Health Promotion and Disease Prevention


Course Objective

1. To provide a solid basis in understanding elementary aspects of the
theory, research and practice in the field of health promotion & disease
2. To write a scientific study protocol in English about the planned
development and evaluation of a preventive health intervention.

Course Content

This course, fits in the program of the specialization Prevention and
Public Health. Within this specialization you are trained to become a
health promotor who is able to work in a theory- & evidence-based way
and is able to link research, practice and policy. The courses within
this specialization are structured according to the six steps of
Intervention Mapping. These steps are: 1) Needs assessment, 2) Preparing
matrices of change objectives, 3) Selecting theory-informed intervention
methods and practical applications, 4) Producing program components and
materials, 5) Planning program adoption, implementation, and
sustainability and 6) Planning for evaluation. The course Health
Promotion and Disease Prevention will introduce you to the six steps of
Intervention Mapping. Specific emphasize will be put on step 2 and 3
with a focus on primary prevention.

This course focuses on lifestyle/ health behaviors and environmental
differences related to health and diseases among individuals and
populations. The ultimate goal is to improve peoples' health status and
quality of life by health promotion interventions. Some examples of the
topics that will be addressed are:
• Intervention mapping; designing theory- and evidence-based health
promotion programs.
• Theory-based intervention methods and strategies; theoretical methods
that can help to change several of the most important determinants of
health behaviors.
• Environmental influences on health. The physical environment and
health interact. The importance of environmental interventions and their
effect on health are postulated.
• Health-related quality of life; the role of perceived mental and
physical health status in the development of interventions.
• Effect and process evaluation; principals, perspectives on process
evaluation, and determining the effects of health promotion programs.
Core element in this course is writing a study protocol in English,
describing the design of a health promoting or disease preventing
intervention trial.

Teaching Methods

This course is rewarded with 6 ECTs and runs in Nov-Dec 2016. Health
Promotion and Disease Prevention is a full-
time course, this means that 42 hours a week are necessary to pursuit
the goals of this course. Regular attendance during the weeks is

Teaching activities include: Lectures, tutorials, guest lecturers, group
assignment (study protocol), peer review sessions and self study.

Method of Assessment

Grades will be based on the assignment (study protocol) and a written
exam that includes multiple choice and open-ended questions. The final
grade is being determined by the study protocol (25%) and written exam
(75%). The study protocol as well as the written exam must have a grade
5.5 or higher.

Entry Requirements

At the start of this course, we expect you to master knowledge, insight,
attitude and skills at a level which is comparable to the final
qualifications stated by the Bachelor Health Sciences at the VU.


The following book is required for students who follow the
specialization Prevention and Public Health.
Bartholomew, Eldredge, Parcel, Kok, Gottlieb, Fernandez (eds) Planning
promotion programs: an intervention mapping approach; fourth
edition(2016). Jossey-Bass,
San Fransisco. ISBN:978-1-119-03549-7
Chapters which are applicable to this course will be
announced through Canvas.
In addition, students will use a course manual, and additional course
materials are provided via Canvas.

Target Audience

Students with a Bachelor degree or pre-masters in Health Sciences with
interest in the field of prevention and public health.

Additional Information

This course is compulsory within the Master specialization Prevention &
public health.The following courses of the Bachelor health sciences are
strongly recommended: 'Preventie' and 'Gezondheidscommunicatie'.

Custom Course Registration

Registration for this course via VU-net. Registration for the assignment in subgroups via Canvas; obligated 1 week before the start of the course.

Recommended background knowledge

The following courses of the Bachelor health sciences are strongly
recommended: 'Preventie' and 'Gezondheidscommunicatie'.

General Information

Course Code AM_470811
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator dr. M.C. Adriaanse
Examiner dr. M.M. van Stralen
Teaching Staff dr. M.C. Adriaanse

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Study Group*, Lecture

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: