Seminars

9:00 am – 11:45 am   Morning Half Day Seminars

Full/Associate/Emeritus Members: $100; Student/Trainees or Transitional Members: $50; Non-Members: $150

Seminar 03: An Introduction to Integrative Data Analysis

Lead Presenter: Jennifer L. Walsh, PhD, The Miriam Hospital and Brown University

Integrative data analysis (IDA) involves the analysis of multiple (usually large) datasets that have been merged. IDA differs from meta-analysis in that it involves the combination of original data (not summary statistics), and it has a number of advantages in diverse fields, including behavioral medicine research. These advantages include increased sample size and statistical power; better representation of subgroups and low base-rate (rare or infrequent) behaviors; a broader, more valid assessment of constructs of interest; the ability to test hypotheses not considered in the original studies; and the potential to identify sources of between-study heterogeneity, which may inform theory, intervention development, and policy formation.

Recent years have been characterized by decreased resources to support new research efforts and increased calls for data sharing by the NIH and other sponsors. IDA plays a valuable role in maximizing limited resources and building a cumulative science. However, conducting IDA involves a number of practical challenges, including data sharing, differences in study designs, and heterogeneity in measurements across studies.

This seminar will provide an introduction to IDA, including methods to overcome these practical challenges. We will discuss the benefits and challenges of IDA; successful ongoing IDA projects; and applications of IDA in health research. Additionally, methods for integrating discrepant measures across studies (including tests of measurement invariance) and for testing cross-study replication will be demonstrated in Mplus, with suggestions provided for other data analytic platforms. Time will be reserved for open discussion of research questions that may be addressed with IDA. Attendees will be given a handout with the Power Point slides, an annotated bibliography of articles containing additional information, and sample Mplus syntax and output.

Seminar 04: Acceptance-Based Behavioral Intervention for Health-Related Behavior Change: Theory and Clinical Applications

Lead Presenter: Meghan L. Butryn, PhD, Drexel University
Co-Presenter: Evan M. Forman, PhD, Drexel University

Specific behavioral changes dramatically reduce the incidence and consequences of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other diseases and conditions. Effective interventions are challenging to develop, especially those that promote long-term maintenance of behavior change. Individuals who initially succeed at health-related behavior change often find that their success is eventually eroded by profound biological (e.g., innate preferences for palatable foods) and environmental influences (e.g., a built environment that limits lifestyle activity). The science of behavior change is rapidly evolving, and emerging research is revealing that distress tolerance, mindful decision making, and commitment to valued behavior may be necessary for lifestyle modification. These psychological processes are integrated into innovative behavior therapies, i.e., acceptance-based treatments, which include acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). Acceptance-based approaches have demonstrated promise when applied to areas such as weight control, physical activity promotion, and dietary change. This seminar will provide an in-depth consideration of the theoretical principles underpinning the acceptance-based behavioral approach. Empirical support from several randomized controlled trials will be reviewed. Five dimensions of clinical application to behavioral medicine also will be highlighted: acceptance (ability to tolerate unpleasant internal experiences, such as urges, fatigue, anxiety), willingness (ability to choose valued actions even if they produce or maintain unpleasant internal states), defusion (ability to appreciate thoughts and feelings for what they are and therefore to uncouple internal experiences from behaviors), mindful decision making (nonjudgmental awareness of experiences and moment-by-moment choices), and values clarification (clarity of the personal values that motivate behavior). The presenters will use live demonstration and video to depict how experiential exercises, metaphors, and at-home exercises can be used to most effectively teach these skills.

