Outlook: Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
Winter 2012 Return to Outlook Main page »

Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine Committee

Paul Jacobsen, PhD, Chair

The mission of the Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine (EBBM) Committee is to positively influence the direction and course of evidence-based practice and research within behavioral medicine. Toward this end, the EBBM Committee organizes efforts within SBM and works with other scientific and professional organizations to promote evidence-based practice. The EBBM Committee also oversees the review of all practice guidelines, both for comment and endorsement, and makes recommendations for final action to the SBM Executive 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. An important feature of this effort was the opportunity it provided for individuals with little or no previous experience conducting systematic reviews to gain a thorough understanding of the procedures involved from start to finish. Working closely with experienced team members and with other EBBM Committee members, these individuals have now acquired sufficient knowledge and experience to lead similar projects of their own. The outcomes of this effort are three manuscripts, two of which are currently under editorial review and a third which was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The EBBM Committee is currently exploring ways for the experience acquired in carrying out these systematic reviews to be put to use in support of SBM's efforts to influence health care policy. Working in collaboration with SBM's Public Policy Leadership Group, headed by Past President Karen Emmons, PhD, the EBBM Committee is developing a list of topics for which evidence from systematic reviews could be beneficial in persuading policy makers to support dissemination and implementation of evidence-based behavioral medicine services and interventions.

The EBBM Committee is also working on several projects in collaboration with the EBBM Special Interest Group (SIG), whose activities were profiled in the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Outlook. One product of this collaboration is a symposium to be presented at the SBM 2012 Annual Meeting in New Orleans titled, "A Tale of Three Systematic Reviews: What Have We Learned About Reducing Pain, Depression, and Fatigue Among Cancer Survivors." This symposium was organized by EBBM SIG Chair, Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, PhD. Individuals who participated in conducting the three systematic reviews described above will be summarizing their findings and sharing lessons learned in organizing and executing this collaborative review activity. I encourage you to attend if you want to learn more about the results of the reviews and obtain valuable advice about performing a systematic evidence review.