Changing Health Behaviour
Full course description
Changing behaviour requires knowledge and understanding of the methods that can be used to change the most important determinants and environmental factors that drive the behaviour. In this module students will learn which theory-based methods can be used to influence individual or environment level determinants, how one can translate these methods into practical applications, and under which conditions these methods may work. During this module a ‘portfolio’ will be built with theory-based methods and practical applications for changing determinants identified in the parallel module. ‘Mini-lectures’ about these methods will be prepared and presented by small groups of students and supervised by teachers. By presenting one’s work and providing and receiving feedback from peers and tutors, students will have a very active role in the learning activities. In addition to the mini-lectures there will also be summary lectures by teachers. The training aims at writing health messages for different media, for different settings and for different target audiences. Students will learn about theory-based principles for writing attractive, comprehensible, persuasive and culturally appropriate messages through hands on exercises. Assessment in this module consists of a module exam and a writing assignment about the training.
The aim of this module is that students gain broad knowledge and insight into theoretical methods and practical applications that can be used to modify the behavioural determinants that are derived from the most commonly used theories to explain behaviour. Knowledge about theoretical methods and the related theories, the conditions under which they work and how methods can be translated into practical applications and intervention components is essential as general knowledge, but is also the starting point for the process of intervention development. In addition to knowledge about theoretical methods and applications and insight in how to choose for a method/application, it is also essential to have skills in writing health messages. Therefore, a second aim of this course is that students become skilled in writing health messages that are in line with basic principles of successful health communication, for different target audiences and for different media. In terms of learning skills, the focus in this module will be on teaching fellow-students about selected topics. As a result of this unit, students will be equipped with excellent knowledge and skills that prepare them well for the next modules in the curriculum, but will also prepare them for a career in health promotion research or practice.
Specific literature in the form of an E-reader Abraham, C., & Kools, M. (Eds) (2012). Writing health communication. An evidence based guide. London: Sage Publications. Bartholomew, L.K., Parcel, G.S., Kok, G., Gottlieb, N.H., & Fernandez, M.E. (2011). Planning health promotion programs: An intervention mapping approach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.