President's Message: Drivers of Health Care Change, and the Opportunities They Create
Marian L. Fitzgibbon, PhD, SBM president
The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) 2016 Annual Meeting is almost here. Our Program Committee has organized a powerful session lineup that centers around one key word: change.
Whether you work in an academic, government, clinical, industry, or other setting, you know that health care and how we conceptualize the prevention and treatment of chronic care are changing faster than ever. We must adapt. As behavioral medicine professionals, we must also work to make sure these changes move us forward-creating better research, better interventions, and better patient outcomes. I sincerely believe the Annual Meeting will help us do that.
Meeting sessions will examine drivers of change (e.g., policy and advocacy, health care reform, technological advancements, funding landscape changes) and the opportunities those changes create (e.g., expanded access to health care, use of digital tools to impact health, partnerships with channels that were traditionally "not health"). The meeting will broaden how you think about your research, your career, and the translation of behavioral medicine evidence.
In particular, our keynote speakers will examine digital health and non-traditional ways of improving health.
As SBM president, I will also deliver a keynote address. I will be talking about changes that put behavioral scientists at a crossroads, where many need to forge new research and career directions.
I hope you can join us. This year's meeting is being held in Washington, DC, from March 30 to April 2. If you have not already registered for the meeting, be sure to do so before the end of this month so you pay the discounted, early-bird rate.
I am saddened that my presidential year will come to an end at the Annual Meeting–but I can think of no higher note on which to leave my post. Looking forward to seeing you in DC!
All my best,
Marian L. Fitzgibbon, PhD
Thank You 2015 AMDC Contributors
The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) would like to thank the following individuals who contributed to the society's Advocacy and Membership Development Campaign (AMDC) in 2015. AMDC funds help lead SBM in new policy directions and increase the role and significance of behavioral medicine in prevention and health care.
Marie Achille, PhD
Elaine A. Leventhal, MD, PhD
Board Notes: Meet the SBM Member Delegates and an Update on Society Governance
Elliot J. Coups, PhD, Board of Directors member delegate
Meet the Member Delegates
In addition to representatives from the society's many councils and committees, the SBM Board of Directors includes three member delegates. Each member delegate is elected by the membership and serves a three-year term on the board and on the society's seven-member Executive Committee (along with the president, president-elect, past-president, and secretary/treasurer). Member delegates play an active role in a host of SBM initiatives. Meet your SBM member delegates below and please reach out to them with any questions or comments regarding the society:
Monica L. Baskin, PhD (member delegate 2015-2018), is professor of preventive medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. Dr. Baskin's research interests include developing and testing culturally relevant behavioral interventions for cancer prevention and control and obesity prevention and treatment. Prior to becoming a member delegate, she was chair of the society's Membership Council. As member delegate, Dr. Baskin has been a member of the Membership Council, the Nominating Committee, and the Leadership Institute Working Group.
Elliot J. Coups, PhD (member delegate 2014-2017), is associate professor of medicine at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Rutgers University. Dr. Coups' research focuses on behavioral aspects of cancer prevention and control, with a primary focus on skin cancer. He served as chair of the Program Committee for the 2014 SBM Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Coups' activities as member delegate have included serving as a member of the Leadership Institute Working Group and coordinating the society's application for National Institutes of Health R13 grants to support the 2015 and 2016 annual meetings.
Amy L. Yaroch, PhD (member delegate 2013-2016), is executive director at the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition (GSCN) and adjunct professor of health promotion, social, and behavioral health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Since 2009, Dr. Yaroch has been leading efforts in obesity prevention, food insecurity, local food systems and health, and evaluation at GSCN. At SBM and as a member delegate, Dr. Yaroch's activities have included serving on the Revenue Enhancement Committee, and on the Leadership Institute Working Group, as well as associate editor for Translational Behavioral Medicine.
An Update on Society Governance
The November 2015 Board Meeting was the first at which new templates were utilized for all board reports presented by the many councils, committees, sub-committees, ad hoc groups, and members of the Executive Committee. The new templates arose from the invaluable work of SBM's Governance Working Group, ably led by Sara Knight, PhD. Included in the templates are sections for background information, aims/goals/activities, resource needs, products/outcomes/accomplishments, and any proposed motions to bring before the board. The new templates were very well-received and served not only as a valuable reporting tool but also as an opportunity to evaluate accomplishments and plan future activities.