12:00 pm – 6:00 pm   Full Day Seminars

Full/Associate/Emeritus Members: $125; Student/Trainees or Transitional Members: $75; Non-Members: $175

Seminar 06: Getting SMART about Developing Adaptive Interventions: Individualizing Sequences of Treatment

Lead Presenter: Daniel Almirall, PhD, University of Michigan
Co-Presenter: Inbal Nahum-Shani, PhD, University of Michigan; Susan Murphy, PhD, University of Michigan

The effective management of a wide variety of health disorders often requires individualized, sequential decision making, whereby treatment is dynamically adapted over time based on a patient’s changing course. Adaptive interventions operationalize individualized, sequential, decision making via a sequence of decision rules that specify whether, how, for whom, or when to alter the intensity, type, or delivery of psychosocial, behavioral, and/or pharmacological treatments at critical decision points in the management of disorders. Adaptive health interventions can be used to develop or supplement clinical treatment guidelines. In this seminar, we present a novel experimental design—the sequential multiple assignment randomized trial, or SMART—intended specifically for the purpose of developing high-quality adaptive interventions.

Specifically, we will discuss why adaptive interventions are important; introduce SMART designs; contrast SMARTs with other experimental approaches; discuss SMART design principles, including common choices for primary and secondary aims; and acquaint the audience with data-analytic approaches for developing optimized adaptive interventions that are accordant with these primary and secondary aims. Illustrative examples will be drawn from studies using SMART designs that have been completed or are currently in the field.

Seminar 07: Working with Acceptance, Mindfulness, and Values in Chronic Pain: An Introduction and Skills Building Seminar

Lead Presenter: Kevin Vowles, PhD, University of New Mexico
Co-Presenter: Lance McCracken, PhD, Kings College of London

Chronic pain can be a source of immense human suffering and disability. There is emerging evidence indicating that as pain sufferers set aside struggles for control over pain, attend to present experiences, and engage in meaningful activities, they suffer less and function better, even while pain persists. These treatment processes are respectively referred to as acceptance, mindfulness, and values-based action. The extant literature suggests these processes are highly relevant in the treatment of chronic pain, where the best researched therapy model has been Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a form of CBT that directly targets these processes. This seminar will provide a brief overview of the theoretical model underlying ACT and will include significant opportunities for clinical practice. The majority of the seminar will be spent in experiential, skill building, and case conceptualization exercises with training modalities including include a mix of didactic instruction, modeling, and practice/role play. Opportunities for consultation, instruction, and feedback will also be provided. At the conclusion of the class, participants will be able to more adequately identify targets for treatment in those suffering from chronic pain and directly apply interventions to augment acceptance, mindfulness, and values.

Seminar 08: NIH Grant Writing Seminar for Early Career Researchers

Lead Presenter: Wendy J. Nilsen, PhD, Office of Behavioral & Social Sciences
Co-Presenters: Karina Davidson, PhD, Columbia University; William N. Elwood, PhD, Office of Behavioral & Social Sciences; Joel J. Hillhouse, PhD, East Tennessee State University; Francis Keefe, PhD, Duke University Medical Center; Heather Patrick, PhD, National Cancer Institute; Michael Stirratt, PhD, National Institute of Mental Health

This seminar will provide investigators who are new to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant application process with information and advice on writing a successful application for NIH funding. The format will include didactic presentations, question and answer sessions, a “mock” review, guidance on interpreting summary statements, and small group discussion. NIH scientists who oversee programs of research will describe current funding opportunities, grant mechanisms, policies, procedures, and steps in the grant submission process. An NIH review officer will discuss review procedures and considerations, and senior investigators will provide their perspectives on writing a successful application.

Ample time will be provided for questions regarding programmatic, review and grantsmanship aspects of the NIH funding process. In addition, experiential and small-group activities will deepen participants’ knowledge of the grant writing process and provide more tailored information and feedback. A “mock” review session will be conducted to demonstrate the roles and interactions among various participants in a study section, including the NIH review officer, review group Chair and assigned reviewers. Participants will also be asked to submit in advance a 1-2 page synopsis of the research aims, hypotheses, and methods for an application they are considering submitting, and/or specific questions they may have regarding the grant writing and review process. These will be discussed in small groups led by NIH staff and senior investigators, allowing participants to receive detailed feedback and advice to enhance the quality of their future grant submissions.

