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PSY 320 Using Health Services Study Notes Exam III

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PSY 320 Exam 3 Notes
3/14/2018
Chapter 8: Using Health Services
Recognition and interpretation of symptoms
Who uses health services?
Misusing health services
Recognition of Symptoms
Individual Differences
o Hypochondriacs believe normal bodily symptoms are indicators of illness
o Neurotic people either exaggerate symptoms or are more attentive to real
symptoms
Attentional Differences
o People who are focused on themselves are quicker to notice symptoms
o People with more distractions and who attend less to themselves experience
fewer symptoms
Situational Factors
o Boring situations make people more attentive to symptoms
o Medical Students’ disease: Students believing they are ill with the same illness
about which they are studying
Stress
o Stress-related physiological changes are interpreted as symptoms of illness
Mood
o Affects perception about symptoms and perceived vulnerability to illness
Interpretation of Symptoms
Prior experience- Common disorders are regarded as less serious than rare disorders
Expectations- Unexpected symptoms are ignored and expected symptoms are amplified
Seriousness of the symptoms- Treatment is sought only when the symptom:
o Affects a highly valued body part
o Causes pain
Commonsense Model of Illness
Commonsense beliefs- Held by people about their symptoms and illnesses
o Result in organized illness representations
Includes basic information about an illness
o Identity- Name of the illness
o Causes- Factors believed to have led to the illness
Consequences- Symptoms, treatments, and their implications for quality of life
Time line- Length of time the illness is expected to last
Control/cure- Whether the person believes the illness can be managed or cured
Coherence- How well these beliefs represent the disorder
Acute Illness

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o Believed to be caused by viral or bacterial agents
o Short in duration, with no long-term consequences
Chronic Illness
o Believed to be caused by multiple factors
o Long in duration, with severe consequences
Cyclic Illness
o Alternating periods of either no symptoms or many symptoms
Lay Referral Network
Family and friends who offer their own interpretations of symptoms way before the
treatment is sought
Advice is offered regarding:
o What the symptom means
o Advisability of seeking medical treatment
o Various home remedies
The Internet
2/3 of internet users have used it to find health information
Many physicians depend on it for the most up-to-date information on illnesses and
treatments
In-Depth Interviewing
Video
Who Uses Health Services?
Age- Infants and the elderly use it most frequently
Gender
o Women use it more than men
Pregnancy and childbirth account for it
Women have better homeostatic mechanisms
Women’s medical care is more fragmented
o Men are expected to ignore pain and not give in to illness
Social class and culture- Lower social classes use it less than affluent ones
Social psychological factors
o Individual’s attitudes and beliefs toward health services and symptoms
o Children learn how to use health services from their parents
Using Health Services for Emotional Disturbances
Psychological complaints- Nonmedical complaints that stem from anxiety and
depression
People use health services for psychological complaints as:
o They are accompanied by physical symptoms
o Medical disorders are perceived to be more legitimate than psychological ones

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PSY 320 Exam 3 Notes 3/14/2018 • • • Chapter 8: Using Health Services Recognition and interpretation of symptoms Who uses health services? Misusing health services Recognition of Symptoms • Individual Differences o Hypochondriacs believe normal bodily symptoms are indicators of illness o Neurotic people either exaggerate symptoms or are more attentive to real symptoms • Attentional Differences o People who are focused on themselves are quicker to notice symptoms o People with more distractions and who attend less to themselves experience fewer symptoms • Situational Factors o Boring situations make people more attentive to symptoms o Medical Students’ disease: Students believing they are ill with the same illness about which they are studying • Stress o Stress-related physiological changes are interpreted as symptoms of illness • Mood o Affects perception about symptoms and perceived vulnerability to illness Interpretation of Symptoms • Prior experience- Common disorders are regarded as less serious than rare disorders • Expectations- Unexpected symptoms are ignored and expected symptoms are amplified • Seriousness of the symptoms- Treatment is sought only when the symptom: o Affects a highly valued body part o Causes pain Commonsense Model of Illness • Commonsense beliefs- Held by people about their symptoms and illnesses o Result in organized illness representations • Includes basic information about an illness o Identity- Name of the illness o ...
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