The report presented by Rajani S. Sadasivam, PhD, on behalf of the Web and Social Media Team nicely illustrates the utility of the reports. The report outlined the many ongoing initiatives to promote the society's digital presence, including via the SBM website, SBMConnect blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Successes were also outlined, including an increase in SBM's social media presence at the 2015 Annual Meeting (with 2,115 tweets using the #SBM2015 hashtag that reached 4.7 million accounts) compared to the 2014 meeting (1,215 tweets using the #SBM2014 hashtag that reached 1.6 million accounts).
Additionally, in response to the increasing number of people who are accessing the SBM website from mobile devices, the report outlined a need for resources to upgrade the website to use a responsive design. This request was approved and the necessary changes to the website have been implemented. This means that the SBM website can now be easily viewed and navigated across all devices. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the SBM website on your mobile device!
SBM Building Meaningful Relationships with Other Organizations
Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, PhD, Scientific and Professional Liaison Council chair
This winter, I've been delighted to share the aims and current activities of our productive Scientific and Professional Liaison Council (SPLC) with the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Board of Directors, the Special Interest Group (SIG) Council, as well as a number of our external partners.
As a reminder to our Outlook readers, the SPLC promotes linkages among SBM and external government agencies, academic organizations, and scientific and professional societies to advance behavioral medicine through research, practice, and policy. We work alongside SBM's SIGs, councils, and committees throughout the year not only to deepen ties with organizations that already have relationships with SBM, but to bring new perspectives and novel research to the Annual Meeting, expand professional networks for SBM members, and create new opportunities for inter-organizational collaboration. We welcome the opportunity to work with you.
Join the SPLC at SBM's 37th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions:
SPLC fosters other supportive relationships with scientific and professional societies:
Special thanks to the hard-working members of the SPLC: Jennifer K. Carroll, MD, MPH; Martin D. Cheatle, PhD; Catherine L. Davis, PhD; David E. Goodrich, EdD, MS, MA; Paul B. Jacobsen, PhD; Sara J. Knight, PhD; Miho Tanaka, PhD, MPH; Erika A. Waters, PhD, MPH; Matt P. Buman, PhD (guest); Jeanne Erickson (guest), Amy Janke, PhD (guest); and Julie E. Volkman, PhD (guest).
As the important work of the SPLC continues to grow, I welcome your ideas and input! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Digital Health Council Supports Three SBM Initiatives
Ellen Beckjord, PhD, MPH, Digital Health Council chair
The Digital Health Council (DHC) was created in 2014 with the goal of helping grow the body of digital health work being done by members of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) and to position our society to benefit from and contribute to the fast-paced and evolving field of digital health. In the past year, the DHC (which currently numbers 24 SBM members) has worked to meet these goals.
As a new council, some of our work has been focused on establishing our presence, both within the society and within a larger context. Through efforts led by Emily G. Lattie, PhD, we have grown a Twitter following of 460 members. We created our council webpage and will use it in the year ahead to post information and updates about our work. Additionally, we've supported three specific initiatives for SBM, each of which we expect will impact our society in the year to come.
First, the DHC created a survey to understand members' experiences with academic-industry collaborations. Frederick Muench, PhD, and Madalina Sucala, PhD, were instrumental to this work. The goal of the survey is to capture an understanding of how SBM members feel about academic-industry collaborations and the positive and negative experiences they have had with these partnerships. The DHC will translate the results of this survey into activities planned for 2016 and 2017 designed to support and empower SBM members to pursue academic-industry collaborations, as these collaborations are critical to extending the reach and impact of digital health research. As of now, 245 members have responded to the survey, and the results will be shared with the society soon.
