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Behavioural Activation Strategies for People with Depression & Physical Conditions - HEA00116H

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  • Department: Health Sciences
  • Module co-ordinator: GSL503
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19
    • See module specification for other years: 2019-20

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
C Summer Term 2018-19 to Summer Vacation 2018-19

Module aims

The impact of living with a long term condition is being increasingly recognised in the Transforming Community Services programme (Department of Health 2011). There is a developing emphasis on helping people with long term conditions (LTC) such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and cancer to manage the psychological and practical consequences of their illness. This programme will enable students to help people with LTC to be as independent as possible and in control of their lives (up to and including the end of life). Long term conditions include both physical and psychological factors, which can actually lead to depression.

The aim of this module is to develop students' competency in applying a behavioural approach (BA) for depression in people with common physical and psychological health problems. Students will be encouraged to reflect upon the theoretical underpinnings for using both cognitive and behavioural approaches to working with people with depression in common physical and psychological health problems relating it to their practice context.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • Develop understanding of the nature, impact and treatment of depression with and without longterm physical conditions.
  • Assess patients with depression with and without long-term physical conditions, taking into account co-morbidity issues, past history, present life situation, course and outcome of depression in order to determine suitability for a BA approach.
  • Assess risk factors associated with depression with and without long-term physical conditions and integrate risk management within treatment plans, especially suicide risk and practical strategies for managing suicidality.
  • Describe the key maintaining factors for an individual's depression, using a cognitive and/or behavioural framework.
  • Deal with ending therapy and plan for long-term maintenance of gains with evidence of a relapse prevention plan.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of BA and an ability to reflect on their own values and beliefs in working with depression with and without long-term physical conditions and the application of BA to their own lives.


Task Length % of module mark
Case study - 2500 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Case study - 2500 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Written feedback for summative assessment is provided on the standard proforma, within the timescale specified in the programme handbook.

Indicative reading

  • Addis, M.E., and Martell, C.R. (2004). Overcoming Depression One Step at a Time: The New Behavioral Activation Approach to Getting Your Life Back. New York: New Harbinger Press.
  • Furze, G., Donnison, J. and Lewin, R.J.P. (2008). The Clinician's Guide to Chronic Disease Management for Long-term Conditions: A Cognitive-behavioural approach. M&K Update Ltd.
  • Martell, C.R., Dimidjian, S., and Herman-Dunn, R. (2010). Behavioral Activation for Depression: A Clinician's Guide. New York: Guildford Press.
  • Kanter, J., Busch, M. and Rusch, L. (2009). Behavioral Activation (CBT Distinctive Features). London: Routledge.
  • Kanter, J. (2008). Making Behavioral Activation More Behavioral. Behaviour Modification, 32(6), 780-803
  • Steptoe, A. (2007). Depression and Physical Illness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Other specific texts will be recommended by lecturers in relation to specific sessions.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

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