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.
Chatper 6: At Risk Populations
In the previous chapters we have highlighted the impacts of psychobiological processes on health outcomes. A wide body of research indicates that psychobio-logical processes can influence health, but how important is this link? For example, do we see higher rates of infectious illness or coronary heart disease in people with psychiatric illness or groups exposed to chronic stress over a number of years and, if so, could this be explained by psychobiological processes (such as allostatic load)? Could psychobiological processes act as mediators in the relationship between environmental stressors (economic hardship or stressful working conditions, for example) and ill health? Could the cumulative effects of psychological stressors account for age-related functional decline and morbidity?
In this chapter we consider to what ...