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Discuss the role of support groups in health psychology interventions.

Support groups play a crucial role in health psychology interventions, providing emotional and practical support to individuals with health conditions.

Support groups bring together individuals who share similar experiences, providing a safe and non-judgmental space where participants can share their feelings and experiences. This can help individuals to feel less isolated and alone, and to develop a sense of belonging and community. Support groups can also provide practical advice and information about managing health conditions, which can be particularly helpful for individuals who are newly diagnosed or struggling to cope with their condition.

Research has shown that participation in support groups can have a positive impact on mental and physical health outcomes. For example, a meta-analysis of 18 studies found that participation in support groups was associated with reduced levels of depression, anxiety, and stress in individuals with chronic illnesses (Petersen et al., 2016). Support groups can also improve self-efficacy and coping skills, which can in turn lead to improved health behaviours and outcomes.

Overall, support groups are a valuable resource for individuals with health conditions, providing emotional and practical support that can improve mental and physical health outcomes. Health psychologists can play a key role in facilitating support groups and ensuring that they are accessible and effective for all participants.

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