BLOG – Habilitation Thesis – Inge Cantegreil

On January 30, I have had the honor to defend my habilitation thesis. In France, the Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (HDR) is the highest academic degree and the key step on the way to a full professorship. The habilitation process consists of the production of an academically meaningful professorial dissertation based on previously published academic research work.

My thesis was focused on complementarity of psychotherapeutic and psychosocial interventions in individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers.

The key ideas of my HDR were:

  • Psychologists taking care of people with dementia and their caregivers need to demonstrate a great capacity for adaptation in order to meet the changing individual and contextual needs of patients. Therefore, they must have a large choice of theoretical references (clinical psychology, health psychology, neuropsychology), and a wide range of methods (cognitive, behavioural, emotion focussed-, and systemic approach).
  • Complementarity of psychology and public health knowledge in defining evidence-based psychosocial interventions for people with dementia has to be more emphasised.
  • A wide gap still exists between knowledge of successful psychosocial interventions and its use in everyday clinical practice.
Members of the jury (L to R): Catherine Bungener, Marie-Claire Gay, Joël Ankri, Myrra Vernooij-Dassen, Anne-Sophie Rigaud

Members of the jury (L to R): Catherine Bungener, Marie-Claire Gay, Joël Ankri, Myrra Vernooij-Dassen, Anne-Sophie Rigaud

The discussion on the last point gave me the opportunity to highlight the work done by the Interdem group. Indeed, Interdem has been playing a key role in the field of implementation of innovative psychosocial interventions. Both the European Collaboration on Dementia (Eurocode) research project through its research on guidelines and quality indicators, and the IMPACT study  (IMplementation of quality indicators in PAlliative Care sTudy), through the development of optimal strategies to improve the organization of palliative cancer, illustrate the very importance of an intra-and inter-disciplinary approach in improving clinical practice.

The past and current research activities of this multidisciplinary group that has brought together academic and clinical researchers have been a good example of how the issue can be addressed. Therefore I have been much honored to have Myrra Vernooij-Dassen as a member of the jury.