Kristine Mārtinsone and Jelena Kolesnikova
In Latvia, the field of the health psychology (HP) is well represented both in scientific research and in the system of training and continuing education of the specialists.
A specialized course in HP is included in the curriculum of psychology students at the bachelor and master level. In Latvia, HP is included in the standard of the profession of psychologist, which states that the graduates of the professional program have mastered the basic issues of this field.
HP is incorporated in the professional continuing education programs, and the topics on HP are included in the investigations.
At the same time, in Latvia HP is not represented as a separate discipline in healthcare system and other areas of psychological work, but the theories\elements\methods\interventions of HP are used in the practice of clinical, social and educational psychologists, as well as in the research on these fields.
In 2012, the work has begun to identify and consolidate the frame of the HP, as well as to develop a regulation for elaboration of a national body for HP, int. al., for establishing a HP master program.
The main task is to integrate HP in the healthcare system within a registered working status for psychologist.
Education, training and professionalisation:
A Master program on HP in accordance with EHPS guidelines is currently in preparation. At the same time, it should be emphasized that a specialized course in HP is included in the curriculum of psychology students at the bachelor and master level. HP is also included in the professional further education and seminars (for instance, burn-out, health plans, pain management, nutrition counseling, stress management, etc.).
In Latvia, a number of investigations were conducted and theses were defended on the topics within the scope of clinical health psychology and social health psychology (int. al., on various behavioural and emotional disorders in different age and among different groups of people, crises and coping, addictive behaviour and its prevention, etc, as well as investigations related to the quality of life, well-being, resilience, etc.).
The results of these investigations have been published both in local issues in Latvian (int. al., scientific proceedings at different institutions of higher educations like University of Latvia, Riga Stradins university, Daugavpils University, Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy, etc.), and in the journal Baltic Journal of Psychology in English, which is also available in the databases (for instance, EBSCO).
The results of various investigations regarding the HP topics have been also published in different journals on psychology in Europe and America.
In Latvia, one monograph on HP was issued.