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Improving health behaviour in mental and chronic illness
Provider: Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Activity no.: 3150-24-00-00There are no available seats 
Enrollment deadline: 15/05/2024
Date and time12.06.2024, at: 08:30 - 14.06.2024, at: 16:00
Regular seats20
Course fee2,400.00 kr.
LecturersJulie Midtgaard
ECTS credits2.30
Contact personIda Lundager Kraaer    E-mail address: ida.lundager.kraaer@regionh.dk
Enrolment Handling/Course OrganiserPhD administration     E-mail address: phdkursus@sund.ku.dk

Aim and content
This course is free of charge for PhD students at Danish universities (except Copenhagen Business School), and for PhD Students from NorDoc member faculties. All other participants must pay the course fee.

Anyone can apply for the course, but if you are not a PhD student at a Danish university, you will be placed on the waiting list until enrollment deadline. This also applies to PhD students from NorDoc member faculties. After the enrollment deadline, available seats will be allocated to applicants on the waiting list.

About the course
A wealth of compelling evidence supports the notion that health behavior has a profound impact on overall health status and well-being, making it a critical component in the management of mental and/or chronic illnesses. Notably, the adoption of health-promoting behaviors has been associated with marked improvements in individuals' quality of life and increased life expectancy, underscoring the far-reaching implications of these behaviors on human longevity and well-being.

An especially significant aspect of addressing health behavior lies in its potential to reduce health disparities and inequalities prevalent among diverse population groups. By recognizing the role of health behavior and ensuring equitable access to information and resources for health improvement, efforts can be made to bridge the health divide and foster better health outcomes for all segments of society.

The primary objective of this course is to introduce participants to a comprehensive range of theoretical and methodological approaches employed in health sciences research pertaining to the alteration and adoption of health behavior within clinical populations. This includes the planning, evaluation an implementation of health promotion programs in mental and chronic illness. The course will encompass both classic and contemporary approaches, providing students with a well-rounded understanding of the field. The course structure comprises alternating lectures and workshops, affording participants valuable opportunities to engage in the presentation and discussion of their own research work while contextualizing it within the realm of health methodology.

Learning objectives
A student who has met the objectives of the course will be able to:

1. Describe and compare various theoretical concepts and methodological approaches to health behavior change and health promotion in people with mental and/or chronic illness(es)

2. Discuss the usefulness of various concepts and approaches in relation to own research question and hypotheses regarding change mechanisms

3. Identify relevant outcomes and appropriate design in own study related to health behavior change/adoption

The course introduces classic (social) cognitive-based and sociologically inspired theories and concepts related to the modification and maintenance of health behavior (e.g., physical activity levels, tobacco or alcohol consumption, dietary habits, sleep, medication adherence) concerning the management of mental and/or chronic illnesses. Through lectures and collaborative discussions based on students' own projects, the course will provide insights into why and how health behavior (in the context of mental and/or chronic illness) is significantly influenced by individual factors, such as knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs, as well as social determinants like family dynamics, peer influence, and cultural norms, and environmental factors, such as access to healthcare services and community resources. The lectures will also present strategies and techniques for behavior change and the study thereof, including the importance of thoroughly considering potential intervention components and outcomes and the relationship between these (change mechanisms).

Participants are PhD students and other postgraduate researchers conducting studies in relation to health behavior change in mental and/or chronic illness

Relevance to graduate programmes
The course is relevant to PhD students from the following graduate programmes at the Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences, UCPH:

All graduate programmes

Danish or English (if required by non-Danish participants).

Each day of the course we will alternate between lectures and workshops. Some lectures may involve exercises and/or group work.

Course director
Julie Midtgaard
Clinical professor
Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health Care (CARMEN)
Mental Health Centre Glostrup, Copenhagen University Hospital - Mental Health Services CPH
Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Faculty teachers
Julie Midtgaard
Clinical professor
Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health Care (CARMEN)
Mental Health Centre Glostrup, Copenhagen University Hospital - Mental Health Services CPH
Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Mette Aadahl
Clinical professor
Centre for Clinical Research and Prevention, Section for Health Promotion and Prevention
Frederiksberg Hospital
Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

12 – 14 June 2024

Course location
Panum, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at University of Copenhagen

Please register before 15 May 2024.

Expected frequency
The course is held for the first time in 2024 and is expected to be offered once annually thereafter.

Seats to PhD students from other Danish universities will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and according to the applicable rules. Applications from other participants will be considered after the last day of enrolment.

Note: All applicants are asked to submit invoice details in case of no-show, late cancellation or obligation to pay the course fee (typically non-PhD students). If you are a PhD student, your participation in the course must be in agreement with your principal supervisor.

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