The 11th Biennial Conference of the International Society of Critical Health Psychology in Bratislava
The Biennial International Society of Critical Health Psychology conference provides an exciting opportunity for health psychologists and scholars from related disciplines to explore ongoing and emerging issues in critical theory and practice in relation to health and health care. Attendance is therefore welcomed from scholars in any discipline with a critical orientation to the field of health. The conference also welcomes and encourages students and emerging researchers.
Programme & Submission
The organising committee of the 11th Biennial conference encourage abstract submissions that take a critical approach to any health-related research topic. When submitting an abstract you can select from the options of a 5-minute challenge talk, a Pecha Kucha talk, an e-poster, an individual oral presentation of 15 minutes, or a symposium of oral presentations on a relevant theme of your choosing. We aim to programme the invited 5-minute challenges and Pecha Kucha sessions as plenaries. For more information about these short formats of talk, see https://ischp.info/2016/05/28/telling-it-briefly/. E-posters will be displayed at the conference and on the conference website. The organising committee welcome multiple submissions in formats other than individual oral presentations. As well as an exciting academic programme there will be a lively social programme and pre-conference workshops.
31 October 2018
- pre-conference workshop abstract submission deadline
31 January 2019
- submission deadline for early abstract review
10 March 2019
- final submission deadline for oral presentation abstracts
1 April 2019
- final submission deadline for posters
11-13 July 2019
- Pohoda festival
15-17 July 2019
- ISCHP 2019 in Bratislava!
Global Disability Watch, Malawi:
Disability and Health
Dr Margaret Wazakili is Managing Director of the MagWaz Physiotherapy, Disability Consultancy and Wellness Services in Lilongwe, Malawi. She completed her PhD at the University of the Western Cape in 2008, focussing on Disability, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS among young people in a South African Township. She spent three out of four years of Post-Doctoral Fellowships with the African Policy on Disability and Development at the University of Stellenbosch, Centre for Rehabilitation Studies. On this programme, the focus was on inclusion of disability in poverty reduction strategies in four African countries, including Malawi, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia and Uganda. In the process, Dr Wazakili obtained a Post-Graduate Diploma in International Research Ethics, where she explored issues of disability-inclusive research in her project.
After teaching for two years at the School of Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Malawi, she took up a two-year Fellowship on Disability and Public Policy in April, 2016, as the first International Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation (JPKF) Fellow in Africa. During her two year contract, she focused on implementation of public policy as it applies to children and adults with intellectual disability, one of the most marginalised disability groups in accessing health and education services. Dr Wazakili attended a short course on Leadership for the 21st Century at Harvard University and visited a number of model inclusive education schools, another of her focus areas on the JPKF Fellowship. As chairperson of the Physiotherapy Association of Malawi, she established a partnership with Cerebral Palsy Africa (CPA), a Scottish based NGO that works with children with Cerebral Palsy to ensure some functional independence and school attendance from the age of 6 years. She also volunteers at Dzaleka refugee camp, the largest in Malawi, supporting parents and volunteers that works with children with disabilities, once a month.
Dr Wazakili has a wide range of work and research experience in the disability sector, in the context of Rehabilitation and Inclusive Development. She has worked with Special Olympics International in collaboration with the University of Cape Town to investigate the ‘Healthy Communities’ programme in Malawi. She has also worked with Disabled Women in Africa (DIWA) on issues of Albinism and access to justice for the disability sector. Dr Wazakili has published her work in accredited journals and presented at a number of local and international conferences on disability issues. She is one of the reviewers of the Disability and Health Journal, African Journal of Disability, Sexuality and Disability Journal and the Malawi Medical Journal.
