Course Description

Course Name

Health Psychology

Session: VSJW1122

Hours & Credits


Prerequisites & Language Level

Students must be studying a health profession such as nursing, pharmacy or microbiology.

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


Course name: Health Psychology
Course code: PSY 2200
Total contact hours: 48
Pre-requisite: Must be a Health Sciences student
Professor: Delia Peña

Health is best understood in terms of a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors rather than purely in biological terms. The bio-psychosocial model (abbreviated "BPS") is a general model or approach that posits that biological, psychological (which entails thoughts, emotions, and behaviors), and social factors, all play a significant role in human functioning in the context of disease or disorders. Health care professionals require knowledge and skills in this field to better use an integral approach for their patients, using activities and techniques that facilitate the adoption of a multisystem, multilevel, and multivariate orientation.

1. To identify general concepts of Health Psychology.
2. To recognize biological, psychological and social factors using the BPS Model
3. that play a significant role in the context of disease and disorders.
4. To analyze and solve real case studies related to different diseases
5. To visit two Costa Rican institutions that work in the area of health.

Course Evaluation
Non Formal Education will be the approach used to implement the above topics. Activities will vary from case studies, movies, to round tables, visits, and reading discussions using the Experiential Cycle (Kolb) to reflect on the experiences. Students will be given an intro on this methodology to be used for their Themes will be complemented by the teacher.

This course is structured for International Students attending the Study Abroad Program at Universidad Veritas. However, courses are not exclusive to foreigners so a few native students could enroll in this course.

Electronic devices:
The use of cell phones, smart phones, or other mobile communication devices is disruptive, and is therefore prohibited during class. Please turn all devices OFF and put them away when class begins. Devices may be used ONLY when the professor assigns a specific activity and allows the use of devices for internet search or recording. Those who fail to comply with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.

Students are allowed 2 non consecutive absences (justified or not). Course will be failed otherwise. Missing more than one day of class in a given month, will not allow course credits. Constant late arrival to class will affect your final grade.

Non Acceptable Behaviors
Students will have to leave the class in case of:
1) Disruptive conduct in the classroom.
2) Be under the influence of alcohol.
3) Hygiene problems that may disturb other students.
4) Behave in a disrespectful way.

Reading/Class Participation 35 %
Attendance 10%
Oral presentation 15%
Mid written test 20%
Final written test 20%

Beck, Aron T, Emery, Gary, Greenberg, Ruth L. (1991) Anxiety Disorders And Phobias: A Cognitive Perspective United States: Basic Books
Bochne, Stephen. (2001) Psychology of Culture Shock United States: Scribner.
Budd, Karen S. , Kedesdy, Jurgen H. (1998) Childhood Feeding Disorders: Biobehavioral Assessment and Intervention United States: Paul H. Brookers.
Gevirtzman, Bruce J. (2008) An Intimate Understanding of America's Teenagers: Shaking Hands with Aliens United States: Praeger
Gimenez R., Denise. (2004) The Psyche of the Body. United States: Brunner-Roudledge.
Hindman, Hugh D. (2009) The World of Child Labor: A Historical and Regional Survey United States: M.E. Sharpe
Kessler, David, Kluber-Ros, Elisabeth. (2007) On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss. United States: Scribner
Langberg, Diane. (2003) Counseling Survivors of Sexual Abuse United States: Xulon Press
Reiss, Albert J, Roth, Jeffrey A. (1993) Understanding and Preventing Violence United States: National Academies Press.
Ryerson, Margie. (2009) Appetite for Life: Inspiring Stories of Recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia and Compulsive Overeating United States: iUniverse
Sapolsky, Robert M. (2004) Why zebras do not get ulcers. United States: Henry Hold and Company.
Solie, David (2004) How to Say It to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders United States: Prentice Hall Press
Stearman, Kaye (2003) Child Labour United States: Heinemann Library

*Course content subject to change