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Cultural Aspects of Health and Health Care


Admission requirements

Propedeuse-course Personality, Clinical and Health Psychology or similar course.


This course addresses a psychological perspective on culture, health, disease and health care. Topics covered by the course are:

  • migration

  • personality and culture

  • a cultural perspective on health beliefs

  • health risk perception and health behaviour

  • cultural aspects of coping with stress and adaptation to traumatic events

  • pain and culture

  • culture and the development of psychopathology in children and adolescents

  • a cultural perspective on psychopathology

  • and cultural aspects of health care use (healers, the professional sector and in- and outpatient settings)

  • communication with health care professionals.

In this respect attention will be paid to cultural aspects of core psychological concepts and models.


Cultural Aspects of Health and Health Care (2010-2011):

Mode of instruction

7 lectures, during 7 weeks, 3 hours per lecture.

  • Lecture 1: Psychological perspectives on culture, health and illness

  • Lecture 2: Life-style, culture and health

  • Lecture 3: Stress, trauma, pain and culture

  • Lecture 4: Cultural aspects of psychopathology in children and adolescents

  • Lecture 5: Psychopathology and culture

  • Lecture 6: Culture and somatic health care

  • Lecture 7: Culture and mental health care

Assessment method

Exam with yes/no questions, additionally a four page paper on a specific topic related to the course (see Blackboard), and a poster presentation.

From January 1, 2006 the Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted the Ephorus system to be used by instructors for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. Please see the information concerning fraud .


Information on blackboard.leidenuniv.nl

Reading list

  • C.G. Helman (2007). Culture, Health and Illness (5th edition), Hodder Arnold, London

  • A set of articles (see Blackboard)


Introduction and enrolment for courses of the first semester will take place in August 2010. Introduction and enrolment for courses of the second semester will take place in January 2011. More information will be available at the website of the Institute of Psychology.

NB: Exam registration will take place via uSis, and will be open between a month and a week before the (re)exam. Students who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the exam.

Electives students
You have to enroll for each course separately. Read more on the electives (in Dutch)

Contact information

Prof.dr. S. Maes
Sectie Klinische, Gezondheids en Neuropsychologie, Room 2B43
Tel. +31 (0)71 527 3746
E-mail: maes@fsw.leidenuniv.nl