The DHC has also supported work being led by Brent Van Dorsten, PhD, chair of SBM's Revenue Enhancement Committee, to explore potential business models for diversifying SBM's revenue streams. Dr. Van Dorsten, with help from DHC members Bradford W. Hesse, PhD; Eric B. Hekler, PhD; and David K. Ahern, PhD, created materials describing the value proposition of SBM, from our scientific expertise to the intellectual property that we have and continue to generate. These materials were shared with students in a graduate course at the Katz School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh in November of this past year, and ten business model options were generated by their work and delivered to SBM. Consideration of these models, and whether and how they will impact SBM, is ongoing.
Finally, as the DHC supports SBM in these efforts, each of which potentially deepen and broaden how we work with industry or commercial partners, with the support of our society's staff, the DHC has created a "best practices" document to detail how we will - and will not - partner or collaborate with industry. The document is far reaching and addresses everything from commercial support for the annual meeting to participation in formal collaborations with commercial partners. Overall, the best practices contained within the document are intended to answer questions such as: how do we ensure transparency with our membership when we receive funding from industry? What parameters guide who we will and will not accept funding from? And how do we responsibly partner with industry while never sacrificing our scientific integrity? This document is currently being reviewed by the SBM Board of Directors, and once approved, will be shared with the society for comment.
The DHC is an energetic and committed group of SBM members, and we deeply appreciate the support we receive from the society, especially the Technology SIG and the Scientific and Professional Liaison Council. We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead, and if you would like to join or add to our efforts, please do not hesitate to contact Digital Health Council Chair Ellen Beckjord, PhD, MPH, at email@example.com.
How to Change Health Policy at the State Level: A Q&A with Paul Korte
How are behavioral scientists changing health policy in their home states? That's the topic of a breakfast roundtable that the Society of Behavioral Medicine's (SBM's) Civic and Public Engagement Committee (CPEC) is hosting on March 31 at the upcoming SBM Annual Meeting. CPEC recently interviewed one of the roundtable panelists: Paul Korte, PhD, president-elect of the Missouri Psychological Association (MOPA).
Dr. Korte discussed his efforts to get the Missouri Medicaid program to accept health and behavior reimbursement codes.
CPEC: What policy issue have you taken on and why?
Korte: Our primary focus has been on getting health and behavior reimbursement codes accepted under the state Medicaid program. These reimbursement codes can play a significant role in the delivery of integrated care. The health and behavior codes were created in 2002 with the help of the American Psychological Association in order for behavioral health providers to bill services when working with physically ill patients. These codes are used when focusing on the behavioral components of physical health such as compliance issues, particularly when there is no appropriate mental health diagnosis. Missouri's Medicaid program has limited the use of these codes and blocked their use in other locations such as hospitals. They do this despite growing research support for improved patient outcomes and cost savings that come from the use of these interventions and codes. MOPA is trying to change this by creating a statute in state law requiring the reimbursement of these services.
CPEC: What progress has been made on the issue?
Korte: Every year our legislative efforts have gone farther. Last year, we felt confident that our health and behavior codes bill would pass but, unfortunately, partisan politics all but shut down the state senate at the end of the legislative session over an unrelated controversial bill. We are now in our fourth year of advocating for the use of health and behavior codes. We continue to have bipartisan support and count other health care providers as advocates. This year we have also made greater efforts to develop relationships with other state-level professional organizations to help promote behavioral medicine in the hope that we can work together on additional policy concerns.
CPEC: What were some lessons learned?
Korte: Advocacy is not a sprint-it's a marathon. There are so many competing agendas that it can often feel like you are being overlooked. I have learned, though, that you have to continue bringing your issues forward and constantly develop relationships with legislators and their staff. I've also learned that you have to make the issues personal. As scientists, we can focus a lot on numbers and statistics, but most legislators are not researchers. Anecdotes can go against everything we learn in graduate school, but people respond to the power of a story. If we can turn research and statistics into something more tangible, we will have policymakers who believe in the issues as much as we do.
CPEC: What advice do you have for early-career behavioral scientists trying to impact policy at the local or state level?
