Reviews

Health psychology theory, research and practice

The first edition of this book, published in 2000, proved to be extremely popular with a wide range of health professionals and the topic is, of course, of great relevance to nurses. The preface describes this as an indepth introduction to the field of health psychology. It is recommended as an advanced undergraduate and postgraduate resource, covering the fields of health promotion, disease prevention and health care.

The six authors are all psychologists with an established track record in health psychology and four of the authors teach on established health psychology programmes in the UK. The format and layout of the book reflects the teaching background of the authors and I was particularly impressed by the summary boxes, key terms and tables, which will undoubtedly assist those following taught courses.

The book also has a companion website that contains chapter summaries, video clips of the authors and key researchers discussing hot topics, click links to downloadable related articles, links to relevant websites and, for lecturers, PowerPoint slides. These slides will be of considerable assistance to those who teach these programmes and I am sure they will be very suitable for nursing lecturers.

As a resource for those working in mental health areas, I can strongly recommend this book. The chapters on diet, alcohol, tobacco, sexual behaviour and

...

The six authors are all psychologists with an established track record in health psychology and four of the authors teach on established health psychology programmes in the UK. The format and layout of the book reflects the teaching background of the authors and I was particularly impressed by the summary boxes, key terms and tables, which will undoubtedly assist those following taught courses.

The book also has a companion website that contains chapter summaries, video clips of the authors and key researchers discussing hot topics, click links to downloadable related articles, links to relevant websites and, for lecturers, PowerPoint slides. These slides will be of considerable assistance to those who teach these programmes and I am sure they will be very suitable for nursing lecturers.

As a resource for those working in mental health areas, I can strongly recommend this book. The chapters on diet, alcohol, tobacco, sexual behaviour and exercise are relevant for those working with people with long-term mental illnesses, who, of course, have greatly increased risk of health problems connected to these areas. There is a short chapter on stress and coping, which provides a useful outline of the area, but those working with particular ‘stress’ populations will need to follow up some of the useful references provided to obtain the detail that they will require.

This is a book written by psychologists, primarily for psychologists. However, I was very pleased to see that the social context was clearly set out and I was also pleased to see that the inevitable ‘psychologist speak’ was kept to a minimum. The authors have been able to provide plain English accounts of a range of topics and I found that the chapters were easy to read and to follow.

This book can be recommended to undergraduates who need to follow a health psychology module and, although £24.99 is a lot of money for an undergraduate, I think that in terms of its usefulness across a range of health areas, this might be money well spent. As for nurses following Masters programmes, I would only recommend buying this book if health psychology is the subject of a specific module.

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?