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Health Psychology Assignment Sample

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Health Psychology Assignment Sample


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The report has evaluated Health Psychology and other major contributing factors of health and wellbeing. It has explored a broad scope of psychological, behavioral, Social and Cultural factors that leads to many effects on health such as Stress, Socioeconomic Status, Ethnicity, Exercise, diet, smoking, health psychology, health belief system and personality. The report has also evaluated the application of Health psychology to quit smoking and its role in promoting wellbeing.  

The report has provided a broad scope of Health Psychology. The report has evaluated the psychological factors that contribute to health and illness. The report has explained the concept of Health as stated by the World Health Organisation. It has explored the effects of stress, personality and health belief system on health. The report has analyzed the positive and negative impacts of behavioural factors to the health and wellbeing of individuals such as Smoking, Doing regular exercises and diet. The report has also evaluated the Social and Cultural factors such as Socioeconomic Status and Ethnicity that contribute to health and illness. The report has explored the application of stopping smoking and habits that need to be adopted by people so that it can contribute a positive impact on their health and life. Among them, quitting smoking is one the most important factors that will help people to have good health and contribute to their well being.

Section 1: Concept of Health

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has explained the concept of health. According to WHO, Health can be considered as the physical, mental and Social wellbeing which does not imply the absence of any disease or infirmity (WHO.int, 2018). The relevant implication of this concept of WHO is that mental health is more than the absence of any disorder or disabilities.

A biopsychosocial model of Health

The model shows that the health and diseases can be determined with the help of a dynamic interaction between Psychological, biological and social factors. The Biopsychosocial Model of Health provides a framework that can be applied to determine the causes, outcomes and manifestations of illness and health problems. The model also explains the role and the connection of body, mind and environment that affect each other. According to the model, these factors alone are sufficient to cause major health issues and illness. In order to address the health issues, health promotion needs to address the perception of health, health status and the socio-cultural barriers that may restrict access to proper healthcare.

Section 2: Psychological Factors contributing to health/illness

It has been observed that Psychological factors such as Stress, Personality and Health beliefs lead to major contributions to the health and wellbeing of Individuals. It has been observed that health belief has to do a lot with the effects on health and wellbeing.

Health Beliefs

Health beliefs are the belief systems which individuals have developed about the concept of health. It can be further argued that health beliefs are what the people consider the causes of their illness and different types of ways that can be adopted for the recovery of their illness. Moreover, people develop all these beliefs from their culture which then contributes to a larger belief system. People belong to different cultures and these cultures have been considered to create a mindset of what constitutes health and the factors that cause illness. From studies, it has been observed that a healthy belief system is the driving force of the behaviour of people. It has the potential of influencing behaviour and the health outcomes of people.


It has been observed that personality plays a major role in the adoption and development of behaviours and habits which also affect the overall health of people. There are also other concepts that need to be considered for understanding the contributing psychological factors and their outcomes on health and illness. From the reports, it has also been observed that few specific psychological traits which have affected the mental health of children and young people due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Almost 16.0% of children were having mental disorders which have increased from 10.08% in 2017 (Nhs.uk, 2020).


Stress is one factor which is very common and found in most people. From studies, it has been observed that an imbalance of work life leads to stress in most the cases. It can be considered that the main cause of stress is the level of pressure on the mind and body (Artiga and Ubri, 2017). From the reports, it has been observed that 74% of people in the UK have been through stress that they find themselves unable to cope with (Mentalhealth.org.uk, 2018). 46% of people reported that they had eaten too much unhealthy food to reduce the level of stress. The report also stated that 29% of the people in the UK started the consumption of alcohol due to their stress. It has also been observed from the mental health reports of the UK that 16% of them were reported to adopt the habit of smoking. However, stress can also be reduced if people begin to focus on their personalities. The personality of individuals largely depends on how they are handling their stress level and activity level (Denovan and Macaskill, 2017). In order to achieve this, people need to be mindful and make changes in their habits and lifestyle which will help them to shape a better and healthier personality.

Section 3: Behavioural Factors contributing to health/illness

It can be further argued that there are many behavioural factors that contribute both positive and negative effects to the health and wellbeing of individuals. Smoking, Doing regular exercises and diet can be considered as behavioural factors.


From various studies, it has been observed that smoking is extremely injurious to the health of people (Jiang et al. 2020). It can be further argued that a large population of people adopt the habit of smoking due to their belief system that smoking can help them to reduce their level of stress. According to the reports, it has been observed that more than 125,000 people have died in the UK due to the effects of smoking (Cancerresearchuk.org, 2020). The report has estimated that 43,000 people in the UK had cancer in 2015 which is almost 26% of the overall cancer deaths. According to the reports, it has been estimated that every year almost 78,000 people in the UK die from the causes of smoking (Nhs.uk, 2021).


