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James W. Pennebaker, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

Spring 2008

PSY 341k • Health Psychology

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
44103 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
SEA 2.108
Schnyer, Rosa

Course Description

This interdisciplinary course examines the principles, practices, use and outcomes of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM); it will specifically focus on the physiology of the mind-body connection and the central impact of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors on our body's health. The course will explore mind based strategies for preventing and coping with chronic illness, as well as the use of therapies centered in the body to treat common psychological problems. The course will outline the physiology of the mind-body connection and will provide an overview of medical or health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine, and which are being increasingly used by the general public.

Students will learn to use evidence-based criteria to evaluate the risks and benefits of selected complementary therapies. Challenges to building an evidence base will be illustrated by landmark research studies. The class will include a hands-on experiential component to familiarize the student with some fundamental CAM concepts.

Grading Policy

Grading will be based on the quality and depth of the student's written assignments, class presentation and final examination results. The percentage distribution will be as follows: Research critique. Using the Research Critique format provided in the Syllabus, critique a CAM study from the list circulated in class. 10% Midterm 20% Final 20% Class Presentation: Research a CAM topic of personal interest, and make a 10 minute presentation to the class on the subject. Class presentations should include Powerpoint presentations, handouts and references for fellow students. 50% TOTAL 100%

Texts

Handbook of Mind Body Medicine; Edited by D. Moss D, Mc Grady A, Davies and I Wickramasekara; Sage Publications, 2002. Fundamental of Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Edited by Micozzi, M. Churchill Livingstone, 1996. Reading packet - available online in blackboard or through course packet

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