Distress or Disorder: Reactions to a medical diagnosis MED5460

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course outlines the process of psychosocial adjustment to a diagnosis or test result allowing participants to establish if and when a distress reaction develops into an adjustment disorder. The implications of diagnosis are explored and evidence considered allowing informed decisions about appropriate referrals to other agencies.


This course is made up of a lectures and seminars.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Essay (80%) - 2000 words.

Peer Review Set Exercise (20%)

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to use evidence-based practice to apply the process of psychosocial adjustment to health scenarios and to identify when distress reaction represent adjustment disorders. The implications of a diagnosis to the individual and family should be recognised the psychological and social needs of the individual and family should be ascertained to allow appropriate follow-up care to be facilitated. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Critically appraise the scientific literature to justify potential concerns relating to psychosocial adjustment post-diagnosis.

■ Critically evaluate the scientific literature to recognise and identify psychological disorders.

■ Assess the strengths and weaknesses of a range of psychosocial support options for individuals and those closest to them, post diagnosis.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.