Exercise is one most effective behavioural factors that help people to keep themselves healthy and fit (Green and Smith, 2018). Exercise and physical activities are the major contributing factor of the healthy life and wellbeing of people. It has been observed that exercise leads to many positive effects and has many benefits for the wellbeing of health (Green and Smith, 2018). The positive effects of regular exercise are that it helps to prevent people from many diseases and illnesses. Exercise also helps to reduce the stress level and manage health problems such as Strokes, Clinical Depression, High blood pressure, Anxiety, Arthritis, High Blood Pressure and Metabolic syndrome (Pinckard et al. 2019)


It is very crucial for people to have a proper and healthy diet for their health and wellbeing. People who maintain and eat a healthy diet have a higher probability of living longer than people who do not follow a healthy diet. A healthy diet is a major contributing factor to overall health and wellbeing. However, it can be further argued that diet can lead to different types of effects on health including both positive and negative effects depending on the type of diet that has been chosen by Individuals.

Smoking causes 15 different types of cancer. It can further be argued that smoking can cause more than 50 serious illnesses and other health conditions. The most common illness that is caused by the effects of smoking is lung Cancer. However, to maintain a healthy life and prevent various types of diseases and illnesses people need to do regular exercises and make a change in their foods so that they can have good nutrition which will help them to have good health and maintain their wellbeing.

Section 4: Social and Cultural Factors

The other factors that affect the health of people and their wellbeing are the Social and Cultural factors that have major contributions such as the Socioeconomic Status and Ethnicity of people.

Socioeconomic Status

From various studies, it has been observed that higher incomes and strong socio-economic conditions of Individuals, communities and countries have a gradient in mental health than those who have lower socioeconomic status. It can be further argued that people of lower socioeconomic status have a higher probability of developing and experiencing problems of mental health. According to the reports, it has been estimated that children and adults who are living on less than 20% of income have a probability of two third times to develop different types of mental health problems that can also lead to their mental disorder (Mentalhealth.org.uk, 2022). From the reports of the Child and Adolescent Mental health Survey, it has been observed that the prevalence of mental health problems has been found to be three times higher in the children who have bottom quintile family income than those who have top quintile.


Ethnicity is one of the Social and Cultural factors that have been common to affect the health and wellbeing of people. Ethnicity among people can be considered to be the result of differences in many aspects. These aspects include race, culture, religion and nationality. Ethnicity among people has resulted in health inequalities which are worsening the health condition of minority groups of a country or a community. It can be further argued that the major concepts of health inequalities are the differences that are found in the health status of people which are driven by the inequalities of the society. Ethnic differences can also be considered as the inequalities of health services between the age groups and genders. Ethnic differences also vary among the generations.

It can further be argued that employment status has a very strong connection with the problems and outcomes of health and wellbeing. It has been observed that people who do not have any employment or have part-time employment have a higher probability of being vulnerable to different kinds of diseases and illnesses. There are many other aspects of Socioeconomic status that are responsible for shaping the health of people such as material wealth, incomes, lifestyle, job security, housing conditions, educational attainment, psycho-social stress, discrimination and health services. The inequalities of health that people have to suffer for the differences in race, colour, language, culture and socioeconomic status has led to major health concerns of the people. In order to have good health and prevent different types of disease people need to mitigate the differences of ethnicity which are also leading to poor health status among children and adults. People who have lower incomes and socioeconomic status are more vulnerable to ethnic differences due to a larger gap in incomes, education, and job securities.

Section 5: Interactions and adherence between Patient and Practitioner

Behavioural style and effects

There are mainly two types of the doctor-patient relationship and approaches followed in healthcare. These are “Patient-centred care” and “Autocratic and Paternalistic doctor-patient relationships”. These are described in the following section.

Patient-centred care approach

This caring approach is centred on the patient and his family members. All the planning and decisions are made recognising the needs of the patient and according to their demands only. It gives freedom to the care-user and his family to ask questions about care plans, make complaints, as well as make changes if necessary (Tontus and Nebioglu, 2018). The care plan is specifically made that suits the needs of the care user and helps to build a good relationship between care-user and caregivers. Patients with multi-morbidity complications need special care in order to ensure improved outcomes, better social and psychological well-being. An effective communication skill is a must to ensure good understanding between two parties as well as among caregivers (Schutz et al. 2019). Verbal communication is important to make, discuss, and change care plans. It minimises confusion and thus reduces the probability of potential dangers or serious medical errors. Non-verbal communication is an effective way to create a bond between care users and caregivers. Kinesics or body language, eye contact, nodding head, etc. are critical signals by patients.

