2021 Annual Meeting

Thank you for joining us for the 42nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine from April 12-16, 2021! For the health and safety of attendees, the meeting was held virtually. A virtual conference meant more attendees than ever before could participate in the largest yearly behavioral medicine gathering in the world!

Check Out Our 4-Minute Conference Recap Video!

Abstract Supplement

All abstracts have been published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Thank you Sponsors!

Your support helps make this meeting and SBM's mission possible!

Why Attend SBM?

SBM is a vibrant, multidisciplinary society focused on the role of behavior in improving health. Most of our country's most daunting health challenges have behavioral origins, and achieving SBM’s vision of “better health through behavior change” has never been more important. SBM members include the nation’s leading scientists and practitioners, and SBM annual meetings are the premier forum for the most influential behavioral medicine research. Learn more about SBM and who we are.

Who will I be able to interact with at the SBM Annual Meeting?

  • SBM’s meeting is the only truly multidisciplinary behavioral medicine conference. SBM's membership includes approximately 2,400 behavioral and biomedical researchers and clinicians from more than 20 disciplines and across academic and industry settings.

Will SBM have the continuing education credits I need?

  • The society offers an average of 14 credit hours per meeting to nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, psychologists, public health professionals, health education specialists, and dietitians.
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine 42nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions
    April 12 - 16, 2021

    Physicians (ACCME)

    In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Amedco LLC and Cornerstone Whole Healthcare Organization.  Amedco LLC is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

    Credit Designation Statement – Amedco LLC designates this live activity for a maximum of 14.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM for physicians. Learners should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

    Nurse Practitioners (AANPCP)

    The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) recognizes the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as approved accreditors and allow reciprocity for AANPCP continuing education credit.

    Nurses (ANCC)

    Amedco LLC designates this activity for a maximum of 14.00 ANCC contact hours.

    Psychologists (APA)

    This course is co-sponsored by Amedco and Cornerstone Whole Healthcare Organization.  Amedco is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  Amedco maintains responsibility for this program and its content.  14.00 hour.

    The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for Counselors: AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, ME, MO, NC, ND, NH, NE, NJ, NM, NV, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI, WY

    MI: No CE requirements

    The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for MFTs: AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IN, KS, MD, ME, MO, NE, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY

    The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for Addictions Professionals: AK, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IN, KS, LA, MD, MO, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NY (outstate held), OK, OR, SC, UT, WA, WI, WY

    MA / MFTs: Participants can self-submit courses not approved by the MAMFT board for review.

    The following state boards accept courses from APA providers for Social Workers: AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, ID, IN, KY, ME, MN, MO, NE, NH, NM, OR, PA, VT, WI, WY

    Dietitian (CDR)

    Completion of this RD/DTR profession specific or IPCE activity awards CPEUs (One IPCE credit = One CPEU).

    If this activity is dietetics-related but not targeted to RDs or DTRs, CPEUs may be claimed which are commensurate with participation in contact hours (One 60-minute hour = 1CPEU).

    RD’s and DTRs are to select activity type 102 in their Activity Log. Performance indicator selection is at the learner’s discretion.

    Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES)

    Application has been made to the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC) for CHES Category I continuing education contact hours (CECH).  Check back for further information.

Non-Credited Sessions

What do other professionals say about SBM’s Annual Meetings?

  • "Such an energizing conference, all of the sessions were wonderful and the focus on translating research into policy was timely."
  • "Overall the conference provided many networking opportunities and allowed me to make some major connections."
  • "As a graduate student, I found the emphasis on mentoring and career development extremely helpful." 

SBM by the Numbers

  • SBM's meeting offers over 200 sessions in more than 30 topic areas, including cancer, digital health, methods and measurement, physical activity, and quality of life.
  • An estimated 2,200 individuals from the United States and abroad will attend the 2021 Annual Meeting.

2021 Annual Meeting Information


Registration for the Annual Meeting will open this winter. It is a better deal to register as you renew or add an SBM membership, which you can do via the registration form!

