The costs and benefits of psychological research and its links with medicine

Jane Ogden

Wednesday, July 20 2016 at 8:00PM

Download iCalendar file
(e.g. import to Outlook or Google Calendar)


White Hill
East Sussex

Jane Ogden

What's the talk about?

What's the talk about?

'Do no harm' underpins medical practice.  However sometimes medical interventions can cause complications or further illness. This talk looks at research into such topics as compliance with medication, help seeking, screening and changes in behaviour to argue that all interventions risk harm as well as delivering benefits.

Health psychology explores the links between psychology and physical health. It is possible that health psychology may have inadvertently contributed to psychological harms (eg lead times, anxiety, risk compensation, rebound effects), medical harms (eg. medication side effects, unnecessary procedures) and social harms (eg. financial costs, increased consultations rates).   Such harms may result from over medicalisation of symptoms. They may also reflect the ways in which we manage probabilities and an optimistic bias that emphasises benefit over cost.  Or they may reflect a change in the way we understand mortality and a belief that even death can be controlled, or even avoided, by the individual.


Bio: After completing her PhD at the Institute of Psychiatry Jane Ogden lectured first at Middlesex University then Kings College London.  She joined the University of Surrey as Professor in Health Psychology in 2005.  She teaches psychology, medical, vet, nutrition and dietician students to think more psychologically about physical health.  Her research focuses on eating behaviour and obesity management, aspects of women's health and communication.  She has published 6 books and over 170 papers.  She is also a regular contributor to the media and writes a regular column for The Conversation.