15 Credit Points
What can health professionals and health care promoters do to improve their own and others health and wellbeing? What influences people’s health behaviours? Why do people find it difficult to change their health behaviour? What are the most promising strategies for improving health and well-being?
Health behaviours cover a wide range of behaviours (e.g. smoking, physical activity, vaccination, diet, taking medication, and practicing safe sex) and have a major impact on peoples’ health, quality of life, and (healthy) life expectancy. Nevertheless, many people have an unhealthy diet, exercise too little, don’t take their medication as prescribed, smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol, and so forth.
In this course, we will address these challenges and students will learn key theories about health behaviour and behaviour change, including behaviour change techniques, in order to understand how health behaviours can be influenced by a variety of factors within an individual (e.g., conscious and unconscious thoughts, emotions, goals, and decisions), and also by factors in the environment (e.g., the behaviours and expectations of society; the quality of the communication by health care professionals; or availability and affordability of healthy options in the environment).
Health psychologists and health professionals are expected to be able to develop, evaluate and implement intervention programs to promote healthier behaviour, through changing individuals and their environment.
Within this course you will develop your understanding of health behaviours, what influences them and how to change them. You will experience the role of health behaviours from both the participant’s and researcher view, by developing, participating in and analysing your own behavioural intervention.
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