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How Individual Beliefs About Illness Affect Health and Treatment - Essay Example

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How Individual Beliefs About Illness Affect Health and Treatment

Psychology is used to study the mental processes and behavior of individuals, and differs from subjects such as biology, sociology, anthropology, economics, political science, and neuroscience in many ways. Mainly - and perhaps most importantly - it differs in that it is primarily concerned with not only the biological or neural processes, but more so with the interaction of mental processes and behavior and the overall processes of a system.
Psychology can be framed in terms of two particular theories: phenomenological and information processing. An understanding of the brain and its functions are also included in the psychological theory and practice, and the idea of psychology is connected with a vast amount of subjects in the general society of today.
Health psychology is similar to basic psychology in many ways, but the differences are more crucial; it is the use of psychological principles to promote health and prevent illness. Health psychology seriously considers the biological, cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, psychosomatic and environmental factors and how they relate to health and illness. The objective of this form of psychology is to determine the connections between psychological factors and how they relate to a person's health.
There are specific behaviors which may lead a person to illness, ...
The objective of this form of psychology is to determine the connections between psychological factors and how they relate to a person's health.
There are specific behaviors which may lead a person to illness, and the primary purpose of health psychology is to determine these causations and to attempt to understand why a person would behave in this way. "There are many examples of this. Smoking, diet, and regular exercise all contribute to the formation of disease. Individuals with thrill seeking personalities are more likely to drive fast, making them more likely to injure themselves in car accidents." ("Wikipedia", 2006).
How can Individual Beliefs About Illness Affect Health and Treatment
In the health and treatment of a person, there are many factors which are undeniably involved. The psychology of a person and the matter in which it affects their well being is a crucial factor in this discussion, and must be properly understood and addressed.
The Health Belief Model (HBM) was originally developed by Godfrey Hochbaum, Stephen Kegels and Irwin Rosenstock, and its initial purpose was to be "a systematic methodusedto explain and predict preventive health behavior." (McCormack Brown, 1999). In rather relative terms, the HBM focused on the relationship of health behaviors, practices and the utilization of health services. It was a rather intricate tool at the time it was created, but as of then has been revised to include general health motivation for the purpose of distinguishing illness and sick-role behavior from health behavior. In other words, the HBM studies the being of a person's motivation to undertake a health behavior and all the categories which this includes: individual perceptions, modifying behaviors, and ...Show more

Summary

The psychological factors which can reflect on health and illness and the altogether well being of a person are intensely intricate and highly relevant as a topic of critical discussion in the world of today. In order to truly understand how individual beliefs about illness affect health and treatment, the following questions must be addressed:
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