Health psychology is an exciting and relatively new branch of psychology. It focuses on peoples’ attitudes, thoughts and behaviours in relation to health and illness. More specifically, it deals with how people maintain health and cope with and manage illness.
Health psychologists are interested in experiences of health and illness that are likely to affect everybody at some time in their life. They use their knowledge of psychology to promote general wellbeing and to understand physical illness. They are specially trained to help people deal with the psychological and emotional aspects of health and illness. They also use their expertise to enhance healthcare systems and promote healthier lifestyles. For example, they may advise other health professionals about the most effective ways to communicate with their patients or ways in which they can encourage their patients to improve their health. Alternatively, they may advise governmental officials on policy formation and intervention design that can be used for the promotion of health and reduction of illness, disease and death.
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