Disability-related discrimination, rights abuses, lack of education, chronic poverty, conﬂict, poor infrastructure and inequality, impede efforts to provide good health for people with disabilities, especially in Lower and Middle Income Countries. Ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has not compelled donors to prioritise disability programmes for funding. Similarly, some governments overlook implementation of disability-related policies, so that access to equitable and quality health care for people with disabilities remains elusive. Most attempts at describing Disability and Health point at disparities that are associated with people’s disability status and sometimes with societal inability to structure the cultural and health care framework to allow persons with disability to function at their best. Inclusivity is an approach that tries to bring the strengths of all disability representations under one umbrella, the human rights model.Inclusive development is about structuring existing service systems to minimise obstacles to health care for people with disabilities. Key reasons for a slow uptake can also become stepping stones to achieving justice and equal access to services. There is a need to demonstrate best-practice models of policy implementation for disability and health to ensure that services are shared equally among citizens with and without disabilities.
University of Essex, United Kingdom:
Can qualitative critical psychology learn something from the current crisis in mainstream quantitative psychology?
Miroslav Sirota is a lecturer at the University of Essex. His research involves trying to understand how people judge, reason and make decisions in situations of uncertainty and risk; how they perform these processes on their own and in the presence of others; and how they perform these processes in the lab and in the wild. His basic research interests include perceptions of verbal probabilities, statistical reasoning, and intuitive and deliberative processing. He is interested in the theoretically-grounded understanding of more applied issues informing people’s health, such as diagnostic reasoning, patient-doctor risk communication and prescribing decisions. His most recent published work analysed why family physicians detect or miss early presentation of cancers, whilst another published study examined how patients’ expectations for antibiotics affect family doctors’ decisions to prescribe these antibiotics. He uses quantitative analyses, including multilevel modelling, Bayesian statistics and meta-analyses. He is an advocate of transparent research practices and open science.
Over the last decade, (some) researchers practising quantitative psychology undertook an evaluation of the persistent problems associated with their methods. For instance, they reflected on unrestricted researchers’ degrees of freedom, which have resulted in instances of malpractice such as p-hacking, HARKing, selective reporting and publication bias that are most likely responsible for the replication crisis in mainstream psychology. I will outline some of the results of this evaluation in terms of proposed changes to psychological practice, their implementation and the impact on current psychological science. I will discuss how qualitative methods could benefit from the lessons learnt in mainstream psychology and integrate some of the implemented changes such as pre-registration, replication and collaborative efforts.
University of Saskatchewan, Canada:
When critique becomes commonplace: The case of depression and antidepressants
Linda McMullen is a professor of psychology at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) and is co-author (with Frederick Wertz, Kathy Charmaz, Ruthellen Josselson, Rosemarie Anderson, and Emalinda McSpadden) of Five ways of doing qualitative analysis: Phenomenological psychology, grounded theory, discourse analysis, narrative research, and intuitive inquiry and co-editor (with Janet Stoppard) of Situating sadness: Women and depression in social context. Her recent publications include discursive analyses of service providers’ and service users’ accounts of depression and the use of antidepressants. She has served as president of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology (a section of the Division of Quantitative and Qualitative Methods of the American Psychological Association), and has been recognized by the Canadian Psychological Association (Fellow; Distinguished Member, Section for Women and Psychology); the Saskatchewan Psychological Association (Outstanding and Longstanding Service to the Profession); and the University of Saskatchewan Faculty Association (Academic Freedom Award).
What happens when a dominant illness narrative unravels? By drawing on published research and on items primarily in the Canadian media, I show how the widely-held conception of depression as a biomedical disorder that is appropriately treated with antidepressant medication has been disrupted. In particular, I consider critiques of what constitutes ‘depression’ and its explanatory framings, and of the evidence for the mechanisms of effect and use of antidepressants. I also map the consequences of this unravelling, including whose interests might not be well served by it.
University of Bradford, UK
Maria Del Rio Carral
Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
Early Career Academics in Critical Health Psychology: Precarity in the neoliberal academy
Abigail Locke is a Professor in Psychology at the University of Bradford, UK. She completed her PhD in 2001 with Professor Derek Edwards as part of the Discourse and Rhetoric Group (DARG) at Loughborough University, UK. She has held lectureships at Coventry University, the University of Derby, Loughborough University and University of Huddersfield. Abigail is currently Associate Dean for Research & Knowledge Transfer at the University of Bradford. She is also a Visiting Professor in Social & Health Psychology at the University of Derby. Abigail is a critical social/health psychologist and has research interests around gender, identity, parenting and qualitative methodologies. Her current research work focuses on societal constructions of ‘good’ motherhood’ and ‘good fatherhood’, and she has applied this lens to issues around stay-at-home-dads, infant feeding, advice to parents and digital families. Abigail is the current Chair-Elect of the Psychology of Women and Equalities Section (POWES). She is also Secretary of the International Society for Critical Health Psychology (ISCHP) and one of the founding members of the European Association for Qualitative Research in Psychology (EQUiP).
