Health, Human Rights and Development – Symposium – 6 October 2015

SDHI is planning to hold this interdisciplinary and interprofessional Symposium and Workshop on ‘Health, Human Rights and Development’ on Tuesday the 6th of October 2015 from 1.45pm at the University of Dundee. We aim to bring together researchers, practitioners, NGO representatives to focus on health and health care issues from a human rights and development perspective. Please help us make the afternoon interesting and successful.

Please see our flyer for preliminary details. If you are interested in presenting and/or attending our symposium and workshop, please contact us at

HSRN Symposium 1-2 July 2015 in Nottingham

Involved in Health Services Research? The Health Services Research Network (HSRN) is hosting their annual HSRN Symposium, 1-2 July 2015 in Nottingham. This provides the ideal opportunity for you to hear and discuss cutting edge health services research.  Come and listen, have your say, make your opinion count and network with the some of the leading health services researchers in the UK and internationally. Find out more here.

HSRN represents and connects everyone interested in health service innovation, evidence and improvement. It is the collective voice for health services research in policy and practice. It brings together those who produce and use evidence to improve services. You can find out more about HSRN here.

Towards interdisciplinary innovation in the design of urban care spaces

An interdisciplinary group of academics and practitioners came together on invitation of SDHI and the Geddes Institute of Urban Research at the University of Dundee to discuss the future of care space design in urban environments. The group consisted of architects, town planners, geographers, psychologist, artists, occupational therapists, computing specialists and nurses. As demographics are changing towards an increasingly aging population who predominantly live in single households there has also been a reduction in care home places and a move towards providing personal and health care in people’s home environments. At the symposium implications of these developments on the design of homes, services and age-friendly cities was examined. The role of urban greenspaces and technology was highlighted as much as the need to engage communities in planning efforts. Communication is essential and planers need to be cognisant of people traditionally left out of planning efforts (e.g. People with communication disabilities or learning disabilities). Also it is important to consider how different individuals and population groups experince and perceive their environment. The importance of links between home, hospital and community environments was highlighted and the need to assist ‘vulnerable’ citizens with the navigation of complex communities and services. We will provide further summaries and updates of this event soon.

Health & Wellbeing and The Arts Symposium – Lyceum Theatre

The Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP) in partnership with The Lyceum, Lisa Nicoll Productions and the University of Stirling are holding an afternoon of talks from a variety of speakers on the topic of Young Peoples’ Mental Health & Wellbeing and the Arts on Thursday 21st of March.

This free event will culminate in the premiere of ‘Stolen Promises‘, a short film drama produced by Lisa Nicoll and developed with and starring young people from the Armadale Youth Space in West Lothian.  This event is in conjunction with The Lyceum theatre’s production of Takin’ over the Asylum.  Both the film and play have story lines that explore mental health and wellbeing and show how the arts and health can be brought together for a wide audience.

Who can attend?
This event is open to everyone and will be particularly relevant for those who work with young people, in the field of mental health and wellbeing, or in the arts.

What are the benefits of attending?
The event will provide the opportunity to hear and learn from a variety of speakers on the subject of mental health & wellbeing and the arts, with a particular focus upon Scotland.  The event will also provide the opportunity to see, for the first time, ‘Stolen Promises’, a short film developed with young people from the Armadale Youth Space, tackling issues around mental health & wellbeing.  The event will be attended by mental health professionals, arts professionals, researchers and other interested parties.  This will be a fantastic opportunity to network, meet others and build professional relationships.

How do I register?
If you would like to attend this event please book through the Lyceum website at

Health in Cultural Context Symposium

Health in Cultural Context – 21st June 2012

University of Dundee and University of St Andrews
Place: Seminar room 2, Medical and Biological Sciences Building,
University of St Andrews

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9:30-10:00     Registration

10:00-10:15   Welcome and Introduction  Nick Hopkins – University of Dundee

10:15-11:00   ‘Collective Experience and Health: A Longitudinal Study of Collective   Participation in a Hindu Festival in India’
 Sammyh Khan – University of Dundee
11:00-11:45   ‘Culture and depression: investigating the communication of emotions in northern cultures using an interdisciplinary approach’  Isobel Cameron -University of Aberdeen

11:45-12:30   ‘Health behaviours during Magh Mela: Explanations for health behaviours given by Hindu pilgrims’
Gozde Ozakinci -University of St Andrews
12:30-2:00    LUNCH

2:00-2:45     ‘Group Identification and Mental Health’  Fabio Sani – University of Dundee
2:45-3:30     “Understanding and explaining the role of cultural differences in systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials”
Steve MacGillivray – University of Dundee
3:30-3:45     COFFEE

3:45-4:30     PANEL DISCUSSION  Nick Hopkins – University of Dundee, Thilo Kroll – Director of Social Dimensions of Health Institute


Sammyh Khan:
This presentation will describe a longitudinal study that investigated the impact of participation in a large-scale collective event upon health in an Indian context – the Magh Mela at Allahabad. The Magh Mela is the largest religious festival in the world and has a history spanning centuries with millions of pilgrims participating each year. Specifically, the study aimed to examine if, and if so, why, participation in a collective event would lead to improvements in health. First, using a matched sample of participants and non-participants, we show that pilgrims’ health improved significantly after having participated in the Magh Mela. Second, we show that the increase in health can be explained by cognitive and behavioural crowd processes derived from Social Identity Theory (SIT). We end the presentation by discussing the applicability of SIT has to health psychology in different cultural contexts.

Fabio Sani:
We all belong to social groups (e.g., family, work group, sport team). However, we may identify with a group (i.e., have a sense of belonging to the group and of commonality with other group members) to different extents. I will discuss research demonstrating that higher identification with one’s family, work-place, support group, or school predicts higher mental health across different European countries. This research also suggests that the positive health implications of group identification are stronger than, and relatively independent from the effects exerted by the amount of social contact one may have with other in-group members.

Stephen MacGillivray:
The paper will introduce the purposes, methods and products of meta-anlysis; outline the problem of heterogeneity; consider the role of cultural differences in contributing to heterogeneity; and consider methodological approaches to understanding and explaining it. I will be focussing
on depression as an exemplar and thus will also be considering the international epidemiology and specific cultural factors that are known to exist across cultures regarding the diagnosis/recognition and treatment/management.

Isobel Cameron:
How people express their emotions is viewed to be integral to the cultural knowledge systems in which they are immersed. Yet emotions such as depression are commonly understood from a Euro- American perspective. This is reflected in the international classification systems which are applied in the diagnosis of affective disorders and in tools used to assess depressive symptoms in clinical settings. As such, caution should be applied when making sense of affect through specific cultural lenses. If northern inhabitants differ in their emotional expression from a standardised international norm, this has important implications for the recognition and treatment of affective disorders. This presentation will set out the rationale for, and describe the methods to be applied in an interdisciplinary programme of research being undertaken at the University of Aberdeen beginning in October 2012. This programme will investigate the nature of emotional expression in northern cultures by applying a wide range of methods and expertise drawn from health services research, psychiatry, anthropology, the arts, psychology, education, computing and medical sciences.

Gozde Ozakinci:
This presentation will describe the qualitative analyses of the open-ended entries that the Hindu pilgrims provided on their health behaviours during Mela and any changes they observed in their behaviours. We proceeded by asking them the reasons for these changes and the responses were thematically analysed. The findings showed that the reasons for these changes included the role of context (ie. Conditions in Magh Mela) as well as social and spiritual aspects for their behaviours.

For further information or to register for the symposium please contact Gozde Ozakinci (go10