
    interventions with individuals or groups. Such
    interventions may involve educating people about
    stress reduction techniques, offering smoking
    cessation tips and teaching people how to avoid
    unhealthy behaviors.
  • Assessment approaches often include cognitive and
    behavioral assessment, psychophysiological
    assessment, clinical interviews, demographic
    surveys, objective and projective personality
    assessment, and various other clinical and
    research-oriented protocols.

27
  • Interventions often include stress management,
    relaxation therapies, biofeedback,
    psychoeducation about normal and
    patho-physiological processes, ways to cope with
    disease, and cognitive-behavioral and other
    psychotherapeutic interventions.
  • Healthy people are taught preventive health
    behaviors. Both individual and group
    interventions are utilized. Frequently, health
    psychology interventions focus upon buffering the
    effect of stress on health by promoting enhanced
    coping or improved social support utilization

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  • Research Many health psychologists also conduct
    research on a variety of health-related issues.
    For example, researchers may focus such things as
    the causes of health problems, effective
    preventive measures, the best health promotion
    techniques, how to best help people cope with
    pain or illness and how to get people to seek
    treatment for medical conditions.
  • Health psychologists are on the leading edge of
    research focusing on the biopsychosocial model in
    areas such as HIV, oncology, psychosomatic
    illness, compliance with medical regimens, health
    promotion, and the effect of psychological,
    social, and cultural factors on numerous specific
    disease processes (e.g., diabetes, cancer,
    hypertension and coronary artery disease, chronic
    pain, and sleep disorders).

30
  • Research in health psychology examines
  • the causes and development of illness,
  • methods to help individuals develop healthy
    lifestyles to promote good health and prevent
    illness,
  • the treatment people get for their medical
    problems,
  • the effectiveness with which people cope with and
    reduce stress and pain,
  • biopsychosocial connections with immune
    functioning, and
  • factors in the recovery, rehabilitation, and
    psychosocial adjustment of patients with serious
    health problems

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  • Public Policy Work Some health psychologists
    work in government or private agency settings to
    influence public policy on health issues. This
    work might involve discussions with government
    agencies, addressing inequalities in health care
    or advising governmental bodies on health care
    reform.

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