María del Río Carral is a lecturer in health psychology at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
She completed her PhD in 2011 at this university in the area of work and health among female senior managers, by developing a critical approach to the mainstream concepts of work-life balance and work-family conflict. During her postdoc at the University of Louvain, Belgium, she focused on postdocs’ daily life to analyse psychosocial implications associated to precariousness in academia. At this period, she was co-author of a funded EU project (2012-2015) aimed at Gendering the Academy and Research: Combatting Career Instability and Asymmetries (GARCIA). Throughout her research in this area, she gained expertise in early life trajectories related to different professions – including the academic – by studying work-life articulation, affectivity, and corporeality. Other research interests involve qualitative research methods in psychology having resulted in several recent publications, such as the a French handbook of qualitative research in psychology and human and social sciences, co-edited with Marie Santiago-Delefosse in 2017. Recently, she co-founded the first European association for Qualitative research In Psychology (EQuiP), aimed at creating bridges among researchers across different cultural, historical and societal backgrounds, for which she has been elected president.
This workshop explores the position of early career researchers (ECR) engaged in critical health psychology (CHP). We will open up the discussion of their role within the larger realm of health psychology in contemporary academia. In most countries where health psychology has become institutionalised, the predominant theoretical framework used is based on the ‘biopsychosocial model’, given the origins of our discipline, anchored in medical and health sciences. This framework, underpinned by a neo-positivist logic, potentially receives more research funding, partly due to its claims to be able to predict and change behaviour (through behaviour change models mainly inspired by socio-cognitive approaches), whilst also holding journals with higher impact factors. It is also the model of high impact journal outputs and research funding that drives appointment and promotion rounds. Critical health psychology sets up a different lens to much of this mainstream health psychology and with it opens up the possibility for more exploratory, qualitative, and/or community-based research. The rise of critical health psychology in the late 1990s, launched in many ways through the first ISCHP Conference in Canada (1999) namely attracted well-established academics. Nonetheless, these were different times and a different context for higher education. Today, academia witnesses the precarisation of work conditions for ECR linked to broader structural transformations that have resulted in a multiplication of PhD and postdoctoral positions and the reduction of stable academic jobs. In this context, our workshop focuses giving voice to ECRs who identify as CHP to identify ways in which they are adjusting to contemporary academia. Moreover, we will discuss as mid-career academics, our strategies for navigating through the structures of the neoliberal university in different national contexts, whilst opening up the discussion to more senior academics who may share their experience and exchange on ‘useful tips’ for managing survival in academic institutions in the current climate.
Catriona Ida Macleod
Rhodes University, South Africa
University of Otago, New Zealand
Ethics in Critical Health Research: dilemmas and pathways throughout the research process
Dr Catriona Ida Macleod is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and SARChI chair of the Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction research programme at Rhodes University. Her major scholastic contributions have been in two main areas: sexual and reproductive health, and feminist theory in Psychology. She is author of the multi-award winning book ‘Adolescence’, pregnancy and abortion: constructing a threat of degeneration (Routledge, 2011), co-author (with Tracy Morison) of the book Men’s pathways to parenthood: silence and heterosexual gendered norms (HSRC Press, 2015) and editor (with Gareth Treharne, Phindezwa Mnyaka and Jacqueline Marx) of the Palgrave Handbook of Ethics in Critical Research (Palgrave, 2018). She is editor-in-chief of Feminism & Psychology.
