Health Psychology in Backdrop of COVID-19

Health psychology is a science that originates from biology, clinical psychology, medicine, social psychology and psychophysiology. It takes into account the work of clinical health psychologists, social workers, epidemiologists, and public health professionals. This field recognizes that each individual bears his/her personal sense of responsibility for his or her own health and alongside, the governments also play a significant role, having a sense of their social responsibility. Health Psychology considers two major science-based perspectives:

Firstly, the Biomedical model of health. This scientific viewpoint treats illnesses as biological problems with only biomedical solutions. And on the other hand, lies the Biopsychosocial Model of health, which asserts that any illness has a biological, psychological, social as well as a cultural component.

In a post-Covid world, it seems really important to consider the role of health psychology in understanding, responding, adapting and coping with the threat of this novel virus. This further necessitates the physiological, psychological and psychosocial impact of the global pandemic, especially on the wellbeing of the frontline healthcare providers. The pandemic has brought profound changes in social, psychological and health related behaviors. According to the WHO, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted mental health services in 93% of countries globally. COVID-19 itself can lead to neurological and mental health complications, resulting in stomach ulcers, stroke, heart diseases, agitation, and delirium. Apart from this, people experiencing pre-existing neurological, mental, or substance use disorders are found to be more vulnerable to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Road Blocks that prevent countries from addressing the health challenges are poorly prepared health systems, stigma, and inadequate funding. Lastly, media and public health policies play an imperative role in bringing a change. They should sensitize and promote self-awareness, self-help within the home setting to prevent later strains on the healthcare system. This is extremely critical in the contemporary scenario, as it is needed to understand the short and long-term outcomes of the pandemic, which has impacted people across the world.

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