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Psychological Assessment and Interventions in Chronic Disease


Admission requirements

Master’s students In Psychology specialisation Health Psychology


In this course the epidemiology of, and specific psychosocial problems associated with a variety of chronic diseases and physical problems (e.g. coronary heart disease, pain syndromes, diabetes) are introduced. Commonly used psychological assessment instruments measuring these psychosocial problems and related concepts are discussed such as

  • illness cognitions

  • pain

  • coping

  • social support

  • self-management

  • stress

  • quality of life.

Finally, disease-specific psychosocial intervention strategies for the enhancement of quality of life and/or self-management in patients with chronic disease are addressed. In the seminars the use of different assessment instruments and the practical use of specific intervention strategies in patients with chronic disease are addressed. These interventions are based on cognitive behaviour therapy and self-regulation principles.

Course objectives

  • students get to know relevant theoretical backgrounds for the study of psychological consequences and interventions in chronic disease

  • students acquire skills concerning diagnosis of psychological consequences and interventions through in-class assignments

  • students learn to reflect and comment on the use and relevance of psychological interventions in chronic patients

  • students learn to write and present a paper on psychological consequences and interventions related to a specific disease.


Psychological Assessment and Interventions in Chronic Disease (2014-2015):



Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions. Please consult the Instructions on registration


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination. Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

  • Seven two hour review-type lectures

  • Seven three hour seminars/work groups

NB: Work group attendance is mandatory.

Assessment method

Written exam

A written exam, in which students get four A4 pages to answer a general question, such as: What are the most important consequences of (specific disease or health problem covered by a handbook chapter), how can this (disease, health problem) be assessed and what are the most effective interventions for this (disease, health problem)?

  • Literature for the exam
    • Book wil be announched later.
    • The power point presentations of the lectures posted on blackboard


Students are requested to write together with another student a 5 page paper on psychosocial consequences, assessment and the effectiveness of psychological interventions related to a chronic disease. During the last seminar students present this paper to the whole group.

Final mark for the course

Students must pass the exam and the paper. The final grade for the course will be calculated as follows: (mark exam + mark paper)/2.

The Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud


Information on

Reading list


  • Book will be announced later.

  • The power point presentations of the lectures posted on blackboard

Contact information

Dr. V. De Gucht (Coordinator)
Room 2A05A
Tel.: 071 527 3863