HNE-33806 Public Health Practice


Studiepunten 6.00

Learning supported by IT12
Problem-based learning6
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. EJM Feskens
dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies
prof. dr. ir. P van 't Veer
prof. dr. ir. D Kromhout
dr. ir. ID Brouwer
dr. ir. JMA van Raaij
ir. R de Vlaming
Examiner(s)dr. ir. A Haveman-Nies

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

HNE-24806 Introduction to Epidemiology and Public Health


Public health is defined as the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organised efforts of society. Currently, public health ranks high on the political agenda, because considerable part of mortality and morbidity is related to an unhealthy lifestyle (diet, alcohol, smoking, physical activity, etc.). Therefore it is important to identify major health problems and analyse their behavioural and related environmental determinants. Based on this knowledge, public health policies and programmes can be developed that intend to result in considerable health gains in the long term.
In this course new and applied methods will be introduced and explained that support the planning, implementation and evaluation of public health policies and programmes. Relevant theories, concepts and tools will be presented, and illustrated with practical examples. For this purpose, the public health cycle will be introduced. This planning model provides a basic frame¬work for professionals working in the field of public health that can be used for planning, implementing and evaluating public health interventions. This planning model includes the following seven steps: conduct a needs assessment, support priority setting, formulate aims and objectives, construct a logic model, develop an evaluation plan, perform quality control, and analyse processes and outcomes. During the lectures, training modules and the PO (Problem-Oriented Education)-task you are learning to work with the public health cycle by practicing these seven steps.
Within the course, attention will be paid to the public health organisations and professional disciplines that contribute to the working processes applied in the public health cycle. The broad context of the public health system will be outlined by guest lecturers of local and national public health organisations (like National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), community health services (GGDs), TNO, Netherlands Health Council). During these lectures, topics as decision-making, communication, and ethics come up for discussion.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to:
- have insight in the aspects that play a role in public health, like health indicators, health determinants (e.g. lifestyle, socio-economic status, social and physical environment), behavioural determinants (e.g. skills, self-efficacy, attitude, intention, norms), simple and complex interventions (e.g. health education, community/setting development), and societal factors (trends, demography, culture);
- have experience with the working processes that are applied in the public health sector by applying the seven steps in the public health cycle: conduct a needs assessment, support priority setting, formulate aims and objectives, construct a logic model, develop an evaluation plan (e.g. choose an appropriate evaluation design), perform quality control, and analyse processes and outcomes (e.g. apply statistical tests and interpret results);
- have an overview of the public health system and the professional disciplines working in this field;
- be able to work together in a project team (communicating, planning, chairing, reporting, sharing responsibilities) and communicate the group work to a critical audience (oral presentation).


The course includes 12 lectures of 2 hours, 3 training modules of 4 hours, and working class meetings in subgroups of 6 persons. These subgroups will meet 6 times under supervision of a staff member and 5 times on their own. The teaching method during the subgroup work is problem-based learning.


Two marks will be given: one on the project-task (report, oral presentation); one on the digital tests.


- Haveman-Nies A, Jansen SC, van Oers JAM, van 't Veer P (2010). Epidemiology in public health practice. Wageningen Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. ISBN 978-90-8686-140-8. Available at the WUR-shop in Forum or to be ordered via internet;
- Recommended literature and PowerPoint presentations are available on Blackboard.

Keuze voor: MNHNutrition and HealthMScA: Epidemiology and Public Health5AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status5AF