Health psychology, on the hand, utilizes a proactive approach to dealing with the promotion of health and the prevention of disease. In so doing, it utilizes a wide array of biological, physiological and psychological concepts to arrive at a clear and concise understanding of disease prevention as well as health promotion. It exploits the mind-body connection in assessing the root causes of those diseases. Those root causes can be traced to emotional, environmental, social and cognitive-behavioral risk factors. Health psychology utilizes a tri-part approach to dealing with diseases. This approach involves a concise understanding of both the physiological and psychological components of diseases, a proactive approach to disease prevention and an intimate understanding of the effects of diseases on the body. This tri-part approach has the ultimate goal of disease prevention. According Ogden, health psychologists play a vital role in the education of health professionals whereby they are able to stress the importance of dealing with all components of a disease (biological, psychological and psychological components). By bringing emphasis to those areas, health psychologists are able to effectively and efficiently impact the treatment plans developed by physicians and nurses.
In offering a clear and concise approach to disease management and prevention, health psychology challenges the biomedical model. It most formidable challenge can be seen in the presentation of empirical support for the mind-body connection. The most substantial support for that connection can be seen in the notion of psychosomatic illnesses. That is the manifestation of disease symptomology without the "normally" associated causal factors for that disease. Essentially this indicates the presence of another cause-the influence of the mind. The mind-body connection stresses the importance of factors such as stress and emotionality in facilitating the presentation of disease symptomology.
Within the spectrum of health and wellness is the inevitability of death. As humans, we are faced with the notion that by virtue of life, we are destined to die. Some individuals die suddenly while others die after contracting a terminal fatal illness. The contraction of a fatal illness is a difficult concept to come to grips with. Examinations of the manner in which individuals cope with this situation have been instrumental in the formulation of many theories. One of the most significant of theories is that of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wherein she proposes an emotional response to change model. This model purports that when an individual receives bad news, he/she reacts emotionally by going through five emotional stages. Those changes include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages follow a natural progression and over the course of time, they yield an adjustment