13th Annual Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference

by Dr Karen Matvienko-Sikar

This blog originally appeared on the UCC School of Applied Psychology’s Blog: The Soapbox

The superstitious among us may consider thirteen to be an unlucky number. That certainly won’t be the case for the 13th Annual Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference. This year the conference is being hosted in University College Cork (UCC) on Friday the 7th May, by the Division of Health Psychology of the PSI in association with the Division of Health Psychology of the BPS, Northern Ireland Branch. With just over two months to go, the scientific and organising committee are putting the finishing touches to what will be a stimulating and enjoyable event.

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The conference will focus on the promoting the intersections of health, psychology and medicine, particularly transitions in health. It provides the perfect venue for engaging with high quality research findings in these areas. The three keynote speakers, Professor Jane Ogden, Dr Molly Byrne, and Professor Ivan Perry, are internationally renowned researchers in their areas. Professor Jane Ogden is Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Surrey. Her research interests include eating behaviour and obesity management, communication in doctor-patient consultation, and aspects of women’s health. She has also published over 100 articles, and a number of books including Health Psychology: A Textbook. Professor Ogden’s talk will focus on the balance of costs and benefits in health psychology. Dr Molly Byrne is Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology and is Director of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group (HBCRG) at National University of Ireland, Galway. Dr Byrne’s research focuses on developing and evaluating behavioural health interventions, psychosocial aspects of health behaviours, and chronic disease and self-management. Her talk will outline lessons learned from the past ten years of behaviour change interventions. Professor Ivan Perry is Head of Department of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health in University College Cork. His research interests include chronic disease epidemiology, particularly cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and suicide and self-harm. For his keynote talk Professor Perry will be discussing Obesity in terms of a public health perspective on behaviour change.

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The expertise, research backgrounds, and topics to be addressed by this year’s keynote speakers will definitely make for interesting and informative presentations. With the calibre of high quality research submitted for presentation to the scientific committee to date, the parallel sessions and poster presentations are also set to encourage interaction with the researchers. All attendees and presenters will also have the chance to network and enjoy themselves throughout the day on the beautiful UCC campus (weather permitting!).

While the main focus for many will be on the day itself, pre-conference workshops are being held in the School of Applied Psychology on Thursday 26thMay, and are booking up quickly. The morning workshop, facilitated by Dr Angela Veale (School of Applied Psychology, UCC), covers Participatory Action Research (PAR) for health promotion and evaluation. This workshop will cover the key concepts, skills, methodological tools, and challenges of conducting PAR, particularly in a health context. The afternoon workshop is facilitated by Dr Conor Linehan (School of Applied Psychology, UCC) and will introduce the theory and practice of User-Centered Design of mobile health technologies. Participants get the opportunity engage with the principles and practices of user-centered design, as well as engaging in a hands-on design focused approach. These workshops can still be registered for here and here and respectively.

All in all this year’s Psychology, Health and Medicine is gearing up to continue the tradition of being both an informative and enjoyable event. If you haven’t had the chance to register yet you can do so at the conference website. For those of you who have registered we look forward to welcoming you to Cork and UCC in May!

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