Health Psychology

Health Psychology

What is Health Psychology?

Health psychology uses knowledge of psychology and health to promote well-being and understand physical illness. Health psychology can be applied to develop behaviour change interventions, such as helping people to be more physically active, stop smoking or take their medications. It can also be applied to help improve healthcare systems, such as helping health and social care professionals to communicate more effectively with patients.

Why you may want to include health psychology methods

  • to use health psychology theory to understand patient and health and social care professional experience of health and illness;
  • to identify the ‘active ingredients’ of behaviour change interventions;
  • to develop and evaluate evidence and theory based psychological and behaviour change interventions;
  • to explore the barriers and facilitators of the implementation of interventions in real-life settings.

What expertise can a health psychology advisor offer?

  • guidance on suitable health psychology theories to help understand your research topic;
  • support to help you identify the health psychology evidence base relevant to your project;
  • advice on the most appropriate research design and what input a health psychologist could provide to your project.

What to think about before a meeting with a health psychology advisor

  • Who are the potential stakeholders of the research (e.g., patients, carers, family, public, health and social care professionals, policy makers etc);
  • What are the main psychological or behavioural issues that are relevant to the research project.

Useful Resources