Korte: It really boils down to just doing it. A local and/or state organization is a great way to start in advocacy as they are often smaller, making it easier to network and connect with those in leadership. They may also have mechanisms in place for advocacy such as a legislative or advocacy committee. Volunteer for the committee. I believe I am far more comfortable with advocacy efforts because I simply started attending events and talking to more senior colleagues. There were times that I did not have a specific interest in a topic, but I went anyway to listen to colleagues speak with elected officials and witness them testify in front of legislative committees. This modeled for me what the process looked like and how I could do it. I think it is easy for an early-career professional to feel a bit intimidated. However, a valuable piece of advice I was given is that we are the experts in our field; the legislator or policymaker is not. We can always identify a colleague who has greater expertise than us in a given area, but that does not mean that we aren't experts in our own right.
Career Paths, Challenges, and Opportunities in the Field of Aging Research
Neha P. Gothe, PhD, Aging SIG co-chair; and Sandra J. Winter, PhD, MHA, Aging SIG co-chair
"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better."
For this Aging Special Interest Group (SIG) contribution to Outlook we interviewed two Aging SIG members who have achieved professional success in diverse fields. They answered questions about their career paths and provided their perspectives regarding the challenges and opportunities in the field of aging.
Robin Mockenhaupt, PhD, MPH, MBA, is the chief of staff of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and Patricia (Pat) Dubbert, PhD, MA, is associate director of research training, VA South Central Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center at Little Rock, AR; psychologist investigator at the Little Rock Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center; and professor of psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Dr. Mockenhaupt began her career as a health educator and has worked in the fields of health promotion and aging. Dr. Dubbert started her career as a nurse and her passion for research led to graduate studies and subsequent work as a project director, health psychologist, and investigator. The opportunity to improve the health of older adults is an important driver for both of them, and they embrace the value of working with interdisciplinary teams of committed people.
In her role as chief of staff at RWJF, Dr. Mockenhaupt is part of a team that is committed to ensuring that the foundation invests wisely to achieve the greatest social good - a task that requires keeping up to date with the trending issues in a rapidly changing health arena. However, for Dr. Dubbert in the field of research, competition for grant funding is challenging and makes it difficult for junior investigators to become independent researchers.
Dr. Mockenhaupt's advice for early careerists includes following your interests and passions, listening to your internal voice, and being open to new ideas and different opportunities. Dr. Dubbert's advice includes being prepared to put in long hours and working hard, seeking advice from the best teachers and mentors, continuing to learn in your own field as well as in other areas to facilitate creative hybridization and building, and nurturing your research team.
Drs. Mockenhaupt and Dubbert honed in on different and important challenges in the field of aging. For Dr. Mockenhaupt, a major challenge is the lack of adequate preparation in our communities, systems, and policies to deal with the needs of a growing aging population. For Dr. Dubbert, an important issue is learning how to use research knowledge and methods to help providers, caregivers, and patients balance the complex interplay of quality of life versus quantity that may be anticipated from available health care options.
Many opportunities exist in age-related research. Harnessing the wisdom and potential of older adults, who are living longer and healthier lives, is one opportunity for people working in the field of aging that Dr. Mockenhaupt identified. Dr. Dubbert identified opportunities found in engaging interdisciplinary teams that facilitate diverse perspectives and skills to address population level age-related health issues in a complex world. Both of our contributors identified the growing potential of the use of technology to promote healthy aging. Smart phones and tablet computers, increasingly sophisticated "wearable" activity trackers, monitoring devices installed where people live, and a myriad of other advances in technology offer incredible opportunities for interventions as well as accurate monitoring of the health, health behavior change, and functioning of older adults. The work of SIG members will be important for addressing the challenges of tailoring these to the needs, abilities, and preferences of aging adults.
We thank Drs. Mockenhaupt and Dubbert for their time and insights.
Violence and Trauma: SBM's New SIG and the People Who Started It
Emily F. Rothman, ScD, Violence and Trauma SIG chair
The Society of Behavioral Medicine's (SBM's) new Violence and Trauma Special Interest Group (VT SIG) recently interviewed Pamela Behrman, PhD, professor of psychology at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, and Julie Schnur, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, co-director of the Integrative Behavioral Medicine Program, and licensed clinical psychologist, about the new SIG. They have been members of SBM since 2005 and are founding members of the VT SIG.
VT: Why do you think now is the right time for a VT SIG to be established?
