Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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0 points, SCA Band 1, 0.000 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Kate Taylor


This unit provides an advanced level introduction to the growing field of health psychology. The major systems of the body that underlie health and illness will be reviewed, including the nervous system, endocrine system, immune system and cardiovascular system. The prevalence of major chronic diseases will be discussed and factors related to prevalence. Behaviour and lifestyle as they relate to health and illness will be reviewed. Health promotion and the prevention of disease will be discussed.


By the completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

  1. Understand the scope of the related fields of health psychology and behavioural medicine, and their history.
  2. Understand the systems of the body that underlie health and disease.
  3. Comprehend the prevalence of different chronic diseases and factors that affect prevalence rates.
  4. Understand how behaviour and lifestyle relates to health.
  5. Understand the main models of health behaviour and behaviour change.
  6. Understand the goals and methods of health promotion and the prevention of disease.
  7. Understand how to develop conceptual models of patient problems, and how to plan and implement interventions based on the model and the relevant empirical literature.
  8. Understand the major chronic diseases that affect morbidity and mortality, that is, cancer and cardiovascular disease, from a behavioural perspective.
  9. Understand how to assess and manage, or contribute to the management, of a number of exemplar disorders/problems namely chronic headache, smoking tobacco, overweight and obesity, cancer and cardiovascular disease.
  10. Understand how to increase patient adherence with advice from health professionals.
  11. Understand models of stress and the stress-moderating variables of coping and social support; how to measure these constructs; and methods of stress management.
  12. Understanding how patients feel when asked by psychologists to complete 'homework assignments' and self-monitoring.


Satisfactory attendance (80%) and participation in each seminar are required to pass the unit.
Experience Summary 1 (Hurdle)
Experience Summary 2 (Hurdle)
Examination (100%)

Chief examiner(s)


Must be enrolled in Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology