The conference workshops will take place on Tuesday, 1st of September 2015 (full-day 9 am – 5 pm) 

at Grand Resort – Conference Venue.

Please note that participants will be able to register for one conference workshop only. Registration for the conference is not a requirement to register for a conference workshop.

Workshop 1: Using Item Response Theory in questionnaire development and theory testing in Health Psychology

1. Using Item Response Theory in questionnaire development and theory testing in Health Psychology


  • Chris Gibbons
  • Katarzyna Byrka
  • Mieke Kleppe
  • Alexandra Dima

Workshop Overview: Following a successful symposium on Item Response Theory (IRT) at EHPS 2014, this workshop aims to introduce participants to using IRT for examining psychometric properties of questionnaires and testing theories in health psychology.

Target Population: This workshop is prepared for researchers with basic knowledge of statistics and data analysis that are interested to go beyond commonly-used methods of questionnaire analysis (e.g. Cronbach’s alpha, factor analysis) and explore questionnaire data from a new perspective to answer research questions inaccessible to other methods.

Learning Objectives: By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to:

  1. explain the theoretical foundations of IRT, the types of research questions IRT is applicable to, and its advantages compared to other methods
  2. use IRT concepts to interpret output from parametric and non-parametric IRT analyses in Ministep and R
  3. adapt R code for non-parametric IRT analyses to a new dataset.

Activities: The day will start with a theoretical overview of IRT and its relationship with classical test theory and other latent variable methods (e.g. factor analysis). Participants will be invited to apply the newly-introduced concepts to several hypothetical cases of questionnaire development and theory testing, and discuss the theoretical implications of using IRT versus other methods.

The workshop will continue with several brief demo sessions illustrating practical applications of IRT methods using free software: Ministep (parametric, Rasch) and R (non-parametric, Mokken scaling). Participants will be required to use the datasets and code provided to run the analyses presented on their own computers and interpret the output.

In a final practical session, participants will be invited to analyze their own datasets (or other datasets provided) using Mokken scaling. This method was chosen for its broad applicability and conceptual clarity, which make it appropriate for IRT beginners. The participants will be guided to sketch a data analysis plan and modify the code provided to implement Mokken scaling to this new analysis.

Before the workshop, participants will be asked to download R and Ministeps on their personal laptops, and select a dataset from their own research to analyze during the workshop (optional).

Facilitators’ Expertise:

  • Chris Gibbons has a track record of publications using IRT methodologies. He has given numerous lectures and presentations on IRT methods and their applications to heath psychology and health services research.
  • Katarzyna Byrka has been applying IRT-based scales in her research for the last eight years. She has also developed a Rasch-based instrument to measure health performance from a novel theoretical perspective, and has published various IRT-related work.
  • Mieke Kleppe has also worked with IRT methodology in her research and developed a Rasch-based medication adherence questionnaire that has been well-received internationally in adherence research.
  • Alexandra Dima is a health psychology researcher whose work and publication record focuses on questionnaire development and testing, including IRT methods. She has experience in teaching and presenting on research methods and psychometrics.
Maximum number of workshop participants: 40

Workshop 2: To Provide Innovative Strategies for Writing Scientific Papers, Including Creative Use of New Internet Resources, and Responding to Reviews, Including Rejection.

2. To Provide Innovative Strategies for Writing Scientific Papers, Including Creative Use of New Internet Resources, and Responding to Reviews, Including Rejection.


  • James C. Coyne, Professor Emeritus of Psychology in Psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania


  1. Familiarize participants with brand new electronic resources and the creative purposes to which they can be put.
  2. Identify how participants can integrate writing into their everyday life and lifestyle.
  3. Provide participants in guided practice in crafting interesting, compelling stories and therefore papers.
  4. Provide recognition of what needs to be done after submitting a manuscript, respond to reviews, decide whether to appeal rejections, and manage publicity for newly published papers

Rationale: Scientific writing is undergoing dramatic changes.  Many papers are rejected without being sent for peer review and yet other papers appear on PubMed within weeks of submission. Simply reporting good science is now insufficient to ensure acceptance. Rather, manuscripts, starting with the cover letter, title, and abstract, must inspire interest and tell a persuasive story, if they are even going to make it out for review. Lots of internet resources have become freely available, allowing writers to keep updated on the literature, but also avoid unintentional plagiarism, ensure inclusion of key citations, identify potential collaborators, and select the best journals and reviewers. Furthermore, if impact of papers is going to be maximized, authors need to be alert to post-submission responsibilities; respond strategically to reviews including a rejection; and use social media for publicity to increase early citations.

Description of Participants: Graduate and PhD students contemplating or actively involved in writing; postdocs and junior and senior faculty

Activities: Full day of powerpoint presentations and demonstrations, highly interactive sessions between participants and the presenter in crafting storylines for cover letters and responses to reviewers,  picking titles and writing abstracts. Personalized feedback will be provide to participants wherever they are in the writing process.

Facilitators’ Expertise: Information on whether the facilitator ran previous workshops on the proposed topic at other conference(s) and/or has related publications and/or related teaching on the proposed topic.

The presenter, James C. Coyne is Professor Emeritus of Psychology in Psychiatry at University of Pennsylvania where he was Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. He is currently Professor of Health Psychology at University of Groningen where he teaches scientific writing. He has over 350 publications and has been designated by ISI Web of Science as one of the most impactful psychologists and psychiatrists in the world. He is an Academic Editor for PLOS One and has served on numerous international editorial boards. He has previously presented this workshop at universities in numerous countries including the US, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Denmark, and at national and international conferences including EHPS.

Maximum number of workshop participants: 45

Workshop 3: How do you conduct a meta-ethnography? An introduction to meta-syntheses

3. How do you conduct a meta-ethnography? An introduction to meta-syntheses


  • Gulcan Garip, PhD, CPsychol, UK HCPC registered Health Psychologist, Cyprus

Workshop Overview: The proposed topic is envisaged to be presented as a full-day, two part workshop that relates to the theoretical and practical issues in conducting meta-syntheses, using a meta-ethnographic approach. The first part of the workshop will introduce participants to a definition of meta-syntheses, and highlight considerations and decisions that should be made prior to conducting a meta-synthesis. An evaluation of the different types of methods for meta-synthesizing qualitative research will be briefly presented. The workshop will mainly focus on how to conduct a meta-ethnography and will go through the 7 steps for conducting a meta-ethnography, as outlined by Noblit & Hare (1988). There are two reasons for focusing on meta-ethnography compared to other methods. Firstly, meta-ethnography is one of the most well-established methods for conducting a meta-synthesis; this will be demonstrated by presenting examples from the literature during the workshop. Secondly, the facilitator has experience in conducting and facilitating meta-syntheses that have used a meta-ethnographic approach.* Using the facilitator’s studies as examples, together with key meta-ethnography papers from the field of Health Psychology, participants will be presented with the strengths and limitations of using meta-ethnographic approaches to synthesize qualitative investigations. The first part of the workshop will primarily be presented using a PowerPoint presentation in a lecture format, with regular opportunities for questions from participants. The second part of the workshop will be interactive. Participants will work on individual and group activities aimed at carrying out the steps involved in conducting a meta-ethnography. Participants will be presented with an example research question to guide their activities. Activities will involve developing a search strategy, determining which databases to explore, making decisions about the inclusion/exclusion criteria of qualitative research papers, choosing a framework for evaluating the quality of chosen qualitative research papers, choosing a theoretical framework for evaluating data, deciding what the smallest unit of data will be, and constructing a table for developing a table of themes.

The workshop is suited for 25  participants who have some experience with qualitative research (at the very least, participants should have completed a module on qualitative research methods) and is interested conducting a meta-synthesis in Health Psychology. Participants should bring their own laptops to the workshop to make the most of the workshop activities.

*The facilitator used a meta-ethnographic approach to conduct a systematic meta-synthesis of qualitative research on overweight and obese people’s perceptions of behavioural weight management interventions (Garip & Yardley, 2011). The facilitator is also a collaborator of a review uses meta-ethnography to synthesize studies on the views of carer’s of people with multiple sclerosis (with Gogem Topcu, Heather Buchanan, & Aimee Aubeeluck).

Maximum number of workshop participants: 25


  • Garip, G., & Yardley, L. (2011). A synthesis of qualitative research on overweight and obese people’s views and experiences of weight management.Clinical Obesity1(2‐3), 110-126.
  • Noblit, G. W., & Hare, R. D. (1988). Meta-ethnography: Synthesizing qualitative studies (Vol. 11). Sage Publishing.
  • Topcu, G., Buchanan, H., Aubeeluck, A., & Garip, G (2014). Informal carers’ views and experiences of caring for an individual with Multiple Sclerosis. Poster presentation at the Division of Health Psychology Conference organized by the British Psychological Society in 2014.