Dr Gareth Treharne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Otago in Aotearoa/New Zealand. He completed his PhD in psychology at the University of Birmingham, UK. Gareth’s current collaborative research programme includes studies exploring treatment decisions made by people with rheumatoid arthritis, healthcare for transgender people, suicidality among LGBTQ people, sexual violence prevention on university campuses, and the role of indigenous language education for well-being. He is a co-editor of the Palgrave Handbook of Ethics in Critical Research along with Catriona Macleod, Jacqueline Marx and Phindezwa Mnyaka. Gareth is a long-standing member of ISCHP and current Chair of the Executive Committee.
This workshop draws from insights garnered in co-producing the Palgrave Handbook of Ethics in Critical Research, edited by the presenters, Jacqueline Marx and Phindezwa Mnyaka. Participants will engage interactively concerning the ethical dilemmas of their research. The workshop is suitable for researchers at any stage in the research process. The learning outcomes of the workshop are for participants to gain insight into the ethical challenges they may face, or have faced, in relation to four core issues: when encountering systems; when boundaries become porous in research relationships; when anonymity is not possible or actively resisted by participants and/or researchers; and when power relations within research emerge. After a presentation of key concepts that surfaced in the collation of the chapters written by authors from across the world, participants will engage in the following activities: (1) individual exercise: completing a spider diagram that outlines the key features of their research, its ethical dilemmas and the pathways to resolve these dilemmas; (2) small group task: sharing spider diagrams for discussion and consolidation; (3) large group feedback: discussion of commonalities found, and the pathways recommended.
The University of Auckland, New Zealand
TH Deggendorf, Germany
Story completion for critical health research...
Virginia Braun is a Professor in the School of Psychology, The University of Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand. She primarily is interested in the intersecting domains of gendered bodies, sex/uality, and health, and the production of subjectivity, knowledge and practice in and through 'scientific' and 'popular' knowledge. She's currently working around 'healthy eating'. In addition, she is interested in qualitative research approaches, and has spent decades both teaching and doing scholarship around (critical) qualitative research – with an overall aim of contributing to diversity and quality of qualitative research. With collaborator Victoria Clarke, and others, she has written extensively around thematic analysis, and qualitative research more generally (Successful Qualitative Research, Sage, 2013; Collecting Qualitative Data Cambridge, 2017). In the last few years, she has enjoyed ‘experimenting’ with story completion as a method, with a wide group of co-explorers, including co-presenter Irmgard Tischner. She has co-edited a special issue of Qualitative Research in Psychology on story completion, out 2019.
Irmgard Tischner is professor for qualitative health and social research at the Technische Hochschule Deggendorf, Germany. Focusing on poststructuralist, feminist and critical psychological approaches, her research interests generally include issues of (mental and physical) health and social justice. More particularly, Irmgard is interested in topics of embodiment and subjectivity, in relation to (gendered) discourses of body size, health and physical activity, as well as social determinants of mental and physical health, in contemporary neoliberal societies. Irmgard has been using story completion in her research for more than 5 years and enjoys being part of the continuous development of this method in psychology. This experience means she can divulge examples of good practice, as well as the various ways qualitative research generally, and story-completion studies in particular, may challenge us.
Can generating brief stories about a topic of interest be useful for critical health psychology researchers? We believe they can, and will use this workshop to introduce participants to a method we love, called story completion. This method offers much for exploring the common-sense and meaning-making frameworks around health-related topics or scenarios, the kinds of sociocultural resources that are part of the potentialities for health, both broadly and for individuals. Simple, easy to use, and fun, this method can be extremely effective in, for example, gathering responses from a larger number of participants, or in addressing more sensitive topics without asking directly about people's perceptions or experiences. Following our symposium on the method of story completion at ISCHP 2017, this half-day workshop aims to briefly outline the scope, core ideas and application of story completion and introduce key conceptual and practical/design considerations. Hands-on activities, including, most crucially, the design of an effective story stem and participant instructions, will give workshop participants a real sense of what story completion involves, and the skills to set up their own SC project. We emphasise that the story completion method can be simple, yes, but that good planning and a thorough research design are essential for good quality data! This workshop will alert researchers to the potential traps and snags, and provide useful resources and provocative questions to engage with story completion. No experience of the method is required.