Pending National Institutes of Health approval, there may be limited funds available to defray meeting registration fees for conference attendee members of the following racial and ethnic groups that have been shown to be underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral science research: American Indian or Alaska Natives; Blacks or African Americans; Hispanics or Latinos; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders. If any of these categories apply to you, be sure to check the appropriate box on your registration form.

SBM offers pre-conference courses. You can register for pre-conference courses independently or in addition to your Annual Meeting registration.

2021 Virtual Annual Meeting Registration Prices
Full/Associate Member………..$250
Transitional Member…………..$100
Student/Trainee Member………$100
Student/Trainee Non-Member…$215

Student Volunteering offers an opportunity for approximately 30 student members to earn complimentary registration. The application period for SBM Student Member Volunteers has closed.

Registration Pricing
The SBM Board of Directors set registration rates based on peer organizations’ pricing for virtual events and, most importantly, based on survey data from our members and past attendees, who told us about their limited funds and financial hardships. We know that COVID-19 has only exacerbated the tightening of personal and institutional budgets. The Board committed to making SBM’s meeting affordable, and approved a 2021 Annual Meeting budget with a projected loss in order to keep rates as low as possible, even though total costs change very little whether an event is held virtually or in person. The Board is pleased to offer registration rates that are significantly lower than those of past SBM meetings and that are especially low for students.

It is an SBM policy that all Annual Meeting presenters must be registered for the Annual Meeting. As stated above, we know that these are tough times for all, and the organization has budgeted a loss in order to keep registration prices as low as possible. We strongly encourage presenters to review the benefits of becoming a member of SBM. SBM members pay a lower Annual Meeting registration rate on top of other great benefits.

Continuing Education
Credits are available to purchase for an additional cost when registering for the meeting for physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, psychologists, dieticians, and certified health education specialists. Learners must complete an evaluation form following the meeting to receive a certificate of completion. Your chosen sessions must be attended in their entirety.  Partial credit of individual sessions is not available. If you are seeking continuing education credit for a specialty not listed, it is your responsibility to contact your licensing/certification board to determine course eligibility for your licensing/certification requirement. The number of credits available will be published prior to the meeting.


Abstract Submission Process

Abstract Submissions Open: Early-August, 2020
Abstract Submissions Close: September 10, 2020
Rapid Communication Research Spotlight
Submissions Open: October 15, 2020
Rapid Communication Research Spotlight Submissions Close: November 10, 2020

Abstract Submission Notification: Confirmation emails may go to your spam folder.  If you DO NOT receive an email notification regarding your abstract being submitted within 48 hours of submitting it please reach out to SBM.

Abstract Acceptance Notification: Confirmation emails may go to your spam folder.  If you DO NOT receive an email notification regarding your abstract submission by 15, November, 2020, or by 1, February, 2021 for rapid abstracts please reach out to SBM.

For any questions regarding your submission or the abstract submission site, please contact the national office at (414) 918-3156 or at info@sbm.org.

Abstracts MUST be submitted according to SBM's specific guidelines listed below, using SBM's official CadmiumCD submission website. Abstracts may be submitted as a pre-conference course, symposium, panel discussion, debate, research talk or research spotlight..

All abstract submissions will be peer reviewed. All accepted abstracts will be published in the Annual Meeting Supplement issue of Annals of Behavioral Medicine, an official journal of SBM. The supplement will serve as the official abstract publication for SBM's 42nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions.

Upon receipt of your submission, CadmiumCD will issue an email confirmation to the submitting author. Authors can expect to receive the email confirmation of their submission within 48 hours (or two business days) after submission. If you do not receive a confirmation email from the abstract system within 48 hours of submitting your abstract, contact the national office at (414) 918-3156 or at info@sbm.org.

Character Limit: There is a limit of 2,500 characters including spaces. The 2,500 character limit does not include title or author list.

