Coping and Adjustment to Illness (PSYC5013)


The unit of study aims to apply a psychosocial perspective to the study of disability and chronic disease. In this unit, students will consider the impact of acute and chronic illness states (including physical and mental illness) on the patient and their family. Aspects of quality of life affected will be considered, including sexuality, body image, fatigue, existential crisis, social and intimate relationships, physical reactions and spirituality. The impact of formal and informal systems of social support on illness and outcomes will be explored. The unit will incorporate evaluation of research methods used in such studies together with the application of health psychology theory and a critical examination of research findings. Relationships between health cognition, health behaviour and psychological adjustment will be an important theme of the unit of study, as will be a consideration of interventions to improve patient well being. Broad social, cultural, and political aspects of disability and acute and chronic disease will also be examined. The rise in number of people suffering from or caring for someone who has a chronic condition has proved to be a major challenge facing health psychologists. The impact on and needs of carers and family members will also be considered in this unit of study.

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1 one hour lecture and two hours of tutorials per week


In-class poster presentation (40%), 2 take home essays (2x30%)

Faculty/department permission required?


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