Schnur: I think any time would have been the right time for this SIG. It seems particularly timely to introduce the VT SIG now, given how widespread the national conversation on trauma has become. From the Affordable Care Act's attention to domestic violence, to PTSD in the military, to campus rapes, to gun violence, to trauma informed care, the influence and pervasiveness of trauma in our society is clear. SBM's inclusion of a VT SIG is reflective of the impact of trauma on health.
Behrman: Researchers have been calling attention to violence and trauma as public health issues since the 1980s, with a recent emphasis on primary prevention. It's now well-known that trauma and violence can have long-term, often irreversible, cognitive, psychological, and somatic health consequences for children and adults. In the U.S. there has been a heightened awareness of the importance of public policy aimed at reducing violence and trauma in the past several decades, which has prompted federal legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act and renewed calls for the public funding of research on gun violence.
VT: How will SBM be enriched by the existence of a VT SIG?
Schnur: Too often, trauma and behavioral medicine research are in separate silos, and consequently are investigated by separate researchers, in separate organizations, at separate conferences. To comprehensively address the healthcare needs of trauma survivors requires that trauma researchers and healthcare researchers learn from and talk to each other. SBM seems like the ideal place to bridge the gap between these two fields.
Behrman: While other SIGs address trauma as aspects of their specialties, no other SIG uniquely focuses on understanding how violence and trauma impacts on individuals, communities, and society. This opens the door for many potential contributions from our SIG members to the SBM community at large. I feel we have some important things to say regarding the importance of protective factors, risk factors, and consequences of trauma, which can lead to our contributing to SBM's proud history of influencing and shaping public-health driven government policy and funding initiatives.
VT: In general, how can the field of behavioral medicine benefit from including violence and trauma as topics that are addressed and attended to in our work?
Schnur: I work with women with breast cancer. And those with a history of childhood sexual abuse have told me how their history has affected their reactions to nearly every part of their cancer treatment. They are often extremely anxious during screenings and often delay or avoid screenings. They fear being anesthetized during surgery and being touched and viewed while unconscious, and they find that radiotherapy, which involves darkness, a need to be positioned/touched/exposed, and a need to remain still, reminds them of their abuse experiences. This healthcare re-traumatization affects quality of life during treatment, adherence to treatment, and interactions with the healthcare team. A better understanding of trauma and its impact can potentially guide the development of provider training, more sensitive and trauma informed healthcare delivery, and interventions to improve patient experience, adherence, healthcare costs, and provider-patient collaboration.
Behrman: If the goal of behavioral medicine is improved prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation for individuals suffering from a broad array of medical problems, it's critical that we understand how to recognize and treat patients' trauma to prevent them from being injured, killed, psychologically harmed, or sexually assaulted. We have an obligation to attend to people's safety and well-being with regard to violence and trauma because these are important health problems in their own right, and also because we know from decades of research that violence and trauma exposure underlie many of the chronic health conditions upon which behavioral medicine experts focus.
Join the Student SIG at the Annual Meeting for Networking, Mentoring, and Professional Development
Brenna Renn, MA, Student SIG annual meeting coordinator
The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Student Special Interest Group (SIG) is proud to present multiple events at the 2016 Annual Meeting taking place in Washington, DC, including an array of professional development panels, two mentored breakfasts, student research awards, a psychology internship meet and greet, and a student social hour. Please note that some of the offerings listed below must be applied to ahead of time by students so plan accordingly!
Thursday, March 31, Events
Breakfast Roundtable: Achieving Work/Life Balance in an Age of Opportunities
Midday Meeting: Psychology Internship Meet & Greet
Midday Meeting: Nontraditional Careers in Behavioral Medicine
Evening: Student Social
Friday, April 1, Events
Breakfast Roundtable: Student and Postdoc Matched Mentoring Session for Careers in Primary Care
Breakfast Roundtable: Mentored Breakfast with the Cognitive, Affective, and Social Processes in Health Research (CASPHR) Workgroup
Midday Meeting: Hear it from the Experts: A Professional Development Panel
Other Meeting and SIG Updates
Sick of the winter weather? Start planning your trip to Washington, DC, for the SBM 2016 Annual Meeting, which happens to coincide with the National Cherry Blossom Festival! Our national capital is known for iconic monuments, world-class museums, and cultural experiences, many of which are free. Visit Destination DC's website for a full listing.
