For this past semester, I have learned more about the behavioral and psychological components of health, illness, and healthcare. At the beginning, we went through some basic concepts such as the history of health psychology, design study methods, and the biology of the human body. With those three chapters, we started applying those concepts to other conditions such as stress, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. In addition, we also applied the biopsychosocial model to those conditions in order to understand them from a ecological systems perspective.
The activities that we had also helped improve my learning because we were able to see the class content applied in class. For example, we had speakers come in to talk about the research aspects of kidney transplantation as well as the living experience of a donor. Speakers from the beginning of the year talking about wellness as a concept was also interesting because there were so many dimensions to it that I did not know about before. To gain a better understanding of health psychology, it is important to listen to those perspectives because there are many ways to view what health means to different individuals. Finally, the novel was the last major activity that I learned more about from a research perspective. Although I felt as if it was contradicting itself from time to time, it did give me more insight as to how health psychologists view their field.
Lastly, through those those activities and the textbook, I learned more about health disparities. This is a crucial component of the class and I would have loved to learn more as this learning and application to address the disparities could actually save someone’s life. By adding in health awareness campaigns targeting vulnerable populations and knowing how to do it in the best way possible is essential to eliminating those disparities.