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Dr. B.C. (Bregje) de Kok

Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
Programmagroep: Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

  • Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
  • Kamernummer: C5.08
  • Postbus 15509
    1001 NA Amsterdam
  • Profile

    I joined the Anthropology department as Assistant Professor in August 2015.  I am a member of the Health , Care and the Body team.

    My work straddles the domains of anthropology, sociology, psychology and public health. 

    Key research themes.

    Central themes in my research are care and morality in the area of reproductive and maternal health.  More specifically, I am interested in the normative and moral aspects of sexual, reproductive and maternal health and how these affect community members' and health professionals'  behaviours, and the interaction between them. I also study care as practice, and different notions of  'good' care. Through ethnography, discourse and conversation analysis,  I seek to illuminate how policies, interventions and care play out on the ground, and contribute to the development of  health systems, policies and interventions tailored to local concerns and realities. 


    I received a PhD (2007) and MSc in psychology (2002) from the University of Edinburgh and a MA in Psychology ( cum laude)  from the Radboud University Nijmegen. Before joining the University of Amsterdam, I was lecturer at the Institute for Global Health and Development (IGHD) at Queen Margaret University. From  2006  until 2008 I  worked as postdoctoral researcher in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh on an interdisciplinary ESRC-MRC fellowship . Before that, I worked as researcher in Nursing studies at the University of Edinburgh on a study examining changes in the health visiting service in Scotland and whether it addressed the needs of  Pakistani and Chinese mothers in Scotland.


    Recent grants & projects

    2016: Perceptions of Respectful Maternity CAre in Malawi. An interdisciplinary study, embedded in a project seeking to improve Respectful Care in Malawi, funded by the Scottish Government (PI, Prof. T. Humphrey, Napier University). Using team-ethnography, we explore how midwives, women and guardians conceptualise and enact  'good and 'respectful' care, and how this chimes (or not) with currently popular rights-based  Respectul care campaigns. 

    2014 :  'Generating accountability for maternal health outcomes in Nigeria through audit and improvement of maternity record linkage systems'.  Funded by the MacArthur foundation (PI Dr. Julia Hussein, University of Aberdeen; Co-I Women's Health Action Research Centre, Nigeria).

    In this project we use discourse analysis to examine the process of maternal death reviews through a detailed analysis of the interactions between different team members in MDR meetings. We seek to unpack the 'black box' of these reviews by examining the discursive strategies used, and their functions and effects for instance in terms of multidisciplinary participation, joint problem solving and managing accountability for maternal deaths .     

    2012:  I was awarded an early career fellowship by the Independent Social Research Foundation to study providers’ and community members’ interpretations of  accountability and blame in relation to reproductive loss (e.g. miscarriages, abortions, infertility) and maternal mortality in Malawi. Through this project I seek to contribute to our understanding of accountability 'from below' and people-centred health systems. 

  • Publicaties




    • Mooij, R., Kapanga, R. R., Mwampagatwa, I. H., Mgalega, G. C., van Dillen, J., Stekelenburg, J., & de Kok, B. C. (2022). Role of male partners in the long-term well-being of women who have experienced severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia in rural Tanzania: a qualitative study. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 42(5), 906-913. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/01443615.2021.1958766 [details]
    • van Blarikom, E., de Kok, B., & Bijma, H. H. (2022). “Who am I to say?” Dutch care providers' evaluation of psychosocial vulnerability in pregnant women. Social Science and Medicine, 307, Article 115181. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.115181 [details]


    • Camara, B. S., Delamou, A., Grovogui, F. M., de Kok, B. C., Benova, L., El Ayadi, A. M., Gerrets, R., Peeters Grietens, K., & Delvaux, T. (2021). Interventions to increase facility births and provision of postpartum care in sub-Saharan Africa: a scoping review. Reproductive Health, 18, Article 16. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-021-01072-4 [details]
    • Mooij, R., Kapanga, R., Mwampagatwa, G., Stekelenburg, J., van Dillen, J., Mgalega, G., & de Kok, B. C. (2021). Beyond severe acute maternal morbidity: a mixed‐methods study on the long‐term consequences of (severe pre‐) eclampsia in rural Tanzania. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 26(1), 33-44. https://doi.org/10.1111/tmi.13507
    • Vestering, A., de Kok, B. C., Browne, J. L., & Adu-Bonsaffoh, K. (2021). Navigating with logics: Care for women with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy in a tertiary hospital in Ghana. Social Science & Medicine, 289, Article 114402. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114402 [details]


    • Xie, Y., & de Kok, B. C. (2020). Discursive psychology: an overview. KWALON, 2.
    • de Kok, B. C., Uny, I., Immamura, M., Bell, J., Geddes, J., & Phoya, A. (2020). From Global Rights to Local Relationships: Exploring Disconnects in Respectful Maternity Care in Malawi. Qualitative Health Research, 30(3), 341-355. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732319880538 [details]


