Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to confirm the three keynote speakers at the 2016 Conference.


Do no harm: balancing the costs and benefits of health psychology research and practice.

Professor  Jane Ogden (University of Surrey) who has research interests in the areas of eating behaviour and obesity management, aspects of women’s health, communication in the health care consultation and the experience of medical procedures.

Much has been written about medical iatrogenesis within the sociology and medical literature.  This talk asks whether there is also a form of psychological iatrogenesis resulting from health psychology research and practice.  In particular the talk will focus on medication adherence, help seeking, screening and behaviour change to argue that all interventions have the potential for both benefit and harm.  Accordingly, health psychology may have inadvertently contributed to psychological harms (e.g. lead times, anxiety, risk compensation, rebound effects), medical harms (e.g. Medication side effects, unnecessary procedures) and social harms (e.g. financial costs, increased consultations rates).  Such harms may result from medicalization or pharmaceuticalisation.  They may also reflect the ways in which we manage risk and probabilities and an optimistic bias that emphasises benefit over cost.  Furthermore, they can also be seen as a shift in the way we understand our own morality as even death becomes avoidable.


A decade of lessons in behaviour change intervention research.

Dr. Molly Byrne (National University of Ireland, Galway) who has research interests in developing and evaluating behavioural health interventions, chronic disease and self-management and psychosocial aspects of health behaviours.

In Molly’s keynote, she will track how her behavioural intervention research has evolved, changed and (hopefully!) improved over the last decade.  She will critically appraise a randomised controlled trial of an intervention to improve secondary prevention of heart disease delivered in primary care (the SPHERE Study) in which she was involved in 2005. Since this time, novel approaches, methodologies and tools have been developed within behavioural science to improve evidence-based intervention development and evaluation research.  Molly will outline these innovations and discuss how she has used them in studies she has conducted since SPHERE.  She will reflect on the key lessons she has learnt along this research journey, as well as outline some ideas about current opportunities and challenges relevant to researchers in the area of health behaviour change.


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Obesity: A public health perspective on behaviour change.

Professor Ivan Perry (University College Cork) who has research interests that are primarily focused on chronic disease epidemiology, with a specific focus on cardiovascular disease (CVD), Type 2 Diabetes, self harm and suicide.

The focus of this presentation will be on behaviour change from a public health perspective. Examples from work on obesity will be used and the challenge of complexity in public health will be highlighted. The importance of whole population based versus high risk intervention strategies will be discussed and the limits of personal agency and of individually targeted behaviour change strategies will be addressed.