SBHD 605 Introduction to Social and Behavioral Health
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course addresses the influence of social and behavioral factors impacting public health, covering both historical perspectives and current issues. Topics covered include the theoretical foundations of social and behavioral health; the sociocultural context of health; health promotion and disease prevention interventions; and special populations and topics. Formerly EPID 605.
SBHD 608 Health Communication
Spring Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Basic course for students in public health with limited experience conducting public health research. Focuses on the history and theories of health communication, social marketing and media advocacy, audience research and segmentation, entertainment education, e-health, provider/patient communication, technology transfer to service providers, media relations and media monitoring, emergency risk communication, and evaluating communication campaigns. Students plan an entire social marketing campaign.
SBHD 610 Behavioral Measurement
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3. credits. Introduces students to theories and applications of measuring constructs in social and behavioral sciences. Examines test theories, processes involved in developing tests and the standards against which tests are compared.
SBHD 630 Theoretical Foundations of Social and Behavioral Health
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course addresses the theoretical foundations of social and behavioral health, discussing both classic and emergent theories. The course begins with an overview of theoretical concepts, constructs, and variables, how to construct theoretical statements, and how to evaluate social science theories. The majority of the course is spent describing theories and models at the individual, interpersonal, and community level and evaluating their utility in changing health behavior. The course concludes with a discussion of the state of the discipline and future directions in health behavior change theory and research.
SBHD 631 Disseminating, Adopting and Adapting Evidence-based Prevention Programs
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Preventive interventions that have been evaluated and found to be effective should serve as the standard for community-based public health practice. This advanced seminar will examine theories relevant to the diffusion of these evidence-based interventions (EBI), EBI dissemination procedures and policy, and evaluation of EBI adoption, fidelity monitoring and adaptation.
SBHD 632 Health Disparities and Social Justice
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This introductory graduate level course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the concept of health disparities, reasons for disparities and how social factors contribute to disparities in health care and outcomes. The material will cover the research and theories in contemporary medical, epidemiologic and social justice literature.
SBHD 633 Structural Equation Modeling
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Introduces students to principles and applications of structural equation modeling for testing theories in social and behavioral sciences. Examines latent variables with continuous and discrete distributions, multimethod measurement modeling under the latent variable framework, latent variable modeling of longitudinal measurement designs and testing meditation and moderation using structural equation modeling.
SBHD 634 Patient-Provider Interaction
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. Prerequisite: doctoral student or M.P.H. student in social and behavioral health or permission of instructor. Provides students with an advanced introduction to the current theoretical and practical approaches to researching patient-provider interaction. Through exploration of current theory and case studies in practical research, the course develops a comprehensive approach to conducting high-quality, theory-driven research exploring both physician- and patient-focused observational and interventional research. Students are provided with instruction on qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method approaches to such research.
SBHD 635 Anthropology and Public Health
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course provides students with an advanced introduction to anthropology as a means for exploring public health. Through ethnographic case studies (articles, books, and films), this course examines cultural dimensions of illness experience and diverse models of healing and treatment, paying particular attention to political, economic, spiritual, and other cultural factors that influence health inequalities, treatment, and health behaviors. Approximately 80% of the course material focuses on international health. This course is a readings seminar, rather than a methodological course; however, students will be asked to think critically about the ways that anthropological methods can contribute to public health practice.
SBHD 636 Community-Based Participatory Research
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course provides a critical component of training in CPBR methodology to train researchers to use the tools of community engagement to improve the research conducted by the VCU community and assist with the critical task of diffusing research findings into the real world setting to improve the health and lives of Americans. It provides VCU students the opportunity to learn these methods within a rigorous but student-engaged learning environment. It also exposes members of the wider community to the VCU in a positive and proactive manner. Moreover, the translation of knowledge into clinical practice is a slow and haphazard process. The delay in translation of research can occur at many levels including inappropriate perception of the problem by policy makers and not understanding the barriers at the local level to translation. This course trains future researchers how to incorporate strategies into research design from the outset. These methods can ameliorate some of these problems and, hopefully, facilitate more rapid implementation of important research findings.
SBHD 637 Program Evaluation
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This course examines the methods frequently used to determine whether—and how—health-related programs are achieving their objectives. Several types of evaluations will be covered, with a focus on process and outcome evaluations. Skills and knowledge relevant to evaluation strategies will be addressed, including the fundamentals of framing evaluation questions, selecting a study design, and result dissemination strategies. Students will learn how to judge the quality of evaluation designs, distinguish appropriate from inappropriate evaluations, and be given the opportunity to apply the principles and techniques of evaluation science to the creation of a detailed evaluation plan. Materials will be presented in several ways, including lectures, guest lectures, in-class exercises, student presentations, classroom discussions and written assignments.
SBHD 690 Departmental Seminar
Semester course; 1 lecture hour. 1 credit. Students and faculty meet weekly to discuss new research and literature in the field of social and behavioral health. Talks given by students and faculty will cover recent articles and trends in the field. Graded as S/U/F.
SBHD 691 Special Topics
Semester course; variable hours. .5-4 credits. This course will include lectures, tutorials, workshops and/or library assignments in selected areas of advanced study which are not available in other courses or as part of research training. Grading is S/U/F.
SBHD 692 Special Topics
Semester course; 3 lecture hours. 3 credits. This letter-graded course will include lectures and other activities in areas of advanced study which are not available in other courses or as part of research training.
SBHD 693 SBHD Internship
Semester course; variable hours. 1-3 credits. Students will spend 60-180 hours in a planned, supervised experience with a community agency. Such agencies might include a local free clinic or other nonprofit organization, such as the American Cancer Society, or a local, state or federal public health agency. Graded as S/U/F.
SBHD 694 MPH Project
Semester course; variable hours. 1-6 credits. Each student will complete a research project that demonstrates the application of the knowledge acquired in the M.P.H. program. The student will answer one or more relevant research questions. The final product is a scholarly written report of publishable quality. A proposal must be submitted for approval and credits are assigned commensurate with the complexity of the project. Arrangements are made directly with the faculty adviser. Graded as S/U/F.
SBHD 695 Independent Study
Semester course; 1-3 lecture hours. 1-3 credits. Provides the opportunity for students to explore a special topic of interest under the direction of a faculty member. A proposal for a course of study must be submitted to and approved by the chair of the Department of Social and Behavioral Health; credits will be assigned commensurate with the complexity of the project. Arrangements are made directly with the appropriate faculty member and department chair. Graded as S/U/F.
SBHD 697 Directed Research in Social and Behavioral Health
Semester course; variable hours. 1-15 credits. Requires students to conduct and prepare a written dissertation under the guidance of a faculty committee. The dissertation is written in traditional academic style and must be orally defended. Students must be continually enrolled in this course until successfully completed and approved. A minimum of 9 credits of this course must be taken to complete the degree. Graded as S/U/F.