Complete and Original Results: Each abstract should represent complete and original results. If you want to present a “Works in Progress” (e.g., design and methods of a large clinical trial) or a “Lessons Learned” (e.g., tips for other researchers) abstract, then this could be included in a panel discussion, debate, symposium, or rapid research spotlight, but not in a regular research talk or research spotlight (until complete data is available). Note that rapid research spotlight abstracts have a separate, later deadline than other abstracts. Submitting multiple abstracts in which the same data have been analyzed in different ways, or in which a study is subdivided into small sub-studies, is prohibited and will result in those abstracts being rejected. In addition, this action may result in the individual abstract authors being prohibited from submitting abstracts for future SBM annual meetings. Only if abstracts present unique information that could be published in separate journal articles will multiple submissions from a single project be considered (e.g., if they address theoretically unrelated/distinct hypotheses, if they utilize non-overlapping data/variables, etc.). If multiple presenters claim equal contribution to a project, then they can co-present the research talk or research spotlight at the annual meeting.

Empirical/Non-Empirical Research: Research talk abstracts submitted for presentation must be based on empirical research and report actual (not promised) results. Research spotlight submissions, except for Works in Progress and Lessons Learned rapid research spotlights, must also be based on empirical research and report actual (not promised) results. Abstracts for courses, panel discussions, debates, and symposia may include empirical and/or non-empirical contributions. 

Empirical work includes primary quantitative research (e.g., observational studies, clinical trials) and primary qualitative research (e.g., interviews, focus groups), with both requiring appropriate methods for gleaning insights (e.g., the use of appropriate statistics for quantitative data and appropriate processing of qualitative data, such as thematic analysis). Empirical research can also be of a secondary nature and involve the use of prior empirical work, such as review articles. Note that for these types of empirical contributions, the work does need to use accepted procedures for organizing and processing that information including both quantitative (e.g., meta-analysis) or qualitative (e.g., meta-synthesis, scoping or narrative reviews) approaches. Literature reviews that do not use an accepted protocol for organizing the literature and gleaning insights will NOT be considered empirical but could be discussed within courses, panels, or symposia. 

Prior Publication Policy: Abstracts that have been published or presented elsewhere prior to the time of presentation at the 42nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions may not be submitted for consideration by SBM. Abstracts that were accepted for SBM’s 41st Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions should not be re-submitted for the 2021 meeting. Work may be submitted for publication after the abstract submission deadline, prior to the annual meeting, and still be presented at the meeting (even if it is published prior to the meeting).

Abstract Presentation Limit: Authors are limited to participation as “presenter” in a maximum of three abstract submissions. Presenters of accepted abstracts must register for the annual meeting.

Presenter Registration: Each presenting author is responsible for his/her registration fee(s). Presenters who are unable to register for the annual meeting should arrange for another individual to present on their behalf. If changes to the listing of your presenting author are necessary, please notify the SBM national office (414) 918-3156 or info@sbm.org.

Submission Deadline Exceptions
Rapids must be competed and submitted by the noted abstract submission deadline: November 6, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The only exceptions to this policy are (1) delay due to weather-related issues that hinder a submitter's ability to complete their submission (ex: power outage due to severe weather), or (2) delay related to personal injury or family health emergency (ex: hospitalization). In these cases, a deadline extension request must be sent to rmizar@sbm.org before the abstract submission deadline, for review by the SBM Program Committee.

Withdrawn Abstracts: Abstract presenters who withdraw a presentation may be denied the right to submit an abstract for the 2022 SBM annual meeting. The only exceptions to this policy are (1) absence due to weather-related issues that hinder a presenter’s travel to the meeting, (2) absence due to a work-related emergency, or (3) absence related to personal injury or family health emergency. Miscalculation of travel costs by the presenter does not qualify as an acceptable reason to withdraw one’s abstract. In the event this occurs, no refunds will be given.

Abstract/Presentation Language: All abstract submissions must be in English. All presentations based on accepted abstract submissions must be made in English.

