University of the West of England


Code: USPJER-20-M Title: BIOMEDICINE Version: 1

Level: M UWE credit rating: 20 ECTS credit rating: 10

Module type: Standard

Owning Faculty: Applied Sciences Field: Psychology

Valid from: September 2003 Discontinued from:

Pre-requisites: None

Co-requisites: None

Excluded combinations: None

Learning outcomes:

      • Recognise and understand the mechanisms of health and disease.

      • Critically evaluate the biopsychosocial model of health.

      • Examine the theoretical framework of the cognitive-behavioural approach to illness.

      • Integrate behavioural and biomedical science, knowledge and techniques, relevant to health and illness.

      • Examine health economics and medical statistics.

      • Apply their knowledge to the planning of effective prevention and treatment protocols.

      • Challenge existing theories and practices through the evaluation of current research.

Syllabus outline:


Medical statistics; morbidity and mortality data in relation to the Health of the Nation targets. OPCS data. Socio-political and economic factors and their effects on health.

Chronic and progressive illness:

Diabetes, its nature, types and causes; treatment regimens and compliance, (concordance); Management problems for children and adolescent Type 1 diabetics and elderly Type 2. Complications. Education programmes. Coronary heart disease; hypertension; mechanisms of the disease and models of treatment. Exercise, risk factors and modification of risks. Transplants and their psychological outcome. Cardiac rehabilitation. HIV and AIDS, Myalegic Encephalitis, their aetiology and management.

Mental Health:

The neuropsychology and psychopharmacology of mental health. The aetiology and management of mental illness. Sleep disturbances and their treatment.

Chronic pain:

Models of pain; acute and chronic; pain behaviour, assessment and treatment. Assessing pain in special populations. Pain clinics and pain management programmes. The importance of a biopsychosocial approach to its management.

Cell function and genetics:

Cell function and genetics will be introduced as a basis of understanding the development of cancer, fertility manipulation, genetic screening and gene therapy.


A biopsychosocial perspective: biological basis of tumour growth and treatment: radiotherapy, chemotherapy and adjuvant therapy. Palliative care and the Hospice. Psychological consequences: anticipatory vomiting, pain associated with the disease and its treatment; phobias, depression and anxiety; treatment induced deformity.

Teaching and learning methods:

Lectures, seminars and workshops.

Reading Strategy

All students will be encouraged to make full use of the print and electronic resources available to them through membership of the University. These include a range of electronic journals and a wide variety of resources available through web sites and information gateways. The University Library’s web pages provide access to subject relevant resources and services, and to the library catalogue. Many resources can be accessed remotely. Students will be presented with opportunities within the curriculum to develop their information retrieval and evaluation skills in order to identify such resources effectively.

This guidance will be available either in the module handbook, via the module information on UWEonline or through any other vehicle deemed appropriate by the module/programme leaders.

American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edtn) American Psychiatric Association, Washington D.C.

Bearpark, H.M. (1994) Insomnia: causes, effects and treatment. In: R Cooper (Ed) Sleep. pp587-613. Chapman and Hall, London.

Blanchard, E.B. (1992) Journal of Consulting the Clinical Psychology, 60, (4): Special Issue on Behavioural Medicine: an update for the 1990's, Special Edition editor.

Bradshaw, J.L. (1995) Clinical Neuropsychology. Academic Press.

Broome, A. (1992) Health Psychology:Processes and applications. J.Wiley.

Eiser, C. (1990) Chronic Childhood Disease: an introduction to psychological theory. Cambridge University Press.

Espie, C.A. (1991) The Psychological Treatment of Insomnia. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester.

Hauri, P.J. (1994) Primary insomnia. In: M.H. Kryger, T. Roth and W.C. Dement (Eds) Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine. Saunders, Philadelphia.

Leonard, B.E. (1992) Fundamentals of Psychopharmacology. J.Wiley.

Niven, C. and Carroll, D. (1994) Health Psychology of Women.

Ogden, J. (1996) Health Psychology. OUP.

Pearce, S. and Wardle, J. (1989) The Practice of Behavioural Medicine. BPS Books.

Reynolds, C.F., Buysse, D.J. and Kupfer, D.J. (1995) Disordered sleep: developmental and psychosocial perspectives on the diagnosis and treatment of persistent insomnia. In: F.E.Bloom and D.J. Kupfer (Eds) Psychopharmacology: The Fourth Generation of Progress, pp1617-1629. Raven Press, New York.

Sarafino, E.P. (1995) Health Psychology: Biopsychosocial interactions. J.Wiley.

Taylor, S.E. (1995) Health Psychology. 3rd Edition. McGraw Hill.

Ussher, J. (1995) The Psychology of the Female Body. Routledge.

Watson, M. (1991) Cancer Patient Care: Psychosocial treatment methods. BPS Cambridge University Press.

Wickramasekera, I. (1988) Clinical Behavioural Medicine - some concepts and procedures. Plenum Press.

Additional literature will be made available from current journals and placed in the library.


Weighting between components A and B (standard modules only) A: 50% B: 50 %


First Assessment Opportunity

Component A Element weighting


Examination (2 Hours)




Component B

Description of each element Element weighting


Seminar Presentation





Second Assessment Opportunity (further attendance at taught classes) No

Component A

Description of each element Element weighting


Examination (2 Hours)




Component B

Description of each element Element weighting


Critique of Research Article




SECOND (OR SUBSEQUENT) ATTEMPT Attendance at taught classes. Yes

Specification confirmed by …………………………………………………Date ……………………………

(Associate Dean/Programme Director)

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