ISCHP 2019

The 11th Biennial Conference of the International Critical Health Psychology Society in Bratislava

ISCHP 2019

15-17 July

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 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.

Important Dates

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!

Keynote Speakers


Margaret Wazakili

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.


Miroslav Sirota

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.

LindaMcMullen (002)

Linda McMullen

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.


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

More accommodation options are available through sites such as or 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

Getting There:

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)

Bratislava Airport

13.6 km (16 minute taxi or 40 minute bus)

Vienna Airport

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.

We use the Type E electric plug (“French”).

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

-Pohoda Festival-

Warm up before the conference at The Pohoda Festival, one of the best European summer music events!

Sunday July 14

-Welcome drinks-

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

-Conference dinner!-

Details to be announced. This event is included in the conference fee.

Evenings July 15-16

-Guided walks-

Instructions will be sent to registered participants.

Pohoda Festival

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:

Lonely Planet Bratislava:

Travel in Slovakia:

Tip from the locals: For the list of “off-the-beaten-track” sights in Bratislava, we recommend this list


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


Radomír Masaryk

Conference Chair

Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia

Gabriel Bianchi

Local Team, Slovak Academy of Sciences

Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

Kerry Chamberlain

ISCHP, Communication Co-ordinator

Massey University, Albany, New Zealand

Lenka Kostovičová

Local Team, Program Coordination

Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia

Barbara Lášticová

Local Team, Slovak Academy of Sciences

Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia

Abigail Locke

ISCHP, Secretary

University of Bradford, Bradford, UK

Martina Mášiková

Local Team, Management and Public Relations

Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia

Lucia Mokrá

Local Team, Comenius University

Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia

Elizabeth Peel

ISCHP, Past Conference Chair

Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK

Poul Rohleder

ISCHP, Vice-Chair

University of East London, London, UK

Wendy Stainton Rogers

ISCHP, Executive Committee Liaison

The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

Chris Stephens

ISCHP, Treasurer

Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Radoslaw Stupak

ISCHP, International Representative

Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland

Irmgard Tischner

Pecha Kucha & Five Minute Challenges

University of Worcester, Worcester, UK

Gareth Treharne

ISCHP, Chair

University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Dominika Vajdová

Local Team, Student Representative

Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia

For more information please contact:

Conference Fees

Full Fee

Earlybird €389, Late €467

Special Student Fee

Earlybird €300, Late €360

Early Bird Deadline

fees must be paid by 30 April 2019

Fees include conference access, lunches and conference dinner.
Fees do not include travel or accommodation costs.

Abstract Submission

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 for any inquiries regarding cancellations.