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Course Catalog

330.639.01 The Intersection of Mental and Physical Health

Mental Health
4th term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2012 - 2013
East Baltimore
Mon 03/25/2013 - Wed 05/15/2013
Class Times:
  • M W,  1:30 - 2:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Joseph Gallo
Course Instructors:

Addresses the epidemiology, consequences, measurement, and implications for health service delivery of co-morbidity of mental and physical disorders. Employs a conceptual framework that emphasizes the potential psychological, behavioral, social, and biological mechanisms through which mental and medical illness interact to cause disability and death. This model has implications for development of new service delivery models that integrate the care of mental health disorders into the care of medical conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Students interact with investigators and clinicians in lecture format, examine case studies, and generate a paper related to a medical-psychiatric co-morbidity of their choosing.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the descriptive epidemiology of the major mental disorders and co-occurring medical conditions: a) Name the most commonly occurring co-morbid physical and mental disorders b) Name three risk factors for mental disorders among persons with physical disorders c) State the prevalence and incidence of co-morbidity and what is known about rates worldwide d) Define methodological and conceptual issues for the measurement of psychopathology in the context of medical illness
  2. Identify how mental health and illness interact with physical health and illness to affect health outcomes such as function, quality of life, and mortality: a) Discuss the social, behavioral, psychological, and biological pathways through which mental health and illness may interact with physical health and illness b) Enumerate the evidence and identify the gaps on evidence between specific medical conditions, such as diabetes, with specific mental health conditions, such as depression
  3. Describe the impact of medical and mental illness co-morbidity on the use and organization of health services: a) Discuss the evidence on medical co-morbidity and mental illness are managed in primary health care and in specialty psychiatric and non-psychiatric (e.g., cardiology) sectors b) Name and discuss service delivery models that have been studied to integrate the care for mental illness and medical co-morbidity c) Discuss the evidence on whether the consequences of medical co-morbidity can be ameliorated or prevented, including the use of screening strategies d) Name three ways that health care policy influences the organization, financing, and referral patterns related to mental health and illness in the context of medical co-morbidity
Methods of Assessment:

class participation, discussion of 2 case studies, review of a publication, and a short paper on a topic related to mental and physical comorbidity of interest to the study

Enrollment Restriction:


Instructor Consent:

Consent required for all students

Consent Note:

Consent required for all students

For consent, contact: