Health Psychology

4 ECTS / Modular / English

This elective CU is a part of the training offer in the 2nd year.

Intended learning outcomes (knowledge, skills and competences to be developed by the students)

Regarding knowledge, students should:

  • identify behavioral determinants of health (e.g., smoking);
  • describe the main health behavior theories (e.g., theory of planned behavior);
  • enumerate psychological factors relevant to health promotion (e.g., health literacy);
  • enumerate psychological factors relevant to illness development (e.g., hostility);
  • understand the impact of illness;
  • enumerate factors influencing psychosocial adaptation to illness (e.g., cognitive appraisals).

Regarding technical skills, students should know how to:

  • communicate medical information to patients;
  • implement motivational interviewing;
  • communicate bad news to patients.



Introduction to health psychology:

  • Behavioral determinants of health.
  • Health behavior theories.

Health promotion:

  • Psychological influence factors (e.g., health literacy, adherence, risk perception, help-seeking).
  • Intervention of medical professionals (e.g., transmission of information, motivational interviewing).

Illness management:

  • Psychological influence factors in illness development (e.g., neuroticism, hostility, stress).
  • Psychosocial impact and adaptation to illness.
  • Intervention of medical professionals (e.g., communication of bad news).


Assistant Professor
Participation in Católica Medical School Coordination of the curricular unit Health Psychology