The Essential Psychology Series bridges the gap between simple introductory texts aimed at pre-university studetns and higher level textbooks for upper level undergraduates. Each volume in the series is designed to provide concise yet up-to-date descriptions of the major areas of psychology for first year undergraduates or students taking psychology as a supplement to other courses of study. The authors, who are acknowledged experts in their field, explain the basics carefully and engagingly without over-simplification often foind in introductory textbooks, at the same time providing the reader with insights into current thinking. Mind-body relationships are the essence of health psychology, and Essential Health Pyschology takes this relationship as its central focus in exploring and explaining the topic to students. The book presents psychological factors in health and illness causation through the concept of 'holism' which posits that health states, health behaviours and cognitions are created by the interaction of other factors or processes within the human condition. This textbook assumes no prior knowledge of psychology, and works through a series of topics and debates towards an understanding of human health and the psychological nature of it. A wide range of health psychology issues are covered, such as pain, stress, health behaviours and communicating with patients, as well as the more unusual but salient topics of palliative care and psychometric testing in a health context. All these areas of investigation are illustrated with examples of real illness states and the psychological contributions to them, including dental health examples.