Massey University, New Zealand:
Interpretive analysis of qualitative data: Transcending the descriptive and thematic
Kerry Chamberlain is a Professor of Social and Health Psychology at Massey University, New Zealand. He is a critical health psychologist who has been prominent internationally in promoting qualitative research within health psychology. His current research interests focus on health in everyday life, with a particular interest in topics that advance understandings of disadvantage and provide assistance for disadvantaged peoples. He utilises mainly qualitative research methodologies in his research, predominantly critical discursive approaches, and innovative methods, such as photo-elicitation, diaries, maps, and the use of material objects like personal possessions and photographs, to reveal the materiality and social practices of everyday life. He has published extensively on qualitative research, health psychology and quality of life. He was one of the founding members and is the past Chair of the International Society of Critical Health Psychology. He is a Fellow of the European Health Psychology Society.
Much published data analysis in psychology offers accounts which remain at a descriptive level, or rely heavily on identifying and presenting themes that ‘emerge’ from the data. This workshop will argue that critical psychologists have a responsibility to do better than this, by taking their analyses to an interpretive level, and offering theorised interpretations of their data. The workshop will consider the processes involved in qualitative data analysis, from familiarisation, to thematic aggregation, to interpretation. It will also consider how data can be theorised and argue for the value of invoking theory and theorisation for effective data interpretation. These arguments will be illustrated and connected through discussion of several published articles reflecting weaker and stronger interpretative accounts. Workshop participants will also be engaged in an exercise requiring theorised interpretation of data. The workshop objectives seek to have participants gain skills in theorisation and interpretation of qualitative data that transcend the descriptive and thematic, and to gain confidence in their ability to develop and present strong interpretive accounts of qualitative data.
The venue will be the Crowne Plaza hotel. Located conveniently in the centre of the city just opposite the President’s Palace, the hotel offers 224 comfortable guest rooms & suites. All academic events will be held in the hotel. In registration participants will have the chance to book accomodation directly at the hotel for special prices. For more details about the hotel please see https://cpbratislava.sk/hotel-overview/.
More accommodation options are available through sites such as Booking.com or Airbnb.com. If you are a student or an academic on an extremely tight budget, please contact us; we will try to set up a couch surfing scheme and connect you to local students who may be able to offer you a place to stay
Bratislava Central Train Station
1.3 km (4 minute taxi or 15 minute walk)
Bratislava Central Bus Terminal
1.9 km (9 minute taxi or 25 minute walk)
13.6 km (16 minute taxi or 40 minute bus)
65.4 km (41 minute taxi or 60 minute bus)
Conference Hotel: Crowne Plaza
This four-star hotel in the city´s central location is the conference venue. The price for a single standard room would be €85 per person per night, for a double standard room €105 per two persons per night. The price includes full American breakfast buffet, a free bottle of mineral water in the room, free coffee/tea/chocolate in the room, free of charge toilet-sets available upon request at the reception, an iron and ironing board in the room, unlimited Wi-Fi and/or cable internet connection everywhere in the building, unlimited access to the sauna, fitness centre and swimming pool (ZION SPA), a safe deposit box in the room, a Samsung TV, and all applicable taxes. Check-in at 3 PM, check-out at 12 noon.
Slovakia is a member of the European Union. Visitors who are EU residents or have EU visas can travel freely. We use the Euro currency.
Average weather in July: Sunny, 25-30 Celsius (76-85 Fahrenheit)
If you have any dietary requirements or other special needs, please specify in the registration form or via e-mail. We will try to be as forthcoming as possible.
Weekend July 11-14
Warm up before the conference at The Pohoda Festival, one of the best European summer music events!
Sunday July 14
We will reserve a table in a cafe for those who arrive one day ahead so people can meet and have a welcome drink.
Monday July 15
-Dinner with locals-
Members of our local team will post descriptions of their favourite restaurants. Every party will include at least one of the ISCHP veterans so newcomers will have the possibility to explore the city with locals and at the same time make new ISCHP friends.
Tuesday July 16
Details to be announced. This event is included in the conference fee.
Evenings July 15-16
Instructions will be sent to registered participants.
