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Hellenic Journal of Psychology 
 Psychological Society of Northern Greece


VOLUME 2, ISSUE 2 INFORMATION



HELLENIC JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY
╔SSN 1790-1391

Edited three times a year by the Psychological Society of Northern Greece (PSNG)
Volume 2, Issue 2, 2005

Legally responsible:
Anastasia Efklides, President of the Psychological Society of Northern Greece
School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece.
Tel: ++30-2310-997374. Fax: ++30-2310-997384. E-mail: efklides@psy.auth.gr


Editors
Editor-in-Chief:  Anastasia Efklides Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Associate Editors: Maria Dikaiou
Angeliki Leondari
Georgios D. Sideridis
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
University of Thessaly, Greece
University of Crete, Greece
Assistant Editors: Irini Dermitzaki
Mary H. Kosmidis
Robert Mellon
Plousia Misailidi
Pagona Roussi
University of Thessaly, Greece
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
University of Crete, Greece
University of Ioannina, Greece
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Guest Editor of Issue 2 Pagona Roussi Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece



Editorial Board

Anastasia Efklides
Diomedes Markoulis
Markku Niemivirta
Jose M. Prieto
Yannis Theodorakis
Maria Tzouriadou
Marja Vauras
Marcel Veenman
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
University of Helsinki, Finland
Complutense University, Madrid, Spain
University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
University of Turku, Finland
University of Leiden, The Netherlands


Publisher:
ELLINIKA GRAMMATA: Emm. Benaki 59, 106 81 Athens, Greece
ďel: ++30-210-3891800 - Fax: ++30-210-3836658
Bookstore: Zood. Pigis 21 & Tzavela 1, 106 81 Athens, Greece

ę Copyright 2004: Psychological Society of Northern Greece (PSNG)
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) for commercial purposes without the written permission of the copyright own-ers. Manuscripts submitted to the journal in no case are returned back


Volume 2, Issue 2, 2005    


HELLENIC JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY
Founded 2004





CURRENT ISSUES IN HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY
Guest Editor: Pagona Roussi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ELLINIKA GRAMMATA


 

CONTENTS


Prologue
          Pagona Roussi ..........................................................................................................VII

Health psychology: A critical review of the field
         Tanya Anagnostopoulou.............. .................................................................................93

Interventions to promote treatment adherence in patients with chronic 
physical illnesses: A review
         Sophia D. Macrodimitris..............................................................................................114

Genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer: A review of 
psychological and behavioral outcomes
        
Pagona Roussi & Suzanne M. Miller................................................................................135

Psychosocial factors and adjustment to breast cancer: A structural 
equation model
         Eyfrosyni Spanea, Fotios Anagnostopoulos, 
Anastasia Kalantzi-Azizi, & Demosthenes Skarlos
......................................................................159

Rethinking health psychologyĺs approach to the study of pain and 
disease
        Michele L. Crossley ....................................................................................................183




