Abby C King, PhD
I have always prided myself on 'wearing the mantle' of science as best as I could-through being dispassionate, exacting, and appropriately distanced from the objects of my investigations. Isn't that what we have been taught from the beginning of our careers, starting, for many of us, in that Psychology 101 class with the term "objectivity"? Of course, those basics of scientific inquiry remain fundamental for building an evidence base that is, as much as we can make it, minimally biased, concise, and trustworthy. And I always believed that if I just conducted strong, "tight" science, the results would speak for themselves, my job as a scientist ending with scientific publication and presentations. Surely that is what my academic institution, colleagues, and, by extension, community members and policy makers seemed to care the most about.
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Influencing Public Policy – a High Priority for SBM
Healthcare reform measures – and challenges to them – prompted the SBM Board to lead the Society into the health policy arena with new focus and vigor. Prepared with policy briefs created by the Health Policy Committee, newly developed case statements, and information about members' research and practice areas Board Members visited 33 congressional offices in 2011. Increasingly, SBM's Public Policy Leadership Group invites SBM members to use the "contact your legislator" SBM website mechanism for sending Board-approved letters to legislators on such crucial topics as protecting the Prevention and Public Health Fund. SBM's impact in the health policy arena depends, in large part, on SBM member engagement. Members can take actions that extend the SBM reach, increase the visibility and importance of behavioral medicine research, and prevent policy loop holes that ensnare people like Mrs. Stevens. Read more »
Annual Meeting Updates
New Orleans is a city entrenched in music, so why not bring local musicians to the SBM Annual Meeting? In addition to showcasing recent behavioral medicine research, the opening poster session on Wednesday April 11 from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. will feature a pianist and clarinetist for your enjoyment. Arrange your travel to New Orleans to ensure you do not miss the new research, smooth jazz and complimentary light hors d'oeuvres paired with a cash bar at the opening poster session.
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Why SBM and Its Members Need to Have a Social Media Presence
A social media revolution is happening, are you on board? Many who are not often ask, "What is the point?" Here are 4 answers to that question. First, it increases our ability to make the public and other professionals aware of what we do. Each of us has a responsibility to increase the reach and impact of our work, and to extend our sphere of influence beyond researchers and practitioners in our field. Social media is an outlet that can facilitate having our work heard and acted upon by a wide range of stakeholders, including high-priority targets like policymakers, the media, and consumers. The impact of the field will remain limited if we don't do better.
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Development: Expanded Opportunities to Support SBM
If you've registered for the 2012 Annual Meeting or renewed your membership you might have noticed a "giving" opportunity. Each and every year, generous members provide "extra" support to SBM and that support - above and beyond dues and meeting registration fees - allows the Society to deliver and expand services. The Advocacy and Membership Development Campaign (AMDC) supports travel to the Annual Meeting for recipients of the SBM Distinguished Student Achievement Awards. Read more »
Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine Committee
A major focus of the EBBM Committee's activity during the past two years has been the oversight of three systematic reviews of research on symptom management in cancer. This project was initiated by David Mohr, PhD, while he was the EBBM Committee Chair and Bonnie Spring, PhD, while she was SBM President. Under their leadership, three workgroups were formed that were charged with reviewing the research literature on management of pain, depression, and fatigue in people with cancer. Despite geographic separation, members of each workgroup were able to collaborate effectively due to the availability of shared web resources for storing retrieved articles and entering information abstracted from these articles. Read more »
SBM's Web-based Consultation Program Continues to Grow
We are very excited about the new, web-based Consultation Program! This program was designed to facilitate the exchange of information and resources between SBM members. Prospective consultees can identify expert consultants on the website and contact them with specific questions pertaining to scientific topic areas as well as career development issues. Since beginning as a pilot program in the Fall of 2010, the program's availability has expanded to include all of our Special Interest Groups and SBM members. Currently, we have consultants from four SIGs. Read more »
NEW SIG: Theories and Techniques of Behavior Change Interventions
This is an invitation to all SBM members to join a new SBM Special Interest Group (SIG), Theories and Techniques of Behavior Change Interventions (TTBCI). This will be an interdisciplinary group of researchers, clinicians, and educators who are committed to developing methods to improve the design and evaluation of interventions aimed at changing preventive, illness-related and health professional behaviors. We will aim to promote research, education, training, mentoring, clinical and public health practice and policy development in the area of behavior change interventions. Read more »
Aging SIG Update
The process of "healthy aging" begins well before one is truly old. The effects of individual behavior, community and environment on health may accrue across the lifespan to produce cumulative effects with significant impact on the health of older adults. The Aging SIG is therefore interested both in promoting lifelong healthful behaviors that protect health and prevent age-related decline, and in intervening with older adults to deal with illness, disability, and quality of life.
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Update on Activities of the Behavioral Informatics SIG
The Behavioral Informatics Special Interest Group has been having monthly conference calls to discuss SIG business and to plan for future group initiatives. Our major goals for 2012 are to: (1) engage more SBM members, (2) start a mentorship program, (3) establish a poster award at the 2012 conference, (4) collaborate with other SIGs, (5) engage in research on the intersection of health communication and technology, and (6) write a behavioral informatics "year in review" for next year's Outlook. Read more »
Cancer Care 2020: Challenges & Opportunities for Behavioral Medicine
There are more than 12 million people living with a current or prior cancer diagnosis. In many cases, cancer is viewed as a "chronic condition" that individuals will receive treatment for and live with for the remainder of their lives. The importance of the psychological toll of cancer has long been recognized, but is only now being mandated as a core aspect of cancer care. In 1954, Sydney Farber, MD, recognized the emotional distress cancer patients experienced physically, psychologically, and spiritually (Mukhergee, 2010). Read more »
Child and Family Health SIG Update
Members of the C&FH SIG have been engaged in activities in support of our mission of promoting child health and development, preventing childhood illness and injury, and fostering family adjustment to pediatric chronic and other physical conditions through high-quality collaborative research. For example, our membership offered its collective input into areas of child and family health that could be addressed through SBM's new policy initiatives, and are also collaborating on the NIH project for Grid-Enabled Measures (GEM) database.
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Obesity and Eating Disorders SIG Update
The Obesity and Eating Disorders SIG strives to provide networking, mentorship, and scientific training to those interested in obesity and eating disorders. We value interdisciplinary collaboration, and for the past two years have worked to strengthen ties with other SBM SIGs. We hosted cross-SIG meetings at the 2010 and 2011 Annual Meetings with the Diabetes and Physical Activity SIGs. During the meeting in 2011, the group of attendees brainstormed ideas for symposia and pre-conference workshops for the 2012 Annual Meeting. Read more »
Making the Most of Opportunities: Developing Relationships with Mentors
How do you get from A to Z? How do you get from being a student in training to becoming an independent researcher, a health practitioner, a teacher, a scientist, or a policy-maker? When I was younger I often became frustrated with being unable to do things perfectly. Without betraying too much of my personality traits, I'll tell you how my dad would respond. He told me that making good decisions and being successful requires wisdom; and wisdom requires experiences; and experience requires learning from other people and your own mistakes.
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New issues of Annals and TBM
SBM's two journals, Annals of Behavioral Medicine and Translational Behavioral Medicine (TBM), continuously publish articles online, many of which become available before issues are printed. A few of the newest Annals and TBM articles currently accessible online are listed below. Read more »
Honors, Awards and Publications
A new feature of Outlook this year showcases some of SBM members' recent honors, awards and publications. If you would like to have your honor, award or publication featured in the next issue please forward the details of your achievement to Amanda Graham, PhD, Outlook Editor. Congratulations to all of the following members.
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