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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - PHC6450
Tracking Number - 5287

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Current Status: Approved by SCNS - 2016-07-01
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):
Comments: In review by OGS; Required for MSPH Genetic Counc Conc. Approved; To USF Sys 4/21/16; to SCNS after 4/28/16. CNS approved 6432 as 6450 eff 7/1/16

Detail Information

  1. Date & Time Submitted: 2015-10-11
  2. Department: Global Health
  3. College: PH
  4. Budget Account Number: 640800
  5. Contact Person: Deborah Cragun
  6. Phone: 8139744232
  7. Email:
  8. Prefix: PHC
  9. Number: 6450
  10. Full Title: Patient-centered Communication and Professionalism
  11. Credit Hours: 3
  12. Section Type: C - Class Lecture (Primarily)
  13. Is the course title variable?: N
  14. Is a permit required for registration?: N
  15. Are the credit hours variable?: N
  16. Is this course repeatable?: N
  17. If repeatable, how many times?: 0
  18. Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum): Patient-centered Communication
  19. Course Online?: C - Face-to-face (0% online)
  20. Percentage Online: 0
  21. Grading Option: -
  22. Prerequisites: n/a
  23. Corequisites: n/a
  24. Course Description: This course will introduce patient-provider communication skills to health students. Through role modeling, practice, and case studies, students will develop effective patient interviewing and communication skills and demonstrate professionalism.

  25. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course: Needed for new program/concentration/certificate
  26. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service? This will be a required course for the proposed MSPH in Genetic Counseling which will ideally begin admitting new cohorts of students each fall beginning with Fall 2016. Additionally, this course will be required in the proposed sequence to meet the accreditation requirements of the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC).
  27. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times? No
  28. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.) To teach in this course individuals should either be Board Certified in Genetic Counseling and/or have a terminal degree in Public Health, Health Communication, Education, Psychology, or a related field.
  29. Objectives: Week 1: Communication is key: Course introduction and expectations for this skill-based course

    1. Define patient-centered communication

    2. Explain why patient-centered communication is important

    Week 2: Respecting patients and establishing rapport

    3. Recognize patient capabilities and strengths and not simply disease or disability

    4. Use person-first language

    5. Develop unconditional positive regard for patients and withhold judgment

    6. Try out various ways to establish patient rapport and determine which approaches you are most comfortable with in different scenarios

    Week 3: Understanding patients

    7. Utilize open-ended questions and reflective statements to elicit patient needs & expectations, existing knowledge, and concerns of patients

    8. Describe and demonstrate active listening and attending skills (recognize verbal / non-verbal cues)

    Week 4: Setting a mutually agreed upon agenda (contracting)

    9. Recognize your own agenda and goals in the patient encounter

    10. Align the goals and needs of both the patient and provider to develop a mutually agreed upon agenda for the visit

    11. Modify agenda as appropriate by ongoing contracting

    Weeks 5-7: Interviewing skills, patient education, risk communication

    12. Utilize open-ended questions, closed-ended questions and reflection to elicit medical and family history information and check patient understanding

    13. Use theory- and evidence-based strategies to communicate risk & uncertainty

    14. Provide relevant information clearly and concisely

    15. Adjust educational content and support resources to meet patient needs

    Weeks 8-9: Responding

    16. Use empathy to elicit and/or clarify emotions, concerns, and unmet needs

    17. Determine appropriate responses to verbal and non-verbal cues (use of normalization, empathy, silence, other types of responses)

    18. Understand the potential impact of self-disclosure and self-involving responses (professional boundaries)

    19. Recognize how and when to employ redirection with patients while meeting their needs

    Weeks 10-12: Facilitating patient autonomy, decision making and informed consent

    20. Recognize where statements fall on the continuum of non-directiveness to directiveness

    21. Facilitate patient autonomy through employing motivational interviewing techniques

    22. Employ various strategies to promote patient-centered, value-based decision making

    23. Elicit patient outcome expectations and provide anticipatory guidance when appropriate

    Week 13-14: Communication skills for challenging scenarios

    24. Describe ways to most effectively work with interpreters to communicate with patients

    25. Use patient-centered practices and strategies for giving bad news

    Week 15: Coming full circle: Linking communication and patient outcomes

    26. List some important outcomes in your practice

    27. Propose at least three specific ways that patient-centered communication skills learned in the course can help improve patient outcomes

  30. Learning Outcomes: Establish a mutually agreed upon agenda.

    Use active listening skills to formulate structured questions.

