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Clinical Health Behavior Change Experience in Weight Management


East Baltimore
1st term
Health Behavior and Society
2 credits
Academic Year:
2019 - 2020
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Lawrence Cheskin

Focuses on the practical application of principles from communication, behavioral, social science, and psychological theories in a clinical setting. Enables students to work directly with patients of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center (JHWMC) to promote behavior change in the areas of diet and fitness. Integrates theoretical concepts with practical clinical applications, and presents students the opportunity to work in a team setting with healthcare practitioners.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the complex mechanisms underlying the obesity epidemic
  2. Identify the interventions commonly employed to treat obesity in clinical settings
  3. Assess standard (USDA) nutrition and physical activity recommendations for weight management
  4. Identify psychosocial and psychological factors that impact behavior change
  5. Describe cognitive-behavioral strategies to elicit change in patients
  6. Apply principles from communication, behavioral, social science, and psychological theories to encourage health behavior change in others
  7. Apply motivational interviewing (MI) theory and techniques
  8. Evaluate the evidence regarding the efficacy of MI techniques for weight loss
  9. Perform clinical practice skills such as reflective listening, empathy, barriers assessment, eliciting change talk, and goal setting
Methods of Assessment:

Written assignments (4-8 mock clinical progress notes at 1-2 pages each, three 2-3 page reflection papers) - 40%; attendance and participation - 30%; clinical mentor evaluation - 30%

Instructor Consent:

No consent required

Special Comments:

Times to be arranged with instructor. Also offered in 3rd term.