Health psychology is a trend in psychology that basically concentrates on the physical health and the related problems. It draws attention to the fact that the way in our health develops is affected by biological, psychological and social factors impacting on each other. For that reason health psychologists take a role in campaigns aiming to maintain health and to prevent diseases (e.g. enhancing people’s participation in screening, introducing healthy lifestyle, promoting quit-smoking), support doctor-patient relationships and provide psychological help to persons suffering from chronic physical diseases.
Coping with a chronic disease, the diagnostic process itself, the varying interventions and overcoming the symptoms can be extraordinarily challenging and trying. Patients often report on conditions with negative mood, intense stress and anxiety. This may be particularly true for coronavirus infection which can heavily and negatively affect mental health owing to the uncertainty of symptoms, the extended duration of the recovery process and the development of lingering symptoms. Coping with a still unknown disease may be stressful due to the symptoms that prevail long after the recovery, like chronic fatigue or sleep disorders which can hinder the return to the previous lifestyle. Since the last year has already exhausted our resources significantly, all these symptoms and difficulties can have greater effect on our mental wellness than the similar challenges we had needed to face before.
The aim of the health psychologists is – on the basis of the cooperation with physicians – to provide such individualized psychological support to patients which can develop stress management, help to deal with their symptoms and contribute to improve both psychological and physical well-being.