Health Psychology by Jane Ogden
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About Health Psychology by Jane Ogden
Health Psychology by Jane Ogden: Over time a book starts to look dated. This fifth edition feels to me like a completely new book as I have rewritten, restructured, updated, and added new sections and whole new chapters. In particular, I have made the following changes.
- A new structure: the book is now organized into five parts: 1) The context of health psychology; 2) Health beliefs, behavior, and behavior change; 3) Becoming ill; 4) Being ill; 5) Reflecting on health psychology. These parts highlight a continuum model of health and illness and the chapters now cover theory and research along this continuum as we move from being healthy through to being ill.
- The focus on health psychology: I have now expanded my description of the focus on health psychology in the introductory chapter and have not only described how our discipline draws upon the biopsychosocial model but also how it sees health and illness as being on a continuum, how it strives to explain individual variability and how it focuses on both the direct and indirect pathways between psychological factors and health.
- Health inequalities: Chapter 2 is new and highlights variation in health and illness in terms of geographical location, time, social class, and gender. I have described possible explanations for this variation in terms of medical interventions (e.g. vaccinations, access to skilled health professionals), environmental factors (e.g. sanitation, clean drinking water, town planning), and behavior (e.g. smoking, diet, and exercise). The chapter then describes how health psychology tends to focus on the role of behavior.
- Individual behaviours: the book still contains separate chapters on addictive behaviours, eating behaviour, exercise and sex but these have been rewritten to reflect recent research and the areas that are currently the focus of health psychology.
- Addictive behaviours: Chapter 4 focuses on smoking and alcohol consumption but for this edition I have added sections on caffeine use and exercise dependence to illustrate how disease and social learning theories of addiction can be applied to addictions which involve the intake of a drug (e.g. caffeine) and those which are behaviourally based (e.g. exercise dependence).
- Health promotion: the biggest development in health psychology since this book was first published is the shift in emphasis from predicting behaviour to changing behaviour. This edition contains a new Chapter 8 which describes a wide range of key behaviour change theories and strategies and provides useful details and practical examples of how they can be used in practice. Some examples include cognitive behaviour therapy, motivational interviewing, incentives, mass media interventions and interventions using new technologies such as laptops and mobile phones. I hope this chapter will be useful for anyone needing a thorough overview of this vast literature.
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