The Student SIG will be sponsoring student research awards and faculty mentor awards to be presented at the Annual Meeting. Check the student listserv and Student SIG webpage for details.
Ways to Stay in Touch
Stay in touch via our Student SIG Facebook page. Like the page and share it with friends so you can stay connected during and after the Annual Meeting. Finally, bookmark the Student SIG webpage to find contact information for the SIG Leadership Board and other SIG news.
See you in DC!
Ethnic, Minority and Multicultural Health SIG 2016 Update
Jamilia Sly, Ph.D, and Clement Gwede, Ph.D, Ethnic, Minority and Multicultural Health SIG co-chairs
Many exciting things are planned for the Ethnic Minority and Multicultural Health Special Interest Group (EMMH SIG) this year. We have proposed an exciting slate of events that should be of interest to Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) members at varying career levels. We want to acknowledge our outstanding SIG Planning Committee who have dedicated countless hours toward brainstorming robust and timely symposia and pre-conference ideas. With the help of the EMMH SIG planning committee, the SIG will present/co-present four exciting and timely symposia and pre-conference sessions for the 2016 Annual Meeting.
Although public health efforts have focused on reducing health inequities for over 60 years, there is significant lag in reduction of poor outcomes and in many cases, disparate health outcomes have increased or persist for underserved and minority populations. Thus, our SIG has proposed a timely pre-conference course titled, Unchanging Paradigms: The Static Condition of Reducing Health Inequities. In this course, we plan to have lively discussions with leading experts in health policy, health disparities research, and healthcare provision to unravel where research and practice has brought us to date, offer an innovative model to move beyond the current state of health inequity research, and explore unconscious bias.
Two exciting symposia will be presented at the annual meeting. The first symposium is titled, Innovative and Culturally Responsive Interventions to Improve Cancer Survivorship. This symposium aims to provide insight and lessons learned on how to overcome the challenges that arise in developing culturally competent interventions for people from diverse cultural backgrounds. Experts will present empirical evidence and strategies for developing and evaluating culturally responsive interventions for cancer survivors from ethnic minority populations. The second symposium is titled, Faith-Based or Culturally-Tailored Community-Based Programs to Improve Minority Health. The purpose of this symposium is to highlight the methods of tailoring health programs in three different faith-based/community-based minority communities. It will describe generalizable knowledge regarding community-engagement and program development while reflecting on the critical questions emerging from their experiences about the theoretical bases and practice exercises of tailoring health programs.
Research training and mentoring for students and early career members is always a priority for the EMMH SIG, and so this year we are co-presenting with the Cancer SIG the pre-conference course, Let's Talk about Your Career: What You Need to Know about Grants, Mentorship, and Life Balance, with the Cancer SIG. This event will combine the Cancer SIG's highly valued National Institutes of Health career development grant mock review with our lively roundtable discussions. Discussion will focus on identifying and utilizing local and distance mentoring, successful strategies for landing your next job, and optimizing life balance.
Finally, the EMMH SIG will hold its annual breakfast business meeting. We will continue our tradition of presenting abstract awards for outstanding research from students and early career investigators, excellence in mentoring and new awards recognizing extraordinary service to the EMMH SIG. In addition, Dr. Gwede will rotate off as SIG co-chair and the new co-chair will be announced. We hope that SBM members are as excited about these activities as we are and that you will attend as many of our events as you can! See you in Washington, DC!
$4.5M Grants Will Advance Research about Religion, Spirituality, and Health
George Fitchett, DMin, PhD, professor and director of research in the Department of Religion, Health and Human Values at Rush University Medical Center
There is a growing interest in research and evidence-based practice among health care chaplains. However, for most chaplains involvement in research is limited by their lack of education about research. This prevents chaplains from using research to guide, evaluate, and advocate for the spiritual care they provide. It also limits their ability to collaborate with colleagues who are or plan to conduct research about religion, spirituality and health.
