Health Education 480

HLTH 480: Interviewing and Helping Skills for Health Educators

Prerequisites:  HLTH 475, senior standing, and minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA

Credit Hours: (3)

Will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote healthy lifestyle choices with prospective clients in a one-on-one or group setting.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate health-related behavior change for clients in one-on-one or group settings.  Adequate interpersonal and basic health counseling skills are vital to the successful conduct of health educators and health promotion specialists.  Such skills may be used in a variety of contexts ranging from one-on-one patient counseling to interactions with other health professionals during program development, implementation, and evaluation.  Students will develop practical strategies and skills that can be used to help clients adopt and maintain health-related behavior changes.  Students will have an opportunity to practice effective verbal and nonverbal communication strategies by participating in a series of role-playing activities related to health-related topics such as weight control, smoking cessation, exercise adherence, and healthy eating.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Students will gain knowledge through lectures, group discussions, guest speakers, and role playing/simulation activities.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

        1.    Define health, health education, health promotion, and health counseling.

        2.    Describe the characteristics of an effective health counselor.

        3.    Describe the key components of a variety of behavior change theories.

        4.    Demonstrate basic interviewing skills such as probing responses, use of verbal and nonverbal communication techniques, and effective use of silence.

        5.    Define and differentiate between ethics, morality, ethical principles, ethical dilemmas, and values.

        6.    List four sections of the Code of Ethics for the Health Education Profession that are applicable to health counseling.

        7.    Conduct a mock client interview utilizing appropriate verbal and nonverbal behavior.

        8.    Formulate an appropriate behavior change intervention consistent with current standards of professional and ethical practice.

        9.    Evaluate the effectiveness of the behavior change intervention.


Assessment Measures

Student learning will be assessed through one or more of the following methods:

            Exams, Group Assignments, Papers, Projects


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

November, 2007 Dr. Beverly Zeakes 

May, 2011