Laura M König
University of Konstanz
Department of Psychology
Germany hosted 2 EHPS Conferences, in Trier (1988) and in Leipzig (1992).
The section of Health Psychology within the German Psychological Society coordinates most activities in the domains of Health Psychology in Germany, among them educational issues, bi-annual Health Psychology conventions and a Journal. The section meets annually, once at the bi-annual Health Psychology conventions, once at the bi-annual National Psychology Conventions. It is closely interwoven with the EHPS, as many of its members are also members of the EHPS. Currently has around 200 academic members (see www.gesundheitspsychologie.net for further info).
Health Psychology Journal
The German Health Psychology journal (Zeitschrift für Gesundheitspsychologie) was founded in 1992. It accepts and published articles both in German and English. In 2016, it received a second journal title, which is “European Journal of Health Psychology” (see www.hogrefe.de/produkte/zeitschriften/zgp for further info).
Education, training and professionalisation:
The Health Psychology Section of the German Psychological Society (DGPs) has published a curriculum for B.A. and M.A. studies of Health Psychology (www.gesundheitspsychologie.net/index.php/de/fachgruppe/studium). There are several universities in Germany that have integrated Health Psychology into their B.A. and M.A. programs, for example at the Freie Universität Berlin or the University of Education in Schwäbisch Gmünd.
Contents from Health Psychology are at least partly permeating into structured Ph.D. programs such as the International Max Planck Research School “The Life Course: Evolutionary and Ontongenetic Dynamics (LIFE)” funded by the Max Planck Society.
Due to the conception of German health care as insurance-based (and paid), evidence-based prevention still lacks the status it should have. Prevention is mainly a task of NGOs and federal institutions (such as the Bundeszentrale für Gesundheitliche Aufklärung, BZgA) rather than being included in the medical system. At least so far, a development comparable to the UK with mandatory evidence-based guidelines for funding such as the MRC framework are still lacking.
In 2015, the Prevention Act has been passed, which aims to aid implementation of evidence-based health prevention in different settings (e.g., kindergarten, school, workplace) funded by different social insurance agencies (e.g., health, nursing care, annuity and accident insurances and the Federal Labour Office). This creates new opportunities for health psychologists, for examples the development and evaluation of prevention programs together with statutory and private health insurances.
A database with Health Psychology related prevention programs can be accessed via the website of the Section of Health Psychology (see www.gesundheitspsychologie.net/index.php/de/datenbanken)
Promotion of early and mid-career researchers in Health Psychology
The section of Health Psychology organises annual Health Psychology summer schools for graduate and Ph.D. students. At theses summer schools, students have the opportunity to discuss their respective research programs both with peers and a round of Health Psychology experts. In order to support collaboration between early and mid-career researchers, the section also provides “team-mentoring” grants for Ph.D. students and post-docs (see www.gesundheitspsychologie.net/index.php/de/nachwuchsfoerderung for further info).
There is a broad range of academic research related to Health Psychology topics in Germany. The section of Health Psychology currently also compiles a register of evidence-based Health Psychology programs (see www.gesundheitspsychologie.net for further info).
EHPS-related activities in Germany
The section of Health Psychology in Germany is, as mentioned above, closely interwoven with EHPS activites. Thus, information on EHPS activities such as the meetings and the annual CREATE and SYNERGY workshops is available to all members of the section via the webpage, a mailing list and the News section in Zeitschrift für Gesundheitspsychologie. EHPS meetings are advertised at both the bi-annual Health Psychology conventions (in terms of flyers, but also personal communication) as well as the national psychology conventions. Membership in the EHPS and especially participation in CREATE workshops is being recommended to all attendants of the annual summer schools.
In order to reach more interested persons, information on EHPS meetings and workshops are distributed via the mailing lists of the neighbouring sections in the DGPs such as Social Psychology, Psychology of Education, Developmental Psychology, Clinical Psychology and Medical Psychology.