A four-year $4.5M project funded by the John Templeton Foundation, Transforming Chaplaincy: Promoting Research Literacy for Improved Patient Outcomes, started July 1, 2015, hopes to change this. Additional support is being provided by major professional chaplaincy and chaplaincy training organizations in the U.S.: the Association for Professional Chaplains; the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education; the National Association for Catholic Chaplains; and Neshama-the Association for Jewish Chaplains.
Together these initiatives will produce over 800 chaplains with basic or advanced research literacy. It is expected that these chaplains will be consumers of and eventually contributors to the publications and conferences of the SBM. It is also expected that they will be better positioned to collaborate in research about religion, spirituality and health with members of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and others. Given the greater importance of religious and spiritual beliefs and practices among women, the elderly, and racial/ethnic minority populations, these initiatives underscore the potential for building collaborative relationships between the Spirituality and Health SIG and the Women's Health, Aging, and Ethnic Minority and Multicultural Health SIGs.
A Note About the Author and the Project Leaders
Further information may be found at the project website www.researchliteratechaplaincy.org.
Future Direction of the Population Health Science Special Interest Group
Teresa M. Smith, PhD, Population Health Science SIG incoming chair; and Lila J. Finney Rutten, PhD, Population Health Science SIG co-chair
The Population Health Science Special Interest Group (PHS SIG) will convene a discussion of our future direction at the upcoming 37th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) to be held in Washington, DC, March 30-April 2. As incoming chair, Dr. Smith sat down with Dr. Finney Rutten, outgoing chair and co-chair for the 2016-2017 term, to discuss the direction of the PHS SIG over the next three years.
The PHS SIG first formed in December 2012 with the intent of bringing together behavioral researchers, and was recognized as a Group-in-Formation at the 34th Annual Meeting in 2013. In 2014, the PHS SIG co-sponsored a symposium with the Child and Family Health SIG and the Complementary and Integrative Medicine SIG, and in 2015, hosted a breakfast roundtable that focused on emerging issues in behavioral medicine in population health. In 2015, the PHS SIG had significant involvement with shaping the overall conference theme and planning the plenary sessions for the Annual Meeting. Thus, the focus of the 2015 Annual Meeting was on the role of behavioral medicine in enacting the strategic directions of the National Prevention Strategy put forth by the National Prevention Council. The science presented throughout the 2015 Annual Meeting in paper and poster sessions, symposia, panels, and seminars offered evidence of our readiness and potential as a society to inform and influence efforts to improve population health.
Current members of the PHS SIG are moving this agenda forward! Our SIG has grown quickly with a multidisciplinary membership representing diversity in expertise and unity in adoption of a population health perspective in their research efforts. SBM past presidents Lisa M. Klesges, PhD, and C. Tracy Orleans, PhD, both of whom were founding members of the PHS SIG, have championed population health science and within our society. In her presidential keynote at the 2015 Annual Meeting, Dr. Klesges described the role that SBM has played in building an evidence base in behavioral medicine and highlighted the opportunities before us as a professional society to have an impact on population health. Dr. Orleans led the PHS SIG breakfast roundtable at that same annual meeting, which focused on the role of behavioral medicine in improving population health. The session featured the emerging priorities at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation around building a culture of health.
Emerging leaders in SBM are also active members of the PHS SIG. Members Courtney Pinard, PhD, and Carmen Radecki Breitkopf, PhD, were recently accepted into the inaugural SBM Leadership Institute for mid-career members. Dr. Pinard's work aims to make an impact on populations through an overarching emphasis on measurement with expertise in areas such as food access, food insecurity, and obesity prevention. She is currently working on projects that focus on the food system in Michigan. The first is creating shared measures across entities in order to reduce organizational burden and better identify populations in need of better food access. The second is evaluating the impact of the Double Up Food Bucks program. Dr. Radecki Breitkopf's research is focused on psychological and behavioral aspects of cancer prevention among minority and vulnerable populations. This work informs patient-centered approaches to health care delivery that address social, cultural, and psychological influences on behavior and health equity across diverse populations.