    • Uny, I., de Kok, B., & Fustukian, S. (2019). Weighing the options for delivery care in rural Malawi: community perceptions of a policy promoting exclusive skilled birth attendance and banning traditional birth attendants. Health Policy and Planning, 34(3), 161–169. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapol/czz020 [details]
    • de Kok, B. C. (2019). Between orchestrated and organic: Accountability for loss and the moral landscape of childbearing in Malawi. Social Science & Medicine, 220, 441-449. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.09.036 [details]




    • de Kok, B., Imamura, M., Kanguru, L., Owolabi, O., Okonofua, F., & Hussein, J. (2016). Achieving accountability through maternal death reviews in Nigeria: a process analysis. Health Policy and Planning, 32(8), 1083-1091. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1093/heapol/czx012 [details]


    • Hogg, R., de Kok, B., Netto, G., Hanley, J., & Haycock-Stuart, E. (2015). Supporting Pakistani and Chinese families with young children: perspectives of mothers and health visitors. Child: Care, Health and Development, 41(3), 416-423. https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12154
    • Ugwu, N. U., & de Kok, B. (2015). Socio-cultural factors, gender roles and religious ideologies contributing to Caesarian-section refusal in Nigeria. Reproductive Health, 12(1), Article 50. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-015-0050-7 [details]



    • Hogg, R., Ritchie, D., de Kok, B., Wood, C., & Huby, G. (2013). Parenting support for families with young children - a public health, user-focused study undertaken in a semi-rural area of Scotland. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22(7-8), 1140-1150. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.12185
    • de Kok, B. C. (2013). Infertility and relationships: the importance of constructions in context. Families, Relationships and Societies, 2(1), 23-42. https://doi.org/10.1332/204674313X664680


    • de Kok, B. C. (2012). Discursive Psychology and its potential to make a difference. In Advances in Health Psychology: Critical Approaches Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.


    • de Kok, B. C. (2010). Interpersonal issues in expressing lay knowledge: A discursive psychology approach. Journal of Health Psychology, 15, 1190-1200. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105310364437
    • de Kok, B. C., Hussein, J., & Jeffery, P. (2010). Introduction: Loss in childbearing in resource-poor settings. Social Science & Medicine, 71(10), 1702-1710.


    • de Kok, B. C. (2009). 'Automatically you become a polygamist': 'Culture' and 'norms' as resources for normalisation and managing accountability in talk about infertility. Health, 13, 197-217. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363459308099684



    • de Kok, B. C., Gerrits, G. J. E., van der Sijpt, E., Picavet, C., Dechau, D. M., Russel, S., ... Temmerman, M. (2017). Synthesis Evaluation of SRHR Subsidy Frameworks 2011-2015: Final Report. University of Amsterdam.


    • de Kok, B. (2015). Global maternal health: From women's survival to respectful care. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 122(2), 248. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0528.13156



    • de Kok, B. C., Gerrits, G. J. E., van der Sijpt, E., Picavet, C., Dechau, D. M., Russell, S. J., ... Temmerman, M. (2017). Synthesis Evaluation of SRHR Subsidy Frameworks 2011-2015. Report for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Amsterdam: AIGHD/AISSR.


    • de Kok, B. (2013). The role of discourse analysis in critical health psychology. Connected : newsletter for the international Society of Critical Health Psychology, 1(4), 3.

    Prijs / subsidie

    • de Kok, B. (2019). Severe Pre-eclampsia adverse Outcome Triage (SPOT) score for women with pre-eclampsia remote from term: SPOT-implementation and impact assessment study (SPOT-impact).

    Lidmaatschap / relevante positie

    • de Kok, B. (2018-2023). Maternal Health working group, Sharenet Netherlands.


    • de Kok, B. (speaker) (2020). Matchmaking Meet-Up: Impact evaluation in SDG international cooperation programmes, Sharenet Netherlands.


    • de Kok, B. (participant) (4-12-2018). Maternal health of refugees and undocumented migrants in the Netherlands, Utrecht. Event organized by the maternal health working group of SHARE-NET. We seek to bring together medical practitioners and scholars in order to identify (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
    • de Kok, B. (consultant) (15-5-2018 - 16-5-2018). WHO Temporary Adviser: Technical workshop to develop guidance on post hoc evaluations of adolescent sexual and reproductive health projects and programmes, Geneva, Switzerland, 15-16 May 2018, WHO, Genève (Sw) (consultancy).
    • de Kok, B. C. (organiser) (10-9-2015). Panel organized for MAGic at European Association of Social Anthropologists, Sussex. The panel explores the meaning of reproductive risk as a conceptual category and in terms of how it emerges and is articulated in household (…) (organising a conference, workshop, ...).


    • Zaluchu, F. (2018). Gender inequality: Behind maternal mortality in Nias Island, North Sumatra, Indonesia: Towards a gender audit. [Thesis, fully internal, Universiteit van Amsterdam]. [details]


    This list of publications is extracted from the UvA-Current Research Information System. Questions? Ask the library or the Pure staff of your faculty / institute. Log in to Pure to edit your publications. Log in to Personal Page Publication Selection tool to manage the visibility of your publications on this list.
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