This unit (APC7006) of study will introduce the field of clinical health psychology together with theoretical frameworks linking psychological and physical aspects of health and illness and key concepts relevant to health and medical psychology. Learning will focus on the application of clinical psychology principles and techniques to the promotion and maintenance of health and the prevention and treatment of illness. Psychological assessment within health settings and adherence to treatment and preparation for medical procedures will be covered. Applications of clinical psychology will be considered across a range of health settings including primary health and hospital in-patient/outpatient services. Other factors such as various medical conditions (including chronic, acute and psychosomatic), psychosocial determinants of health (violence against women, child sexual assault, socioeconomic status, indigenous background), and life stages (e.g. paediatric, adolescent, adult and aged) are considered. The role of clinical psychologists in developing behaviour change programs for various levels of prevention will be discussed.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Explicate an understanding of theoretical frameworks and models relevant to clinical health psychology;  
  2. Implement core clinical psychology skills and specialised assessment for health related presentations in various patient groups;  
  3. Exhibit an understanding of the principles of behaviour change in the health context;  
  4. Contextualize an understanding of the psychological impact of illness and the effect of psychological factors on the course of illness;  
  5. Critically examine the principles of health promotion, prevention, and intervention in a cultural and community context, including within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; and  
  6. Explicate an understanding of the contribution of clinical psychology to health maintenance and illness prevention.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Interview and minor report (indicative: 1000 words) 30%
Essay Essay (indicative: 3000 words) 50%
Report Submission of a written reflection on their own learning on the indigenous health topic (indicative 1000 words) 20%

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