Seminar 09: Problem-Solving Training for Depressed Medical Patients

Lead Presenter: Arthur Nezu, PhD, Drexel University
Co-Presenter: Christine Nezu, PhD, ABPP, Drexel University

Depression is a major public health problem, particularly when comorbid with a chronic medical illness, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Its consequences can be severe--for example, major depression, comorbid with a medical illness, increases the odds of mortality within a 1-year period 2.6 times greater as compared to nondepressed medical patients. Problem-Solving Therapy (PST) is an evidenced-based intervention, based on research identifying social problem solving (SPS) to be an important moderator of the negative effects of stressful life events, such as the experience and treatment of a chronic illness. The overarching treatment goal of PST is to foster adoption and implementation of adaptive problem-solving attitudes and behaviors. More specifically, PST, by teaching user-friendly skills, is geared to increase optimism, improve emotional regulation, and foster successful resolution of stressful problems. Both qualitative and meta-analytic reviews of the PST outcome literature strongly support its efficacy for treating depression across multiple populations including medical patients. In addition, recent research has supported its efficacy for ethnic minority and low income populations. The two presenters are co-developers of contemporary PST which has been revised and updated in concert with recent research from affective neuroscience and cognitive psychology.

This seminar will provide participants with (a) an overview of the conceptual and empirical underpinnings of the problem-solving model of depression upon which PST is predicated, and (b) clinical guidelines to conduct PST for a variety of medical patient populations. In addition to lectures, we will demonstrate various PST intervention strategies, engage workshop participants in relevant role-plays, and provide consultations regarding how to apply PST to medical patients with concomitant depression. Last, participants will learn how to apply this approach in various venues, including outpatient mental health, primary care, and home-based primary care settings.

12:00 pm – 2:45 pm   Early Afternoon Half Day Seminar

Seminar 10: How To Create An Effective Professional Social Media Presence

Lead Presenter: Sherry Pagoto, PhD, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Co-Presenters: Gary Bennett, PhD, Duke University; Katleen Wolin, PhD, Loyola University Chicago; Kristin Schneider, PhD, Rosalind Franklin University

In a time of shrinking research funds, academics more than ever need to make the public and key stakeholders aware of the impact of their work. Medical centers like the Mayo Clinic have led the way by developing Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, Youtube channels and blogs to increase the public’s awareness of their science and medical care. Individual health care professionals and scientists are also leveraging social media to: promote their research, teaching, and practice; interact with the media, colleagues, potential collaborators, the patient population, and prospective students and staff; and to increase their impact and visibility as an expert in their fields. In this workshop, participants will get the exciting opportunity to launch an efficient and effective social media presence. Specifically, participants will learn how to develop a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linked In, and via blogging. Hands on guidance will be focused on Twitter and blogging. During the workshop, participants will open a Twitter account, learn to use its features, find relevant information, develop a base of followers, and produce content. Participants will also learn tips for creating a blog and writing blog posts, as well as where they can submit guest blog posts for maximal visibility. The workshop will help participants develop an individualized social media strategy, tailored to their needs and goals and with an emphasis on time management. Participants will also learn about how to maintain a high level of professionalism and deal with privacy issues. Participants should be equipped with a laptop (recommended) or smartphone for this hands-on workshop. No previous experience with social media is necessary to attend this workshop.

3:15 pm – 6:00 pm      Late Afternoon Half Day Seminar

Seminar 11: Bayesian Spatial Modeling of Neighborhood Effects

Lead Presenter: Andrew Lawson, PhD, Medical University of South Carolina

This seminar is designed to demonstrate the use and usefulness of Bayesian modeling as well as spatial contextual modeling in the analysis of behavioral and health-related outcomes in population level studies. The seminar outlines the following topics:

1) Bayesian methods : an introduction
2) small area geographic studies: an introduction
3) Individual level versus aggregated data
4) Contextual effects: family, group, neighborhood
5) Models for contextual effects and their use