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

Jane Ogden

Thursday, July 7 2016 at 7:30PM

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


39 Mount Ephraim
Tunbridge Wells

Jane Ogden

What's the talk about?

‘Do no harm’ underpins medical practice yet much has been written about medical iatrogenesis.   Health psychology explores the links between psychology and physical health.   This talk analyses research exploring 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 (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 medicalization or pharmaceuticalisation. 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.


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 psychological 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.