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Health Psychology


Admission requirements

Equivalent of first year psychology at Leiden and succesfull completion of the course Stress Health and Illness (Stress, Gezondheid en Ziekte) or an equivalent. For information, please contact one of the student counsellors of Psychology


This is a 7 week course with weekly lectures and workgroups. The focus of the lectures is on health promotion (First 3 weeks) and on disease prevention, coping with and intervention in chronic disease (last 4 weeks). During the lectures theoretical models (resp. concerning health promotion, stress-coping with chronic disease and psychological interventions in chronic disease) are introduced and translated and illustrated by means of practical examples. In the workgroups (seminars) students are requested to produce a health promotion leaflet on a specific self-chosen topic (part1) and to diagnose and treat psychosocial problems of a chronic patient (part 2).

Topics of the lectures are:

  • Health promotion and primary prevention of disease

  • Explaining and changing health behaviour;

  • Health promotion at the work site;

  • Symptom perception, illness behaviour and adherence to medical advice

  • Pain and pain management;

  • Diagnosis of psychosocial consequences of and coping with chronic disease;

  • Psychological interventions in chronic disease.
    The workgroups are as congruent as possible with the lectures.

Course objectives

  • Insight in relevant psychological concepts, models, diagnosis and interventions with respect to health and illness behaviour..

  • Applying principles of health promotion to various areas of application.

  • Insight in psychosocial consequences of chronic disease and psychological with a focus ons elf-management and quality of life in patients suffering from chronic diseases.


Health Psychology (2012-2013) is given twice per year, once from November till January and once from February till April :

Semester 1: lectures in English, workgroups in English and Dutch
Semester 2: lectures in Dutch, workgroups in Dutch

Mode of instruction

Lecture : 7 weekly lectures of 3 hours each. Work Group: 7 weekly sessions of 3 hours each. In addition students must complete assignments in relation to some work group sessions. The course is offered in the first and in the second semester. Attendance to the workgroups is mandatory.

Assessment method

  • Essay exam with open questions.

  • Presence at work group sessions is compulsory, as well as the Work Group assignments.

  • Exam content: Chapters of Morrison & Bennet, reader and all power point sheets of the lectures (see blackboard).

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

Reading list

  • Morrison V. & Bennet P. (2009/2012). An Introduction to Health Psychology. Pearson / Prentice Hall, Harlow.

  • Reader Health Psychology (available on Blackboard)


Exam registration

Registration for the (re)exam is not automatic. Students, who haven’t registered, cannot participate in the (re)exam

Electives students

You have to enroll for each course separately.

Contact information

  • Coordinator Lectures:
    Prof. dr. S. Maes,
    Unit Clinical, Health and Neuropsychology, room 2B43
    Tel. +31 (0)71 527 3746

  • Coordinator workgroups:
    Drs. V. Janssen
    Unit Clinical, Health and Neuropsychology, room 2B49
    Tel. +31 (0)71 527 3676