Psychological factors affecting health

We suspect that the general importance of this phenomenon has been underestimated in observational epidemiology. In other words, not everyone is free to make decisions and choices, since individual choice and control can be constrained both by other people and by the factors that influence health.

For example, although smoking has declined over time, a recent Omnibus Survey Lader and Goddard, of smoking behaviour found that nearly 80 per cent of current smokers had tried unsuccessfully to give up smoking; and of these, 46 per cent had received advice on smoking cessation. The number of experimental studies of the effects of psychosocial intervention on objective measures of disease is comparatively small.

The criterion of specificity could also usefully be applied to observed associations between psychosocial exposures and physical disease.

For example, consider a relation between hopelessness and disease apparent after adjustment for adult occupational class. In other words these results suggested that material circumstances confound the association between Psychological factors affecting health factors and health—rather than stress mediating the association between material disadvantage and health.

J Public Health Med; Lifestyle accounts draw on notions of individual choice. For example, consider the history of evidence relating to the effect of hormone replacement therapy HRT on cardiovascular risk.

However, taking control is subject to the ability to take responsibility for health and to make choices, both of which are governed by power relations. Today, it may be difficult to find other populations where psychosocial and material disadvantage are not closely linked and corroborations of our findings could be sought—alternative strategies Psychological factors affecting health therefore needed.

In this way any confounding factors measured or unmeasured should be evenly distributed across the different levels of exposure such that any effect seen is truly that of the exposure. People whose genotype would have subjected them to longstanding raised plasma fibrinogen experienced no increased risk of heart disease, suggesting that observed associations between fibrinogen and CHD risk are not causal.

Indeed in many wealthy countries with long—and lengthening—life expectancies, the burden of such distress may be of more importance than much somatic disease. Many attempts to promote public health have focused on the individual and their lifestyle, and this seems to be a fairly common-sense approach.

The main issues addressed usually include diet and physical activity, tobacco and alcohol use, drug intake and sexual activity, although, at various times, other issues have also fallen within this rubric, for example, exposure to the sun and use of seat belt or child car seat.

Bosma H, Hemingway H, et al. We wish to critically examine the evidence that the association between psychosocial factors and physical health is causal. More recent research highlights the relationships between health and behavioral, psychological, and social variables.

Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation. Alternatively, the relation between misery and illness may, largely, reflect the fact that misery is now a marker for material disadvantage.

The Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Conditions

The neuroendocrine mediated psychosocial hypothesis predicts a particular association with risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, poor lifestyle habits related to depression, such as social isolation, a lack of exercise and excessive alcohol or other drug abuse, can harm your health system.

We have previously discussed the influence of reporting bias on associations between psychosocial exposures and illness and how such bias may have influenced the findings of published evidence—particularly that relating job control to angina.

After all, it could be argued that if individuals ate a little less and took more exercise, then they would be less likely to become obese.

Factors that influence health: An introduction

Policy implications The amelioration of social inequalities in health is a priority for public health policy in most economically developed countries. In fact, a research study reported by Harvard University examined the relationship between sleep and cellular immune function and found that people who fail to achieve adequate sleep--about six to eight hours--significantly altered their immune system similar to people who suffer from certain disease patterns, such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV infection.

Two key explanations have been put forward to explain this. Indeed, lead investigators on ENRICHD have acknowledged that the association between depression and heart disease may not be causal and have emphasised that the principal justification for treating depression is improved quality of life, rather than reduction in mortality.

Chapter 2 addresses the interactions of biobehavioral factors in health, Chapter 3 reviews behavioral risk factors, and Chapter 4 describes the role of social risk factors.

However, the association of this hypothesised factor to study measures of hopelessness must be stronger than its association with study measures of occupational class—sensitivity analyses indicate how much stronger, for any given effect estimate.

Nevertheless, this evidence is still useful as an indicator of the potential of psychosocial interventions to improve population cardiovascular health.

Arguably, this provides the strongest and most practically relevant evidence on causality because a positive treatment effect demonstrates both the existence of a causal relation and the effectiveness of an intervention based on this.

For example, it has been suggested that plasma fibrinogen may lie on the causal pathway between psychosocial factors and cardiovascular risk. For example, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, inadequate physical activity, some sexual practices, and high-fat or low-fiber diets have all been recognized as unhealthful.

Such an effect had been demonstrated in numerous prospective observational studies. Therefore, avoid depression by staying active or seeing a doctor as it can make the recovery from certain medical conditions increasingly difficult or even impossible.

Some commentators have dismissed the possibility of an important causal role for material factors based on an argument that among people who are not, conventionally, materially deprived, mechanisms through which such factors might directly influence health are unknown.

Genetics may provide another solution to the problem of confounding in some situations. However, one of the key problems facing those promoting public health is the failure of many individuals to follow healthy lifestyle advice.In this article we consider “psychosocial factors” to be any exposure that may influence a physical health outcome through a psychological mechanism.

We wish to critically examine the evidence that the association between psychosocial factors and physical health is causal. More recent research highlights the relationships between health and behavioral, psychological, and social variables.

1 Biological, Behavioral, and Social Factors Affecting Health. Biological, Behavioral, and Social Factors Affecting Health - Health and Behavior. Your browsing activity is empty. Psychological factors affecting other medical conditions is diagnosed when attitudes or behaviors have a negative effect on a medical disorder that the person has.

(See Overview of Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders. Published: Fri, 28 Apr How does psychology affect ones physical health? Several psychological factors including stress, behavior due to chronic pain, depression, and cultural beliefs can have adverse affects on the body’s physical condition.

Factors that influence health: An introduction. This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Psychological factors can influence physical health either indirectly, by changing behaviors that affect your health, such as eating, sleeping and socializing, or directly, by producing changes in your hormones and/or heart rate.

Psychological factors affecting health
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