Clinical Concentration

Doctor of Behavioral Health Program

The Doctor of Behavioral Health (DBH) Clinical degree is designed for students ready to seize the opportunity in healthcare reform to design, implement and evaluate integrated care delivery systems. The program curriculum is unique in combining healthcare management, models of evidence–based and cost–effective interventions, accountability for clinical and cost outcomes, and entrepreneurship designed to meet the emerging demand for disruptive innovation.

The DBH Clinical Concentration is an 84–credit doctoral degree (students receive 30–credits towards the program based on their master’s degree) offered through ASU Online that prepares graduates to be future leaders in integrated care. The curriculum includes ASU Online courses that include synchronous (live) chat with instructors and students, internship training with live streaming video consultation with experts in the field, and a culminating research project that includes a business plan specific to the students’ professional career interests.

The curriculum is focused on healthcare interventions and management for integrated behavioral health programs. The core courses are based on the three pillars of:

  1. Medical literacy to understand disease pathophysiology, progression and treatment
  2. Integrated behavioral interventions that are based on efficiency in order to engage and effectively treat patients in busy primary care or other medical settings
  3. Entrepreneurship to help the DBH graduate leverage his or her unique skill set to meet the demands of the 21st century healthcare reform market.

Students may choose from a wide variety of elective courses based on their unique professional aspirations. DBH clinical elective courses build upon the core courses with specialization in specific patient populations or interventions. Students may also take additional elective courses from the DBH Management Concentration. This flexibility offers students the opportunity to develop a highly specialized plan of study best suited to their professional situation.

Core (Required) Courses (36 credits)

IBC 604 – Clinical Pathophysiology
Overview of pathophysiology and medical treatment of common medical conditions in primary care (e.g., diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, asthma, cancer, etc.). Emphasis on pathophysiology, common medical treatments, and common co–morbid behavioral conditions. (3 credits; 15–week format)
IBC 608 – Psychopharmacology for the Behavioral Care Provider
Overview of psychopharmacology, in order to equip the behavioral care provider with the understanding of medications effects/side–effects necessary to make prescription recommendations to prescribers in primary care settings. (3 credits; 15–week format)
IBC 609 – Clinical Neuropathophysiology
Basic understanding of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and development, course and prognosis for pathophysiological processes. (3 credits; 15–week format)
IBC 684 – Internship [course name effective Spring 2016]
Clinical hands-on internship experience that allows the student to apply skills in an integrated behavioral healthcare setting. Students are required to enroll in three credits of the internship program twice during their time in the DBH program and complete 400 hours on-site at their internship location. Students are also strongly encouraged to have completed IBC 604 and IBC 608 prior to enrolling in internship. Prerequisites: IBC 701 - Models of Integrated Primary Care, IBC 702 - Brief Interventions in Primary Care, and IBC 793 Culminating Project (CP) (1st credit of CP is completed prior to beginning internship and 2nd credit of CP is concurrent). (6 credits total; 15–week format)
IBC 702 – Brief Interventions in Primary Care
This course provides an overview of evidence-based care for the integrated primary care environment. In particular, this course will review and apply the most common approaches to addressing co-morbid behavioral and medical conditions, including but not limited to cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, solution-focused therapy, and motivational interviewing. (3 credits)
IBC 701 – Models of Integrated Primary Care
This course provides an overview of the primary care environment as well as current models of integrated primary behavioral healthcare. Models of healthcare are reviewed and critiqued based on their success in impacted patient health outcomes and improving physician satisfaction, along with fiscal and care delivery systems for each. (3 credits)
IBC 712 – Population–based Health Management
Epidemiology and trends in medical/behavioral utilization/cost. Disease management for chronic conditions. Predictive modeling, clinical decision support, and stepped–care models. Psychology of patient engagement and retention strategies. Measurement of medical cost–offset and return on investment. Technology (e–mail, web tools) in disease management. (3 credits)
IBC 714 – Quality and Performance Measurement, Improvement and Incentives
Design, implementation and evaluation of health–care research design based on principles of Total Quality Management, performance measurement and value–based medicine. Oversight and accreditation agencies. Pay for performance incentives in health care. (3 credits)
IBC 718 – Healthcare Systems: Organization, Delivery, and Economics
Understanding of health–care systems, policy, economics and finance. Focus on hospitals, primary and ambulatory care. Effective consultation within complex, multi–tiered organizations with diverse stakeholders. Principles of strategic consultation incorporating clinical, business, psychological, interpersonal and organizational factors. (3 credits)
IBC 720 – Behavioral Health Business Entrepreneur
Characteristics and psychology of successful entrepreneurs. Writing and presenting a business plan. Basic accounting/finance. Business law and government regulation. Venture capital and investment. Small business start–up. Return on investment/medical cost offset. (3 credits)
IBC 793 – Culminating Project
Applied research paper focused on design, implementation and evaluation of a clinical intervention in a primary care or related setting. Focus on clinical outcomes, quality improvement, and evidence–based research on behavior change and psychological processes. Students are required to enroll in three 15–week, 1 credit sections of this course throughout their tenure of the DBH program to assist in the development, implementation, and completion of their project. (3 credits total; 15–week session)

