The purpose of this book is to draw together research findings relating psychology to various aspects of the patients' interaction with the health care system and health care providers. A particular feature of the book is that chapters are ordered sequentially to reflect both the patient and health care providers' passage through the health care system. Initial chapters deal with explanations for health and health behaviour, preventive health actions and people's ideas about health and illness. Chapters from the middle section of the book cover topics dealing with use of health care services, interaction between health care providers and patients, and adherence to treatment advice. Subsequent chapters cover topics relating to hospitalisation and reducing the stress of medical care, chronic illness and terminal care. The final chapter examines the potential cost of caring upon both lay and professional carers. Chapter outlines and summaries together with highlighted information and suggestions for further reading enhance the book to make it particularly user-friendly. The book is intended to be accessible for both a psychology undergraduate and post graduate market as well as a range of health professionals including medical students, student nurses, midwives and health visitors as well as other qualified practitioners.