Workshop 4: Motivational Interviewing in Health Care - willing ready and able to change health behaviours

4. Motivational Interviewing in Health Care – willing ready and able to change health behaviours


  • Associate Professor Konstadina GRIVA, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • Graeme HORRIDGE, Alcohol Treatment Centre, CHUV, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Workshop Overview: Given the challenge of achieving and sustaining health-behaviour change there has been considerable interest in the application of Motivational Interviewing (MI) to a range of behaviours (e.g., smoking, medication adherence, diabetes management). MI has steadily grown in terms of both evidence-based efficacy and its popularity with practitioners. The workshop will provide trainees and professionals working with patients in diverse health care settings with an ‘intensive’ exposure to MI key skills as applied to health behaviour change.

Participants can expect to:

  1. Learn about the spirit and principles of MI
  2. Understand how MI works by drawing links to relevant theoretical frameworks (e.g. Self Determination Theory)
  3. Identify and discuss key issues concerning adaptation of MI in health care settings and research
  4. Practice incorporating MI skills into their work as an intervention framework

Activities: The emphasis will be on eliciting, identifying and responding to ‘change talk’, using an interactive and experiential format allowing participants to practice MI principles using role or real plays followed by feedback.  Multimedia and demonstrations by facilitators will be included to reinforce learning. Arrangements will be made for post-workshop support through multimedia to disseminate resources and potentially form coaching groups.

Facilitators’ Expertise: Konstadina Griva is an Associate Professor of Health Psychology at the National University of Singapore. She is a chartered Health Psychologist and a health services researcher whose research is on chronic disease management and long term conditions. The emphasis of her work is to answer questions that are relevant to patients and clinicians so as to facilitate patient engagement and improvements in care. She is a registered member of Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and has led  communication and MI training activities for Psychology Graduates and Healcare Professionals in various organisations (e.g. National Kidney Foundation Singapore). She is enagaged as co-Trainer in the Inaugural  2015 Asian Pacific Motivational Interviewing Symposium to facilitate the MI and Health care workshop alongside Professor S Rollnick, the co-developper of MI. Fluent in English, Greek and French  she can deliver trianing at any of these languages.

Graeme Horridge is a registered nurse and CBT therapist working in the addiction field for the past 16 years. He is a registered member of MINT and has been facilitating MI training in Switzerland and internationally for the last 8 years.

Maximum number of participants:  40

Workshop 5: Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in Health Psychology settings - an experiential introduction

5. Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in Health Psychology settings – an experiential introduction


  • Nuno Ferreira, Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh

Workshop Overview: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a novel contextual behavioural intervention model that uses processes of acceptance and mindfulness to enable behaviour change when this is in the service of valued living goals. In the past two decades an increasing amount of evidence has been gathered and reported on the usefulness of ACT based interventions in health psychology settings (e.g. chronic illness, smoking cessation, treatment adherence) (See Ruiz, 2010 for a full review). In the case of chronic pain, ACT has demonstrated such strong evidence that is now the most strongly recommended intervention for this condition by the Division12 of the American Psychology Association.

The Objectives of this workshop will be to provide participants with an introduction to:

  1. the ACT conceptual model of psychopathology
  2. the ACT model of intervention
  3. how to adapt ACT to the health setting/population they are currently working with (or wish to work with)

Target Population: Any health worker/researcher providing interventions in health settings

Activities: This workshop will use a mix of didactic material and experiential content. Participants will be invited to experience some of the key ACT exercises and metaphors used in clinical practice from a personal perspective. Case-conceptualization exercises and small role-plays will also be used. Finally participants will also be encouraged to attempt to draft an ACT based intervention for their specific work context.

Facilitators’ Expertise: Nuno Ferreira is a Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh where he teaches and supervises research projects across several post-graduate programs in Clinical Psychology. His main research focus has been on the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for long-term or chronic health conditions, having completed a PhD researching the use of ACT for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Nuno has published a book and several research articles on ACT and is regular presenter at several international conferences in this subject area. Nuno has been involved in the training Doctoral students in ACT at the University of Edinburgh since 2009. He has lead several skills-based workshops at international events, and also provides training in ACT for NHS Scotland services

Maximum number of participants for the workshop: Unlimited