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Psychology 811

PSYC 811
Health Psychology

1. Catalog Entry

PSYC 811
Health Psychology

Prerequisites: Admission into Psy.D. program or permission of instructor

Credit hours (3)

This course covers the practice of health psychology and includes an overview of preventive, assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic intervention services relative to psychological and physical health. Students will cover models of integrated care, health disparities, and awareness of cultural issues impacting health and health care services.  Special attention will be focused on cultural diversity and on working with underserved and marginalized populations including those living in rural areas.

2. Detailed Description of Course

This course may include the following topics:
• Foundations of Health Psychology
    a) Historical aspects
    b) Biopsychosocial model
    c) Evidence based practice
    d) Prevention
    e) Stress, coping, and health
    f) Social support
    g) Designing and implanting interventions promote health
    h) Behavior change models
• Common Behavioral Health Concerns and Targeted Interventions
    a) Depression and Anxiety
    b) Insomnia
    c) Health behaviors including tobacco use, overeating, and physical inactivity
    d) Diabetes
    e) Substance use disorders
    f) Pain disorders
    g) Cardiovascular disease
• Health Disparities
    a) Rural populations in the US and around the world
    b) Historical factors related to marginalization
    c) Racial and ethnic minorities
    d) Cultural competence among health care providers
    e) Gender, sexual orientation, and healthcare
    f) Capacity building in underserved populations
• Roles and Responsibilities for Psychologists
    a) Models of integrated care
    b) Interprofessional collaboration
    c) Emerging practice arenas for psychologists
    d) Reproductive health
    e) Issues in health care reform

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will offer students an overview of psychologists’ roles in providing evidence based behavioral health care in a variety of settings. The course covers preventive, assessment, diagnostic and therapeutic intervention services relative to psychological and physical health. Students will cover models of integrated care, health disparities, and cultural issues impacting health and health care services.  Special attention will focus on diversity and on working with underserved and marginalized populations including those living in rural areas. Students will select specific behavioral health concerns and will research targeted interventions used in a health psychology context. Epidemiological data and risk factors related to the health concern, the theoretical background of the intervention, and the empirical evidence supporting the intervention will be described.  The course will include a significant amount of reading concerning cultural competence in working with diverse populations.  The students will be evaluated on their literature review and tested on assigned readings and presentations.  The course will be conducted as a seminar with an emphasis on student participation.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the end of this course the student should be able to:
• Describe the foundations of health psychology including relevant historical factors, models of health and behavior change, and theories related to biopsychosocial functioning.    
• Identify the most common behavioral health concerns encountered in health care settings.
• Describe prevention strategies that can enhance health and well-being and minimize negative consequences for individuals and groups.
• Define health disparities and describe the social, political, economic, and cultural factors that impact their maintenance as well as strategies for remediation.
• Apply knowledge of the role of culture in interactions in assessment, treatment, and consultation with diverse others in health care settings.
• Demonstrate knowledge of interventions and explanations for their use based on empirically based practices
• Demonstrate knowledge of how participating in interdisciplinary collaboration/consultation can be directed toward shared goals.
• Describe the different skills and competencies psychologists should develop to be effective in health psychology settings.
• Demonstrate awareness of social justice factors in all of the above.

5. Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed using several measures, which will include a research paper, class participation, and the final exam.

6. Other Course Information

None

Review and Approval
May 7, 2014