    Employ interview skills to elicit relevant medical and family history.

    Employ active listening and interviewing skills to identify, assess and empathically respond to stated and emerging concerns.

    Use a range of counseling skills and models to facilitate informed decision-making and adaptation to risks/conditions.

    Promote client-centered, informed, non-coercive and value-based decision making.

    Apply counseling skills in a culturally responsive and respectful manner to all clients.

    Effectively educate clients about a wide range of genetics and genomics information based on their needs, their characteristics, and the circumstances of the encounter.

    Identify and utilize factors that promote client autonomy.

    Demonstrate the skills necessary to successfully manage a case and modify the plan as needed.

    Demonstrate self-reflective, evidence-based and current approach to practice.

  31. Major Topics: Functions and importance of communication; Respecting patients and establishing rapport; Understanding patients; Setting up a mutually agreed upon agenda (contracting); Interviewing skills; Patient education; Risk communication; Responding; Facilitating patient autonomy; Informed decision making; Motivational interviewing; Breaking bad news; Working with interpreters; and Linking communication and outcomes.
  32. Textbooks: Epstein and Street. Patient-centered communication monograph available at:

    Smith: Patient Centered Interviewing: An Evidence-Based Method, Third Edition ISBN-13: 978-0071760003


    Uhlmann WR, Schuette JL, Yashar BM (2009) A Guide to Genetic Counseling (2nd ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-0470179659

  33. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases:
  34. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy: Pre-class assignments: 20% (10 at 2 points each)

    Class participation: 45% of grade and includes (45 points total)

    Quizzes: 15% (3 at points each)

    Simulated Encounters: 20: (2 at 10 points each)

    Total points = 100

    Course Grading Scale:

    A = 100-89.5%

    B = 89.49-79.5%

    C = 79.49-69.5%

    D = 69.49-59.5%

    F =

  35. Assignments, Exams and Tests: 1. Pre-class assignments: Students will submit ten pre-class assignments. Further guidelines are outlined in the course calendar (page 9).

    2. Participation: Students are expected to actively engage in class discussions and skill activities about the pre-class assignments, readings and presentations. Class participation will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

    o Active participation in skill-based activities;

    o Respect for peers and provision of appropriate feedback;

    o Attendance: Chronic tardiness (more than 2 times) and/or unexcused absence will result in a reduction in final class participation points.

    3. Quizzes: Students will have three quizzes throughout the semester.

    4. Simulated Encounters: Students will be expected to videotape and critique two brief simulated patient encounters with a partner role-playing and/or standardized patient to demonstrate patient-centered communication skills that have been learned throughout the course.

  36. Attendance Policy: Course Attendance at First Class Meeting Ė Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation Ė Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. Itís the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

  37. Policy on Make-up Work: All late assignments will be assessed a penalty of 1 point per day. Failure to complete any assignment will not be considered an excuse for being assigned an "I" grade in the course. Exceptions to this policy will be made only in the case of severe illness, documented family emergency, or similar problem.

    Disruption of the academic process and violations of the policies regarding academic integrity will not be tolerated. Review USF policies on Disruption of the Academic Process and the Academic Integrity of Students at:

    Plagiarism will not be tolerated and is grounds for failure. Review USF Academic Dishonesty and Disruption of Academic Process Policy at:



    The University of South Florida has an account with an automated plagiarism detection service (Turnitin), which allows instructors and students to submit student assignments to be checked for plagiarism. I (the instructor) reserve the right to 1) request that assignments be submitted as electronic files and 2) submit studentsí assignments to Turnitin, or 3) request students to submit their assignments to Turnitin through the course site. Assignments are compared automatically with a database of journal articles, web articles, the internet and previously submitted papers. The instructor receives a report showing exactly how a studentís paper was plagiarized.

    NOTE: An institution may not release a paper to a plagiarism detection software without the studentís prior consent unless all personally identifiable information has been removed, such as a studentís name, social security number, student number, etc.. Note that a paper/essay is considered an educational record and an institution may not ask a student to waive their rights under FERPA for the purpose of submitting papers to a plagiarism detection software.

    For more information about Plagiarism and Turnitin, visit:

    Plagiarism tutorial:


  38. Program This Course Supports: Master of Science in Public Health (MSPH) Genetic Counseling
  39. Course Concurrence Information: MPH- Public Health Education

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