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Last updated:

May 17, 2022


6 months


This course includes:

6 months

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

6 months


Provides students with conceptual tools to analyze health-related behaviours and the social, cultural and environmental context in which they occur. Applies concepts and theories drawn from medical anthropology, psychology and sociology to programmatic examples from Latin America, Africa and Asia concerning care-seeking, treatment of sick children, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, voluntary counselling and testing, sexual risk behaviours, intimate partner violence and other behaviour change challenges in public health.

Course Objectives

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • describe conceptual tools drawn from medical anthropology pertinent to design of behavior change interventions including standards of efficacy, illness taxonomies, illness etiology, levels of causality, meanings of medication, public and private domains
  • identify and map the key components of common models of health behavior change at the individual level, and difficulties encountered when trying to apply them in different cultural contexts
  • describe psychological and anthropological perspectives on risk perceptions, and models of diffusion of innovations and influence of the mass media and apply to specific case studies
  • be familiar with basic terminology for describing households, kinship systems, communities and social capital and identify their significance for public health interventions
  • Discuss the basic components of the intervention modalities, including Social Marketing, Peer Education, Counseling, Harm Reduction, Diffusion of Innovation, and Community Mobilization
  • integrate the major theories covered in class with the various interventions modalities presented
  • apply appropriate combinations of theoretically based intervention modalities to case studies

Course Curriculum

    • Introduction FREE 02:00:00
    • Illness etiologies, levels of causality 02:30:00
    • Meanings of medications, metonymy 00:55:00
    • Individual-level models of health behavior 02:30:00
    • Social Cognitive Theory 01:40:00
    • Concepts of Risk 02:00:00
    • Social networks; diffusion of innovations 02:00:00
    • Social Marketing 01:30:00
    • Households, public and private domains, kinship 04:00:00
    • Counseling and peer education 01:40:00
    • Intimate partner violence, transtheoretical model 00:55:00
    • Community and community interventions 03:00:00
    • Social Capital 00:55:00
    • Ecological models and multilevel interventions 03:00:00
    • Behavior of health workers 00:55:00
    • Career paths related to community and behavioral interventions 00:00:00
    • Health Behavior Change at the Individual, Household and Community Assignments 03:00:00

About the instructor

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