Health Education and Communication
Full course description
Unhealthy behavior is a main cause of avoidable disease and mortality. In the course ‘Introduction to Public Health’, you already learned that public health is influenced by factors at different environmental levels, namely the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy level. In turn, public health is best achieved by intervening beyond individual-level behavior. For instance, by changing the physical environment, the organization of care-facilities or law and legislation. This course is about planning such health promotion interventions in a systematic way. Specifically, by means of the Intervention Mapping approach. This is a versatile planning framework that is used for intervention development, implementation, and evaluation. This course will focus on the developmental phases (step 1 and 4) and briefly touch on implementation (step 5) and evaluation (step 6). By following a stepwise approach, you will develop a blueprint of an intervention using behavior change methods by working together in small groups.
This course will learn you:
- The systematic development of health promoting interventions that focus on both individual-level behaviour change and changing the environment;
- To systematically develop a theory-based health promoting intervention by following the six-step Intervention Mapping approach (i.e., the focus will be on the developmental stage; step 1 to 4).
- To integrate theory, empirical evidence, and creativity in the development process.
- VSS2102 Behaviour Change or VSS2105 Social Psychology
Recommendations: For this course knowledge of (health) behavior and behaviour-change is required, since it is the core of this course. If your knowledge is limited make an effort to read into these subjects. The course focusses on the planned and systematic development of a health promotion programme using the Intervention Mapping approach and therefore the book on Intervention Mapping (see literature) includes two chapters (2 and 3) about theories of behavior and the environment that can be of help in this respect. Having participated in course VSC1201 Introduction to Public Health is beneficial, but not a prerequisite.
A copy of the Intervention Mapping book will be available in the UCV library (and digitally). The book provides all the information that is required to develop, implement, and evaluate health promotion interventions. This book is not only useful during this course, but also in case you are planning to engage in a Master program that includes studying human behavior. It is also useful to snowball for relevant references on behavior change initiatives. Therefore, we strongly recommend students who have special interest in the topic of this course to buy the book: Planning Health Promotion Programs: An Intervention Mapping Approach, 4th edition (2016) by L. Kay Bartholomew Eldredge, Christina Markham, Robert A.C. Ruiter, Maria E. Fernández, Gerjo Kok, and Guy S. Parcel.