Autocratic and Paternalistic doctor-patient relationships

In an Autocratic doctor-patient relationship the doctor is the one who makes all the decisions of the patient. They suggest care plans, medicines, therapies that they think would be suitable for the patient and do not consider the opinions of the patient or their family. The patient cannot raise any question or complaint against the doctor.

In a Paternalistic doctor-patient relationship both the doctor and the patient or his family collectively make decisions that would be best. In this case, the doctor thinks the patient's family is the one who knows better and according to their guidance or suggestions care plans are made (Genuis, 2021). In both cases, effective verbal and non-verbal communication is very necessary to avoid confusion and create strong bonds.

Factors relate to Patient adherence

Patient-centred care is a personalised care plan; it is also regarded as a multidisciplinary care approach. The care plans made in this care approach are very crucial for patient adherence.

Communication and listening skills

The doctors or other caregivers must be excellent communicators and listeners to understand problems faced by patients and respond promptly. The NHS has specifically made this to resolve the complaints that the caregivers do not have time to listen to their problems (Präg et al. 2017). It is considered to be best for patients with multi-morbidity and set personalised care plans and reduces chances of mortality.

Financial flexibility

It is another important factor in patient adherence. Patient-centred care is quite expensive and not everyone can afford it. Therefore, flexibility in the payment system can solve this problem partially (Kuipers et al. 2019). The NHS has already planned to effectively balance both of these factors to improve patient adherence.

Physical and mental satisfaction

In a multidisciplinary care plan, the patients are treated to ensure not only their physical well-being but at the same time mental-wellbeing and satisfaction. This is the reason why emphasis is given on frequent communication with patients to know if they are facing any problems or counselling them to make them feel better (Hwang et al. 2019). Therefore, both of them are important for patient adherence.

A patient with coronary disease or more specifically myocardial infarction needs patient-centred care. This is because the patient is already in a critical stage and his treatment plan is very complicated. Following recovery, he needs a personalised care plan to stay healthy. Adherence to the care plan best suited for the patient can surely minimise such future incidents and maximise the best outcomes.

Section 6: Application to Wellbeing

It has been discussed that smoking causes more than 50 different types of Cancer. In order to prevent diseases like Cancer in lungs, bladder, throat, kidney, liver, cervix and other issues of respiratory problems; it can be further argued that smoking affects the reduction of fertility which significantly affects and raises the risk of causing type 2 diabetes, dementia and diseases which are related to the eyes.
From various studies, it has been observed that more than 52.7% of people in the UK who smoke wanted to quit smoking within 3 months but they lack the willpower to quit (Gov.uk, 2021). It has also been observed that this population has received no help for quitting. If people develop good habits and choose a better lifestyle and quit smoking then it will promote the health and wellbeing of people. It has been observed that people who have mental health problems have a 2.5 times higher probability of having smoking habits. The smoking rates increase with the severity of mental illness. It has been observed that 40.5% of adults who have mental problems are found to be smokers (Gov.uk, 2021).

Health psychology

Health psychology can be considered as the branch of psychology which mainly focuses on different aspects that contribute to and influence human health. Health psychology focuses on social, psychological and biological factors to promote the health and wellbeing of people. It can be further argued that health psychologists play a major role for the improvement of mental health and wellbeing. Health psychologists and other health counsellors are also employed in a hospital, rehabilitation centres and kinds of healthcare clinics so that they can provide a variety of psychological frameworks, expertise and counselling to make people quit habits like smoking, drinking and intake of drugs. It has been observed that if the patient receives help from health care professionals or health psychologists then there is a higher probability that people will quit smoking (Gov.uk, 2021). It can be further argued that more than 50% of smokers in the UK are intended to quit their smoking habits but they have failed to do so due to their lack of help, motivation and encouragement.

Motivation and encouragement from health psychologists contribute to a great extent. It has been considered as one of the most important motivational factors for those smokers who intend to quit smoking. The main role of a healthy psychologist is to consult people who have psychological issues. Health psychologists also conduct clinical interviews and make assessments of the behaviours of patients so that they are able to understand the actual reasons that people do not adopt good habits or listen to medical advice.


From the report, it can be concluded that the mental health of individuals is supposed to be the state of wellbeing in which people have the awareness of recognising their own abilities so that people can cope with the stress of daily life. It can be further concluded that a higher level of pressure can increase the stress level which is one of the most influencing factors that affects health, mental stability, emotional health and wellbeing. Stress can also be reduced by focusing on good habits such as regular exercise, a healthy diet and development of personality. The personality of individuals largely depends on how people handle their stress level and activity level. There is a strong relation of socioeconomic status. With the problems and issues of health and wellbeing which includes different aspects such as material wealth, lifestyle, housing conditions, educational levels, employment, culture etc. It can also be concluded that health psychologists play a major role in motivating people to quit unhealthy habits like smoking.

Reference list

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