Discussion Questions

A. What do we mean when we use the term ‘resilience’? Provide a working definition of ‘resilience’. Are there factors beyond those discussed in the textbook that might contribute to resilience?

B. Describe three patterns of comorbidity that might exist in the context of heart disease and depression. What do you suppose are possible underlying mechanisms for comorbidity between these two diseases?

C. Is patient compliance a major factor that clinicians must deal with in treating them? Why do you think this might be a problem? Can you think of strategies that could be used to increase treatment compliance in patients?

D. What are the benefits of assigning a patient to a multi-disciplinary team, rather than to a single specialist? Are there any disadvantages to adopting this approach?

E. Should treatment approaches to a disease target the causes or the symptoms of the disease? Are there instances in which simply treating symptoms ought to be enough?

F. We saw COVID-19 spread from country to country, infecting more people and causing more deaths than most people had expected. There had been repeated warnings that a pandemic would emerge at some time in the near future. Is there room for health psychologists to do anything to prevent and treat such a horrid disease in the future?

G. People frequently have preconceived ideas about all sorts of health-related issues, often reinforced by their friends or from media reports. To what extent do our own preconceived ideas undermine efforts to change those attitudes and beliefs? Is there a way of modifying these well-entrenched attitudes?

H. It is often said that epidemiology is the cornerstone of public health, being essential in identifying the many risk factors for diseases, as well as to suggest targets for interventions to enhance health and well-being. Can health psychology contribute substantially to epidemiological work, or is health psychology merely an appendage of the vast field of epidemiology?