Health Psychology

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1. Understand the factors that lead to progress in this new area of intervention.

2. Recognize the main theories of intervention in Health Psychology.

3. Understand changes in the concept of health and disease.

4. Recognize the different application contexts: promoting and protecting health, preventing and treating disease.

5. Reflecting on the issues of stress, coping and pain.

6. Identify the various areas of intervention and the role played by the health psychologist.


1. Origin, context and characteristics in the field of Health Psychology
1.1. The antecedents of Health Psychology
1.1.2. The Biomedical Model.
1.1.3. Psychosomatic medicine, behavioral health and behavioral medicine
1.2. The Biopsychosocial model of health and disease
1.3. The objectives of Health Psychology.
2. Contexts of application
2.1. Health promotion and protection
2.2. Prevention and treatment of disease
3. The evolution of concepts of health and disease
3.1. Beliefs about disease
3.2. Health belief models.
3.2.1. Cognitive Models
3.2.2. Models of Social Cognition
3.3. Illness beliefs
3.3.1. Model of self-regulation of illness
3.3.2. Theory of cognitive adaptation
4. Major themes in Health Psychology
4.1. Coping strategies
4.2. Stress
4.3. Pain
5. Areas of intervention
5.1. Chronic diseases: heart disease and cancer
5.2. Palliative care
5.3. Terminal illness

Teaching Methodologies

This curricular unit is organized in lectures and theoretical / practical lessons. Lectures use mainly expository and interrogative methods. The theoretical /practical classes will focus on discussion of scientific papers and the preparation of specific themes in groups of two or three students. Such preparation will lead both to an oral presentation in class and a written paper. Oral presentations take about half an hour and are followed by 15 minute debates. Written papers should not exceed 10 pages (excluding title page and bibliography).


Bennett, P.; Murphy, S. (1999). Psicologia e promoção da saúde. Lisboa: Climepsi Editores.

Carvalho Teixeira, J. (Org.), (2007). Psicologia da Saúde. Contextos e Áreas de Intervenção. Lisboa: Climepsi Editores.

Carvalho Teixeira, J. (2004). Psicologia da saúde. Análise Psicológica, 3 (XXII): pp. 441-448.

Leal, I. (2006). Perspectivas em Psicologia da Saúde. Coimbra: Quarteto.

Ogden, J. (2004). Psicologia da Saúde (2ª Ed.). Lisboa: Climepsi Editores.

Paul, C.; Fonseca, A. (2001). Psicossociologia da saúde. Lisboa: Climepsi Editores.

Ribeiro, J. (2007). Introdução à Psicologia da Saúde(2ª Ed.). Coimbra: Quarteto.

Straub, R. (2005). Psicologia da Saúde. Porto Alegre: Artmed.

Trindade, I. & Carvalho Teixeira, J. (2000). Psicologia nos Cuidados de Saúde Primários. Lisboa: Climepsi Editores.

Viana, V.; Barbosa, M. & Guimarães, J. (2007). Doença Crónica na criança: factores familiares e qualidade de vida. Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças, 8 (1), pp. 115-125.



ECTS Credits



  • Teóricas - 30 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 30 hours

Evaluation Methodology

  • 1st Frequency: 60%
  • Practical component: 40%