PSY543 Clinical Health Psychology (8)


This subject provides an advanced understanding of the application of clinical psychological principles and techniques to the promotion and maintenance of health and to the prevention and treatment of illness. Clinical health psychology requires an understanding of the biological, psychological, and social characteristics of people with chronic and acute illness, the nature of their symptoms, the medical interventions they receive, and the appropriate psychological interventions to help manage their conditions and enhance quality of life. Students will examine the role of diet, exercise and sleep in a healthy lifestyle, and review the psychological aspects of a range of chronic conditions.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
Online*Bathurst Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY543
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Psychology

Enrolment restrictions

Available to students in the Master of Clinical Psychology

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe and discuss the theoretical and empirical foundations of health psychology
  • be able to recognise and assess the role of psychological, social, and biological factors in physical conditions
  • be able to identify factors that influence individual differences in response to physical conditions
  • be able to implement effective psychological interventions across physical conditions and health care settings
  • be able to assess the nature and challenges of clinical health psychology in practice, and develop effective ways to deal with them.


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • Integrating medicine and psychology
  • Issues in clinical health psychology: Health behaviour models; adherence to treatment regimes; doctor/patient relationships; health and wellbeing in residential care; palliative care
  • Pain
  • Acute conditions (e.g., spinal cord injury)
  • Chronic illness (e.g., bronchial asthma; diabetes; rheumatoid arthritis)

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 2.5 day residential school. The residential school is intended to serve a number of functions
  • to teach foundational assumptions of effective practcie in clinical health psychology
  • to teach models of assessment and intervention
  • to demonstrate the application of case formulation to treatment planning and monitoring
  • to present and review classis cases
Activities include
  • lectures
  • demonstrations
  • case discussions and other small-group learning activities and role-plays
  • student self-evaluation tasks


The information contained in the 2017 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 25 August 2017. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.