Health Beliefs and Coping with Chronic Diseases argues that a patient's faith, cultural beliefs and attitude play a critical role in his/her recovery from various chronic diseases. Based on empirical studies conducted by the author and his colleagues, it highlights the role of social, psychological and spiritual factors in restoring and maintaining good health. In traditional societies like India, people frequently make attributions to God and Karma theory, which have significant bearings on the way they seek remedies-both medicinal and spiritual, and may visit both a medical doctor and a faith healer. Multiple therapeutic paradigms which offer their services need to be understood from the psycho-social-spiritual perspective as well.
Ajit K Dalal is currently Writer-in Residence at the Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha, Maharashtra. He has recently retired as a professor of psychology from the University of Allahabad. He was the Head of Psychology Department (2011-2012) and had held several other academic positions at the university. He was the editor of an international journal, Psychology and Developing Societies (2001-2011). He is also on editorial boards of several other journals. Professor Dalal received the Fulbright Senior Fellowship in 1982. He worked at the University of California, Los Angeles and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also a recipient of the University Grants Commission's (UGC) Career Award (1990-1993), Rockefeller Foundation Award (1992) and the Senior Research Fellowship (1998 and 2012) from Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR). He was an adjunct professor at Queen's University, Canada (1992-1998) and was a visiting faculty at several institutions, including National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi; Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and University of Calcutta, Kolkata. Professor Dalal has published his work in the areas such as causal attribution, health beliefs and healing traditions of India and Indian psychology. He has published about 95 research articles and book chapters. He has also published several books; prominent among them are: Attribution Theory and Research (1988), New Directions in Indian Psychology (Vol. 1) (with G. Misra, 2002), Social Dimensions of Health (with S. Ray, 2005), Handbook of Indian Psychology (with K. R. Rao and A. C. Paranjpe, 2008), New Directions in Health Psychology (with G. Misra, 2011), Qualitative Research on Well-Being and Self-Growth: Contemporary Indian Perspectives (with R. Priya, 2014) and Health Beliefs and Coping with Chronic Diseases (2015).