Warm up for the conference at The Pohoda Festival, one of the best European summer music events! Often referred to as „The Glastonbury of Central Europe“ (but usually with a lot less mud), Pohoda is an internationally acclaimed music and arts event where alternative, indie, electronica, world & punk music meet classical compositions together with literature readings, dance performances, visual art exhibitions, film screenings and theatre shows. Pohoda is praised for its excellent services to visitors and its focus on creating a comfortable environment. The 2018 acts included The Chemical Brothers, Jamie Cullum, St. Vincent, LP, Gus Gus, Ziggy Marley, Aurora or Kronos Quartet. The 2019 edition would be held on July 11-13 in Trenčín (130 kms from Bratislava). ISCHP participants will be offered discounted tickets. We are planning to organize an ISCHP-themed event at the festival – e.g. a discussion on topics of health psychology. To book please go to Registration. In 2018 Pohoda was listed among top festival picks by Metro, The Guardian and The Telegraph.
"No longer in the shadow of Vienna, Budapest and Prague, the Slovak capital is shaking off its dour Communist-era reputation and rediscovering its position in the heart of Central Europe,” wrote The Guardian in January 2018.
A city of half a million, Bratislava has very unusual history. The city is located right on the border with Austria and Hungary. During the time of the Austrian-Hungarian empire it even briefly served as its capital. After WWII it became a part of Czechoslovakia. During the Cold War the city practically sat on the Iron Curtain that divided the East from the West. The year 2019 will mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of this Iron Curtain; some remnants of this era are however still visible in the city.
Bratislava has a cosy downtown area with many bars, cafes and restaurants; most of the landmarks and points of interest are in walkable distance.
The Carpathian mountain range begins in the city so one can easily reach its forests for walks.
The city is crossed by the river Danube; its banks are the city's favourite place for biking, jogging or inline skating.
Visit Bratislava: https://www.visitbratislava.com/
Lonely Planet Bratislava: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/slovakia/bratislava
Travel in Slovakia: http://slovakia.travel/en/bratislava
Tip from the locals: For the list of “off-the-beaten-track” sights in Bratislava, we recommend this list http://mpba.sk/en
International Society for Critical Health Psychology
Slovak Association for Critical Psychology
Comenius University, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences
Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute for Research in Social Communication
Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
Local Team, Slovak Academy of Sciences
Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia
ISCHP, Communication Co-ordinator
Massey University, Albany, New Zealand
Local Team, Program Coordination
Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
Local Team, Slovak Academy of Sciences
Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia
University of Bradford, Bradford, UK
Local Team, Management and Public Relations
Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
Local Team, Comenius University
Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
ISCHP, Past Conference Chair
Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
University of East London, London, UK
Wendy Stainton Rogers
ISCHP, Executive Committee Liaison
The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
ISCHP, International Representative
Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
Pecha Kucha & Five Minute Challenges
University of Worcester, Worcester, UK
University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Local Team, Student Representative
Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
For more information please contact:
Fees include conference access, lunches and conference dinner.
Fees do not include travel or accommodation costs.
Click here if you wish to submit an abstract for peer review. You may also submit an oral contribution, a poster, a pecha-kucha talk, or a five minute challenge. The early abstract review deadline for all formats except for workshops is 31 January 2019, and the final submission deadline is 10 March 2019. We will try to communicate the decision as soon as practicable, not later than four weeks after each deadline.
Click here if you wish to register and pay the conference fee. Registration includes paying the conference fee. One can either pay directly using a credit card, or make a bank transfer using the details given during the registration process. Some participants want to register only once they are 100% sure their abstract has been accepted: in such case please wait for the abstract review decision before registering. Once registered it is possible to cancel and ask for a refund; we however need to charge a cancellation fee. It is also possible to transfer a registration to someone else for no additional charge.
- In case of cancellation before 15 June 2019, a EUR 50 administration charge will apply.
- In case of cancellation after 15 June 2019, the registration fees are non-refundable.
- Conference organizers will however accept a substitute at no additional cost, if a registered conference participant is unable to attend the conference.
- Please contact ISCHP2019@gmail.com for any inquiries regarding cancellations.