Health Psychology and the Global Coronavirus Pandemic

Class Dates

May 28, 2020 to June 25, 2020

Meeting Days

Thursdays, 10-11 AM: May 28, June 4, 11, 18, 25



Course Instructor(s)

Join us for a five-week online course and get a glimpse into a popular health psychology lecture class that was offered to University of Arizona undergraduates in the Department of Psychology this spring.   This non-credit course is open to the Tucson community without the pressure of exams and papers.

This new Community Classroom course will review the health issues that arose as the pandemic spread around the globe. At the time, Dr. David Sbarra was teaching a course on Health Psychology, which is an interdisciplinary approach to topics in medicine, public health, epidemiology, and nursing. This Community Classroom course will pick up where Dr. Sbarra’s undergraduate class left off and help examine the psychological research on the medical and social dimensions of health that can be used to improve health outcomes and healthcare systems.

If you register for this class, you will be able to review the 10 Key Topic mini-lectures (MLs) that Dr. Sbarra presented to his health psychology course. Each week you will review two such lectures on your own time. These mini-lectures are about 20 minutes long and were recorded between March and May 2020: some remain immediately relevant, while others are useful for background on current developments. After having reviewed two prerecorded lectures each week, you will then join Dr. Sbarra in an hour-long Zoom classroom for a real-time online discussion.  During this class period, you will get introduced to the vibrant field of health psychology, learn about how the issues involved have changed, and talk about personal and national challenges we are facing. 

Meeting schedule for the five hour-long Zoom classroom sessions:

Thursday, May 28: 10-11 AM

Thursday, June 4: 10-11 AM

Thursday, June 11: 10-11 AM

Thursday, June 18: 10-11 AM 

Thursday, June 25: 10-11 AM


List of  the 10 Key Topic mini-lectures:

  1. Stress Management in the Face of a Disease Pandemic
  2. The Biology of a Coronavirus and COVID-19
  3. COVID-19 Epidemiology: Disease Transmission and Outbreak Patterns
  4. The Psychology and Mental Health Ramifications of Social-distancing, Self-Quarantine, and Isolation
  5. Illness Anxiety, and the Psychological of Panic and Hysteria
  6. The Role of Public Health, Governments, and Politics in Health Decision Making
  7. Social and Cultural Perspectives: Stigma, Blame, Acceptability of Government Interventions
  8. Socioeconomics and Impact on Marginalized Communities
  9. Science Communication and the Media
  10. Mapping the History of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus and COVID-19




Online registration for this course opens on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at 10 a.m.

Refunds are available and need to be requested before or by June 5. To drop a class, please contact Kerstin Miller at 520-621-5111 or A $25 administrative fee for each cancellation will apply.