Ordem dos Psicólogos

“Psychology for Health – Contributions to Policy Making”

The Order presents the main conclusions of the EFPA Conference


The Order was present at the Conference of Experts which took place in Brussels from the 20th to the 21st of September 2012. This conference involves experts from different area related to the Promotion of Health and the Prevention of Disease, namely Health Care, Companies, Schools, Sports and OAP Institutions. The main conclusions of the conference ‘Major health gains to be expected from psychology’, highlight the cost-effectiveness of psychological interventions in the different stages of the cycle of life, and also the contribution of Health Psychology in the Promotion of Health and the Prevention of disease: pathologies associated with the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and inadequate nutrition may be significantly reduced through strategies for the adoption of healthier life styles. Strategies for the prevention of disease reduce the occurrence of depression and anxiety in approximately 25%.

This conference was attended by more than 75 specialists in Psychology, representatives from the World Health Organisation and experts from the European Commission.

Samuel Antunes and David Neto (both members of the Board) were present in representation of OPP.

The topics discussed were based on public health statistics, costs and the efficiency of physiological interventions in health. The studies presented show that psychological interventions improve the quality of life, while simultaneously reducing costs with health. The return on investment in promoting health at work is about 10:1. Regarding bullying at schools, the return is 14:1 and in the case of behavioural disturbances, the return may reach 70:1. Psychological Intervention in depression and in the anxiety of patients with a chronic pathology such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer or asthma may reduce total costs from the disease by about 20%.

The specialists also discussed issues related to behaviour related to specific pathologies, the different interventions in mental health and the added value of the psychological interventions in the different stages of the cycle of life.

The General Director of Health and Consumers (European Committee), Paola Testori-Coggi, referred to the pertinence of including contributions from Psychology in the implementation of the European Health Strategy. Paola Testori-Coggi stated, during the opening of the Conference, the importance of psychological intervention in reducing anxiety, depression and stress and the contribution of Psychology in the implementation of European strategies, as is the case of the “Health in all Policies” strategy.

To view the Press Release for this Conference, press aqui.