Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201200121
Behavioural Medicine
Course infoSchedule
Course module201200121
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact persondr. E. Taal
dr. C. Bode
dr. C.H.C. Drossaert
Contactperson for the course
dr. E. Taal
dr. E. Taal
Academic year2020
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
After successful completion of this course, the student:
• is able to describe and explain the role of psychological theories and processes in:
  [1] the experience of and adaptation to (chronic) illness (e.g. stress, coping, illness cognitions, stigma,
       social support),
  [2] disease-related behaviours (e.g. help-seeking, adherence to treatment, self-management).
• is able to critically appraise these theories and recognize them in examples of daily life.
• has some knowledge about the organization of care (structure, financing, relevant stakeholders, etc)  in the Netherlands or in his/her own country of origin.
• is able to describe the main psychological processes related to caring for people with (chronic) health problems, including patient-provider interaction and informal caregiving.
. is able to describe normal development and developmental tasks for all life phases and understands how a person’s phase in the life span may influence adaptation to disease and the effectiveness of interventions.
• is able to find existing psychological interventions, describe these in an understandable and inspiring way, and to relate them to different phases of the “patient journey” and to different phases in the lifespan.
• has basic knowledge (about prevalence, cause, symptoms, course and consequences for quality of life) of a number of different life threatening and chronic diseases.

• is able to critically evaluate an existing intervention and  to critically evaluate an evaluation study of a psychological intervention.
• is able to prepare and lead a discussion with fellow students, and to critically reflect upon his/her own professional skills in this respect.

In what way does this master’s course prepare students for the Psychology work field?
In this course students learn about the structure of the health care system in the Netherlands. They get acquainted with the organization, financing and legislation of health care. One or two guest speakers are invited to tell students about their work as a psychologist in a health care organization and the projects they are working on. Students learn to describe the prevalence, risk factors, symptoms, course and impact on quality of life of some of the most common somatic diseases and psychological interventions for these diseases that are currently applied in general and specialized health care. Students become aware of the impact of the life phase for living with chronic illness from the perspective of patients and also professionals. These differentiated perspectives help in the work field to adapt to various target groups.  In the professional skills component students learn how to prepare, lead and wrap up a discussion with fellow students about a behavioural medicine theme. For health psychologists who often have to organize support for health activities in very different settings, these professional leadership skills reflect very important qualities. Reflection on the course of the discussion, students own role in this and identifying the next steps in their professional development are part of the professional skills component.
In this course you will gain in-depth knowledge about the interaction between mental and physical processes in people with somatic disorders. Topics are related to the patient’s “lllness journey” and include: symptom interpretation and help-seeking behaviour, coping with the stress of becoming ill, patient-provider communication, adherence to treatment and self-management, informal caregiving and terminal (or palliative) care. You will learn to identify potential psychological interventions in the care process for a particular disease, and you will study several current interventions that have been the subject of scientific study.

In addition, you will learn about developmental stages from a life span perspective and will discover the impact of illness for patients in different phases of their life. You will learn to become sensitized for age appropriate approaches and interventions.

In a small group you will prepare a presentation about the psychological aspects of one particular chronic disease (e.g. diabetes, stroke, HIV, dementia, cancer) and review a recent article about a psychological intervention (e.g., self-management training, decision aid, motivational interviewing, mindfulness, music therapy).

In the professional skills part in this course you will learn how to prepare and lead a discussion with your fellow students about a topic in behavioural medicine and how to reflect on your behaviour related to this task.

The course contents are illustrated by ongoing research from the Centre for eHealth & Wellbeing Research at the Department of PHT on adaptation to chronic somatic diseases, patient empowerment and patient-provider interaction.
Assumed previous knowledge
Bachelor or pre-master Psychology UT
Participating study
Master Psychology
Required materials
Morrison, V. & Bennett, P. (2016). An introduction to health psychology (4th ed.). Harlow, UK: Pearson Education Limited. ISBN: 978-1292003139
online available articles
Recommended materials
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes

Presence dutyYes

Written exam and Present.

Kies de Nederlandse taal