Behavioral medicine and epidemiology link
Behavioral medicine and epidemiology are two different fields of study each with unique goals, objectives and purpose. Behavioral medicine a multi-discipline field that integrates behavioral, psychological, social and biomedical fields of science in attempts to understand illness and health (Inoue, 2016). Thus, behavioral medicine will apply knowledge, information and techniques from various field of study to help in disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. On the contrary, epidemiology focuses on understanding the disease risk factors, prevalence and incidence, distribution and control.
Since behavioral medicine borrow a lot from other fields of medicine and psychology, it benefits significantly from epidemiology. Epidemiology provides crucial information on disease incidence rates, distribution patterns and possible alternative for control. All these information can be used to understand diseases thus epidemiology can inform behavioral medicine and help fight diseases.
Health psychology as an applied field
Health psychology is a broad psychological field that focuses on studying the association between the psychological and behavioral processes and their effects on health, illness and wellbeing. Scholars in health psychology seek to understand how psychological, behavioral as well as cultural factors affect health and illness. Thus, health psychology is concerned with finding solutions to health and illnrole ofesses through an in-depth understanding of the underlying cultural, psychological and behavioral factors (Hilton & Johnston, 2017). Based on this explanation, health psychology is more of an applied field rather than a general psychology field because instead of providing general information on psychological concepts, it seeks to create interventions and offer solutions to psychological illnesses and problems facing people. The primary aim of all fields in applied psychology is to use reliable psychological approaches to find solutions to problems of human and animal behavior and experiences. Thus, health psychology has a strong resemblance to applied psychology than general psychology.
Role of psychology in medical theories
The core of medical research and practice is to explain the causes, effects and treatment of diseases. Therefore, researchers in the medical field have always dependent on medical theories to understand and explain cause of disease. With an indepth understanding of disease, it becomes easier for medical practitioners to find appropriate treatment options for different diseases further highlighting the value fo medical theories in disease prevention and treatment. The role of psychology in medical theories comes from the fact that psychology also improves the ability of healthcare practitioners to understand disease through these theories. As noted by Friedman & Baum (2016) psychology has become integral to modern medicine. Since psychology primarily focuses on studying the link between mind and body, it has a significant role to play in shaping medical theories especially those that seek to understand and explain the role of the brain and behavior in disease proliferation. In addition, psychology can provide a deeper understanding of mental illnesses, their causes and possible treatment solutions for these diseases.
Friedman, S. E., & Baum, N. (2016). The role of positive psychology in the modern medical practice. The Journal of medical practice management: MPM, 31(5), 287.
Hilton, C. E., & Johnston, L. H. (2017). Health psychology: It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it. Health Psychology Open, 4(2), 2055102917714910.
Inoue, S. (2016). The meaning of behavioral medicine in the public health field—a review of documents related to medical education in Japan. BioPsyc