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Leiden University

Population Health: Health & Health Behaviour

Leiden University via Coursera


In this introduction course on Health and Health Behaviour you will learn about the fundamentals of health psychology. What role does our behaviour, our cognitions and emotions, and our environment play in our health status? We’ll start with unraveling health behavior, and quite quickly put this knowledge in the perspective of health care and dealing with illness. We’ll look at what is needed for people to cope with a disease and to keep up their quality of life as good as possible. How people can be optimally supported in their healthcare process, creating a collaboration between care providers and patients. Lastly we will see how all these pieces of a puzzle can be used in creating actual interventions in healthcare and what is essential to disseminate them in healthcare practice. By following this course you'll get a better understanding of why we behave as we do and how this knowledge can be optimally used to improve health care!


  • Welcome to Leiden University
    • Welcome to the course Population Health: Health and health behaviour! In this module you will get to know what the scope of this course is and you will learn how to be successful at online studying.
  • Understanding health behaviour
    • In this module we are aiming to find out how health behaviour works. We’ll address theory to unravel health behaviour and look at models that help us explain and change health behaviour. You will also apply this to yourself. In the assignments, you will look at your own health behaviour, using theory to explain it and will decide on determinants you could intervene upon. So, at the end of this module you might have been inspired to make an actual behaviour change!
  • Understanding health behaviour in the context of illness
    • Dealing with a health condition often has a large impact on a person’s daily life. This impact will be the topic of this module. We’ll address the broad range of life domains that a (chronic) condition has an effect on and what it takes to self-manage a health condition. Also, we’ll look at what contextual factors play a role in coping and self-management of a health condition and how this may change over time. In the assignments, you will look into the impact that a disease has on a patient's life, discuss this with someone in your own environment and will use the addressed theory to reflect on that.
  • Empowering patients
    • In this module we dive into patient-centered care; what it encompasses and how it can be optimalised. You’ll gain insight into strategies and interventions regarding patient empowerment, and we discuss how these can be employed taking risk factors, resilience and (life) goals into account. In the assignments, you will reflect on strategies for motivational interviewing, see how a decision aid works for you and discuss the feasibility of digital tools on a worldwide level.
  • From theory to intervention
    • In the previous modules we discussed theory and methods to enhance health behavior in order to increase quality of life and improve health care. In this module we’ll set out six steps on how to develop, implement and evaluate theory-based interventions in health care, in order to apply theory into clinical practice. In the assignments, you will use this theory and some scientific papers to briefly go through all the steps of intervention planning yourself.

Taught by

Roos van der Vaart


4 rating at Coursera based on 32 ratings

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