Thematic Submissions Encouraged: Submissions are especially encouraged that reflect the theme for the 42nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions: “Let’s go all IN: Inclusion, Innovation, Influence”.

Open Science Practices Encouraged: Submitters will have the opportunity to declare their open science practices for the submitted work, including preregistered design, preregistered analyses, shared materials, and posted data. SBM is committed to promoting more open science practices among members and at the annual meeting. For more information on these practices and their benefits, see the Center for Open Science (https://cos.io/) or other resources.


When submitting your abstract, you may check boxes to be considered for these special opportunities:

  • Industry-Focused Posters: When submitting your abstract, look for the option to flag your submission as Industry-Focused.  Research spotlights that highlight the translational research coming out of industry and industry-academia partnerships will receive an Industry-Focused designation. Recipients of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants are especially encouraged to participate.
  • Research Spotlight Mentoring Program: Student SBM members can have their research spotlight presentations evaluated by a senior SBM member. Because of the Mentoring Program’s popularity, interested students are selected via a random drawing. Selected students are matched with senior members based on common behavioral medicine interests when possible. Those senior members then view the student’s presentation and offer feedback and advice.

Q: Can I submit a “meta-synthesis” for the Annual Meeting? (a meta-synthesis is similar to a meta-analysis but provides an evidence-based integration of qualitative studies).
A: Yes, you can submit a meta-synthesis as long as the synthesis includes sufficient published data (in this case qualitative data) to warrant a meta-synthesis and as long as the work utilizes strong methodology (as supported by existing literature).

Q: Can I submit an abstract that presents the aims, design, and methods for an ongoing trial? We are still collecting data, so this would be the equivalent to a design paper in a journal.
A: You may submit methods/design relevant abstracts as part of relevant panels, symposia, or debates and as rapid research spotlights—but not as regular research talks or research spotlight presentations, which require complete data at the time of submission.

Q: Can I submit an abstract that explains our experiences as researchers and “lessons learned” when conducting large clinical trials (e.g., partnering with clinics and engaging hard-to-reach patients for a community-level intervention)? Although this type of abstract would not involve sharing statistical results, would it still be considered empirical research?
A: This would fit into empirical work if you gathered qualitative data on this topic area and presented the qualitative data. If you do not have qualitative data, then this would fit better into a symposium whereby you could discuss these areas in the context of others who are working in a similar domain. Lessons learned can also be submitted as rapid research spotlights—but not as regular research talk/spotlight presentations.

Q: My abstract would work well as either a panel discussion or a debate.  Which submission type should I use?
A: There are overlapping elements between the panel and debate formats. We would suggest choosing the debate format if there are clear opposing sides to an issue and you want to present those to the audience. A panel may also have differing viewpoints on a topic - in fact we would welcome that - but is not designed to clearly delineate opposing sides of an issue. An example might be that you want to present on the utility of theory in behavior change interventions. Choose the debate format if you want to present this topic by discussing the pros and cons of theory in designing interventions. Choose a panel if you want to have a discussion on how people have used theory in their behavior change interventions.

Q: After submission of an abstract for presentation at the Annual Meeting, is the author prohibited from submitting a manuscript for publication (based off the presentation submission) prior to the presentation date?
A: Authors may submit their work for publication in a journal after the SBM annual meeting submission deadline has passed but before the annual meeting occurs. If you follow these rules and the paper ends up being published prior to the conference, then you do NOT need to withdraw the SBM submission.

Q: Is it allowed for a larger study to be divided into several abstract submissions (e.g., so that several graduate students from the same lab can present)?
A: SBM recognizes the importance of having graduate students present their work at the annual meeting, even if their work is part of a team-based project. However, the individual abstracts should be distinct enough to warrant publication as separate papers—that is, address unique theoretical questions (distinct enough for separate publication), use non-overlapping data, etc. If the abstracts would be combined into one manuscript for publication in a journal, then they should not be separated for submissions to the SBM annual meeting. Instead, consider having two students present at the same session (research talks or research spotlights, for example).

