This comprehensive yet practical handbook consolidates information needed by health psychologists working alongside other healthcare professionals. It facilitates the progression of the learner from the classroom to the clinical setting by focusing on the translation of science to practice using practical examples. The Handbook is divided into four major parts. Part I highlights practical issues faced by health psychologists in a medical setting (how to motivate patients, consultation-liaison, assessment and screening, brief psychotherapies, ethical issues, etc.) Part II concentrates on treating unhealthy behaviors (alcohol and nicotine use, noncompliance, overeating/obesity, physical inactivity, stress). Part III considers behavioral aspects of medical problems (pain management, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, sexual dysfunction, HIV/AIDS, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia). And Part IV takes up special issues relevant to practice and research in the field (minority issues, women’s issues, working with geriatric populations, public health approaches to health psychology and behavioral medicine). The Handbook will prove to be an invaluable resource for those already working in the field of health psychology as well as for those in training.
Chapter 10: Stress and Health
Stress and Health
Although stress may not cause disease, it has been established that stress may be a risk factor for the development of disease, may aggravate an existing disease, and may reduce a compliance and treatment success. As a result, many health professionals frequently refer clients to clinical health psychologists for help in dealing with stress-related issues. Clients referred in this manner frequently have a basic understanding that emotional and psychological factors influence health (often seen as the mind influencing the body); however, they frequently do not understand the mechanisms involved in this process. Likewise, clinical health psychologists may have an in-depth understanding of effective treatment methods for reducing stress while having only an elementary understanding of the physiological foundations that can ...