Psychobiological Processes in Health and Illness is an accessible and engaging introduction to the interrelationships between mind and body across a broad range of topics including infectious illness, autoimmunity, cancer and pain. Taking a biopsychosocial approach, it brings together research from a number of disciplines including health psychology, psychoneuroimmunology and behavioral genetics. The textbook presents established theoretical models relevant to psychobiological processes in health and illness, as well as recent developments in systems, technologies and intervention methods.

A Healthy Disposition
A healthy disposition


In the previous chapter we introduced the notion of dispositional processes in health and well-being. This chapter examines the role of dispositional factors in determining disease risk, and considers the following questions. Are some people biologically or psychologically predisposed to ill health? If so, can health outcomes be influenced by behaviour change or psychological interventions? Is the behaviour we try to modify via psychological interventions itself genetically determined?

Finally, we'll examine the issue of genetic testing - what is the impact on a patient of learning that he or she has a genetic vulnerability to a disease such as cancer or diabetes? Does genetic risk information allow patients to take protective action or does it increase risky behaviours (drinking, smoking)? Is ...

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