Elective Course (Choose any 6 for a total of 18 credits)

**Please note that until elective courses have been offered 1–2 times, they are listed in the Course Catalogue under the DBH Omnibus number, IBC 780. This has a default heading listing these courses as practicum courses; however, none of these courses have a practicum component. Once courses have been offered 1–2 times and approved by ASU’s University–wide curriculum committee, they will be listed under a new and unique course number. These numbers will be updated on this page accordingly as time progresses**

IBC 590 – Professional Writing Skills
Given the increased focus on written communication in the age of technology, this course will focus on enhancing students’ writing skills. This one credit course will have a particular focus on the nuances of APA style and solid literature reviews, both critical skills for the Culminating Project (1 credit)
IBC 598 – Motivational Interviewing
Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a person-centered, goal oriented, evidence based, method of communication and care delivery which can be utilized to strengthen and build relationships, collaboration, and motivations toward positive behavior change. Students will develop and practice the core skills of motivational interviewing through engaging in dialogues, didactics, and vignettes orchestrated to support brief evidence based approaches in health care settings for eliciting and strengthening intrinsic motivation for positive change. (3 credits)
IBC 602 – Healthcare Statistics
Overview of statistical methods and applications to behavioral health. This course is focused on providing students with the requisite knowledge to analyze and report on the data for their Culminating Projects. Students are strongly encouraged to take this course, particularly if they are not currently comfortable with analyzing data utilizing either Excel or SPSS. (3 credits)
IBC 610 – Behavioral and Psychological Assessment in Primary Care
Behavioral and Psychological Assessment in Primary Care - Overview of principles of measurement (e.g., validity, reliability), screening and diagnosis in primary care settings, focus on depression, anxiety, chronic health conditions, and quality of life. Students are recommended to take this course in order to assist with the identification of measurement tools for use in their Culminating Project. (3 credits)
IBC 624 – Integrated Behavioral Health for Children and Adolescents
Overview of common presenting problems for children and adolescents in primary care. Review of strategies and techniques for working with children and adolescents, including application of the Biodyne Model and other evidence–based approaches. (3 credits)
IBC 634 – Behavior Change Strategies and Techniques in Primary Care
Major theories, strategies and techniques of behavior change for lifestyle and medication adherence problems that contribute to poor health outcome. Focus on nutrition, activity/exercise, and smoking cessation. (3 credits)
IBC 660 – Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in Health Care
Overview of legal, ethical and professional issues specific to the behavioral clinician in health care. Topics include ethical issues in e–Health, communication in an integrated care setting, and common ethical concerns of integrated healthcare settings. (3 credits)
IBC 670 – Integrated Care for Substance Use Disorders
Review of evidence based approaches to working with substance use and misuse in the primary care clinic. Particular emphasis is placed on screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) and motivational interviewing approaches. (3 credits)
IBC 690 – Readings & Conference
Oftentimes, DBH students identify specialized areas of interest that are outside the scope of the standard curriculum. The addition of a Readings & Conference course will allow students to partner with a faculty member of their choice in order to individualize their training plan (1 credit)
IBC 691 – Families and Couples in Primary Care
Covers advanced principles of evidence-based integrated behavioral care in primary care and other medical settings. Develops evidence-based approaches in the assessment and treatment of families and couples and deepens and expands the skills in specific applications of assessment and treatment modalities for adults. (3 credits)
IBC 728 – Cultural Diversity, Health and Illness
Focus on the relationship between cultural diversity, health and illness, healthcare disparities and multicultural psychotherapy in primary care and other healthcare settings. The objective is to prepare behavioral clinicians to use effective psychotherapy informed by cultural diversity in primary care and related medical settings (3 credits)
IBC 780 – Psychosomatic Illness: Diagnosis and Treatment
Taught by Dr. David Clarke, a renowned gastroenterologist, this course focuses on the phenomenon of medically unexplained symptoms with psychological underpinnings (1 credit)
IBC 780 – Integrative Medicine
This course will focus on the emerging field of integrative medicine. Integrative medicine, often referred to as complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), is an increasingly acknowledged field within medicine, and affords a unique opportunity for behavioral health providers to work alongside a variety of providers, including massage therapists, chiropractors, and naturopathic medicine. This course will provide an overview of integrative medicine and its application for behavioral health providers (3 credits).

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