Q: Can I submit a literature review for presentation?
A: A literature review can be submitted for presentation as a research talk/spotlight only if it includes empirical data. However, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and meta-syntheses can be considered empirical if they use literature-supported empirical methods (for determining the included articles, for synthesizing quantitative or qualitative findings in the literature, etc.) and utilize the included literature as data/evidence. Otherwise, literature reviews may fit within a relevant panel discussion or symposium.

SBM's 42nd Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions features a variety of presentation formats including pre-conference courses, symposia, panel discussions, debates, research talks and research spotlights.

Pre-Conference Courses are 2.5 hour sessions. They feature presentations that emphasize the theory and application of practical skills. Only one abstract needs to be submitted per proposed course.

Symposia examine important issues from a variety of perspectives. These sessions last 50 minutes. During these sessions, alternative solutions, interpretations, and points of view on a body of knowledge within the field are presented and debated. Symposia that include presenters from different disciplines and include cross-cutting themes relevant to behavioral medicine as well as the meeting topic areas are strongly encouraged. A symposium typically includes one chair, three presenters, and one discussant. Symposia can include presentations that do not include empirical data. The chair can serve as one of the three presenters and/or discussant.

Several abstracts need to be submitted for a symposium proposal. First, the symposium chair should submit a symposium abstract (a summary of the topics/scheduled presentations). Then, using the "Individual Presentation and Details" step, the chair can either complete the symposium presentation abstracts (the summary of the specific solution, interpretation, point of view, etc.) for each presenter OR they can click the invite button to email each presenter a request to complete the task. The discussant is not required to complete an abstract but should be listed in the author/presenter section of the symposium abstract.

Panel Discussions are 50 minute sessions (e.g., discussions about educational topics, career development, funding opportunities), designed to allow for discussion among presenters as well as provide a forum for interaction with session attendees. Panel discussions are expected to have two or more speakers, depending on the structure of the session. Panels do not require empirical data and also, do not require formal presentations from panelists. Instead, this format is particularly good for active discussions between panelists and between the panelists and the audience. Only one abstract needs to be submitted per proposed panel.

Debates are 50 minute sessions representing different views on a central topic. Only one abstract needs to be submitted per proposed debate. Debate submissions will include up to 5 participants; 1 chair/moderator and up to 2 presenters on each side of the topic; all debates require a chair. Debate presentations will include an introduction to the topic, allow each side 5 minutes to present their side, and then each side has 2 minutes for rebuttal. The chair will then open the discussion to the audience members. One abstract should be submitted per debate. The abstract should include a summary of the topic to be debates along with a description of each of the opposing sides.

Research Talks are pre-recorded 10-minute presentations. Only one abstract needs to be submitted per proposed research talk presentation. Research talks are similar to the oral paper presentations held during in-person annual meetings.

Research Spotlights are 2-minute pre-recorded presentations. Research spotlight submissions judged by the Program Committee to be especially original and significant will be highlighted as meritorious and/or citation award winners. Only one abstract needs to be submitted per proposed research spotlight presentation. Research spotlights are similar to the poster presentations held during in-person annual meetings.

Rapid Communication Research Spotlights offer the opportunity for presentation of late-breaking findings in the field of behavioral medicine. Only one abstract needs to be submitted per proposed research spotlight presentation. Rapid communication research spotlights are similar to the rapid communication poster presentations held during in-person annual meetings.

Research spotlights are a very important and essential part of the SBM annual meeting. They are a great way for researchers to share their work with colleagues. SBM views research spotlight presentations as equally important to research talk presentations.

Authors may submit abstracts as “research talk only,” “research spotlight only,” or “talk or spotlight.” Authors are encouraged to submit using the “talk or spotlight” option since all talks submitted under this option that are not selected for talk presentations will alternatively be considered for spotlight presentations.