Hellenic Journal of Psychology, Vol. 2 (2005), pp. VII-IX

PREFACE 


This special issue of the Hellenic Journal of Psychology is dedicated to the rapidly evolving field of health psychology. Health psychology has been defined as ôThe aggregate of the specific educational, scientific, and professional contributions of the discipline of psychology to the promotion and maintenance of health, the prevention and treatment of illness and the identification of the etiologic and diagnostic correlates of health, illness and related dysfunctionůö (Matarazzo, 1980). Health psychology as a field has grown tremendously in the past 20 years, as researchers have realized that the separation between the ôpsychologicalö and ôphysical/ somaticö is artificial and have acknowledged the impact of behavior on health status. Other factors that have contributed to the explosive growth of health psychology include recent findings in the fields of genetic research and psychoneuroimmunology, as well as the changing nature of the problems we now face, including an aging population and the in-creasing prevalence of chronic illnesses. 
      The emerging field of genetic research has allowed clinicians to identify at risk individuals, who face difficult life decisions and a new urgency for behavioral change. The developing field of psychoneuroimmunology is an exciting new area, as it has highlighted the impact of psychological factors, such as stress, on the immune system. An aging population and the prevalence of chronic illnesses have created new challenges for health psychologists, such as the need for the development of programs for health promotion and for an understanding of the psychosocial issues that arise in response to chronic illness. Recent research efforts also have focused on other important problems of our times, such as the prevention of AIDS and the contribution of psychosocial factors in the development of coronary disease. 
      Finally, research continues in areas in which much progress has already taken place, such as developing a better understanding of coping with illness and efficacious interventions to help people cope with serious illness. Most of the research in health psychology has been guided by the biopsychosocial model, that is, the study of health issues from the standpoint of biological, psychological and social factors acting together (Taylor, 1999). However, in recent years, this model has been criticized by the emerging field of critical health psychology, because, it is argued, it cannot adequately capture the experience of the individual dealing with illness and pain within their specific social and cultural context. In addition, the critique centers around the contention that Ĺmainstreamĺ health psychology does not actually apply the biopsychosocial model in practice, as social, psychological and biological factors are often studied in isolation, in a fragmentary manner. 
      The papers included in this special issue deliberately cover not only diverse areas of research, but also diverse viewpoints of health psychology. Three articles are based on the biopsychosocial model, including a paper on coping with breast cancer among Greek women, and two review papers, one on issues related to genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer and the other on interventions for treatment adherence. In contrast, two articles discuss health psychology from a critical point of view.
      The first paper, by Tanya Anagnostopoulou, presents a review of the field of health psychology from the perspective of critical health psychology. ďhe paper provides a brief overview of the field and its development, the basic assumptions of the biopsychosocial model and a brief description of the sociopolitical factors which facilitated the development of health psychology. Then, it presents the emerging field of critical health psychology and a critical review of prevention and patient care policies employed by mainstream health psychology. In the end, the author discusses her views about the future directions of health psychology, in general, and in Greece, in particular.
      In the second paper, Sophia Macrodimitris reviews psychological interventions for the promotion of treatment adherence in adult patients with chronic physical illnesses, such as hypertension, HIV, and cancer treatments. She highlights difficulties in this area of research and discusses implications, such as the importance of improved scientific rigor for studies incorporating treatment adherence interventions and the need for more research on treatment adherence for more severe illnesses.
      Patzia Roussi and Suzanne Miller review psychological issues related to genetic testing for women at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer (BOC). Specifically, they present the psychological outcomes of receiving and communicating a genetic test result and the impact of genetic testing on risk reduction and screening behaviors. The cognitive-affective health information processing model is used to integrate the research findings. At the end, they discuss the limitations of the existing research and delineate recommendations for future research. 
      Efrosyni Spanea, Fotios Anagnostopoulos, ┴nastasia Kalantzi-Azizi, and Demosthenis Skarlos present a study conducted among Greek women dealing with breast cancer. Guided by models that take into account multiple variables and how they all interact when faced with a serious illness, they conclude that in Greek women, personality and medical variables are related to situation-specific coping strategies. However, only one coping strategy, anxious preoccupation, is positively related to psychological adjustment. 
      In the last paper, Michelle Crossley sets out the rationale for a more critical approach within health psychology to the study of pain and disease. She characterises Ĺmainstreamĺ health psychology's approach to such subject matter as deficient because of its reliance on the increasingly popular Ĺbiopsychosocialĺ model of health care and practice and proposes that this approach comes at the cost of failing to appreciate the experiential nature of peoplesĺ experiences of pain and disease. She concludes that such an approach may be unethical, potentially perpetuating the objectification and depersonalisation experienced by so many people in health care.
      I would like to thank Professor Efklides, editor of the Hellenic Journal of Psychology, for inviting me to prepare this special issue on Health Psychology. I also would like to express my appreciation to the authors for contributing to this special issue. Finally, I am grateful to the anonymous reviewers for offering their time generously to review the articles presented in this issue. 

Thessaloniki, March 2005

Guest Editor

Pagona Roussi
Associate Professor


REFERENCES

Matarazzo, J. D. (1980). Behavioral health and behavioral medicine: Frontiers for a new health psychology. American Psychologist, 35, 807-817.
Taylor, S. E. (1999). Health psychology (4th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.