In contrast to other SIGs, the PHS SIG is not focused on a specific behavior, disease or single population. After all, behavioral medicine is interdisciplinary, and the disciplines represented in SBM are vast. Regardless of a researcher's content area, there are implications for populations. PHS SIG members are encouraged to engage in research topics such as translational research that is focused on developing real-world solutions and policies to improve population health. They are also encouraged to engage in research focused on informing public health efforts with behavioral science or secondary analysis of public data resources to examine trends in population health by geographic regions, population subgroups, and socio-environmental factors.
In 2016, partnership opportunities will be explored with other SIGs or councils for the 38th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions in 2017. This will encourage researchers to bridge a connection between their content area and a population health research approach.
Please join us at the PHS SIG Breakfast Roundtable on Thursday, March 31, from 7:15 a.m. to 8 a.m., at SBM's 37th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions.
Recommendations for Behavioral Scientists in the 21st Century: An Interview with Chanita Hughes Halbert
Maria C. Swartz, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Cancer SIG member
The Society of Behavioral Medicine's (SBM's) 2016 Annual Meeting will include sessions focused on health disparities and precision medicine. The Cancer Special Interest Group (SIG) interviewed Chanita Hughes Halbert, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), to address these priorities and obtain her advice for early career investigators.
Dr. Hughes Halbert has made several seminal contributions to the fields of cancer control, minority health, and health disparities. For instance, Dr. Hughes Halbert's research established evidence needed to increase access to genetic counseling and testing for BRCA1/2 mutations in African American women. In addition, she was the first to evaluate the long-term effects of genetic testing for BRCA1/2 mutations in racially diverse women.
In recognition of her leadership and accomplishments, Dr. Hughes Halbert was recently awarded the AT&T Distinguished Endowed Chair in Cancer Equity at MUSC and is an appointed member of the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors. She was also the past chairperson of the Minorities in Cancer Research Council in the American Association for Cancer Research. Prior to being recruited to MUSC, Dr. Hughes Halbert held multiple leadership roles at the University of Pennsylvania, including serving as the Director of the West Philadelphia Consortium to address disparities.
Dr. Hughes Halbert's responses are summarized below.
Cancer SIG: As a prominent leader in addressing minority health disparities and health care access for medically underserved populations, what are your suggestions about how we can best position our work to reach the greatest number of the diverse population of cancer patients and cancer survivors?
Hughes Halbert: Developing partnerships and using them to generate research ideas within community settings is really important. You have to develop partnerships in the community to identify priorities and develop interventions that will address these issues. In some instances, there is a disconnect between community priorities and new initiatives developed by funding agencies. Through our work on risk communication interventions funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, we found that establishing partnerships with community-based organizations is important to reach medically underserved populations. You have to think about where the underserved go to seek care. It is important to establish partnerships with diverse health care practices and providers in addition to working with community organizations that address health promotion and disease prevention. These stakeholders have different insights that can positively impact the research design, implementation of the study, and evaluation of data.
Cancer SIG: In regard to the current precision medicine initiative (PMI), what are your thoughts? How do you see behavioral scientists fitting in?
Hughes Halbert: Defining precision medicine to include social and psychological factors in addition to genomics gives behavioral scientists a seat at the table. One of the key issues we can address is how people think about participating in this type of initiative and work as part of a transdisciplinary team to develop effective strategies for ensuring that all groups make informed choices about enrolling in PMI studies. There are also opportunities for behavioral scientists to conduct research that examines how social and cultural issues, and lifestyle and environmental exposures contribute to health outcomes, especially in diverse populations. To include all populations, I will go back to the point of partnerships and reaching people where they are getting care.
Cancer SIG: Given your experience, what are some of your suggestions for early career investigators?
Hughes Halbert: Focus and persistence are the two most important things. Early career investigators can be presented with multiple opportunities for research; this has the potential to be distracting, so focus is critical. It enables you to develop a body of work that tells the story of your research program. Think programmatically. Find your overarching goal and identify research questions and studies that are important to develop your program. Also develop partnerships and collaborations inside academia. It helps to have a group that works really well from a programmatic perspective, because it can reduce the pressure of writing grants alone. Persistence is important because rejection is part of the process, but, also know when to move on. In terms of funding, target the funding initiatives and establish a relationship with program officers. Program officers are your resources! To be competitive for career development and/or research grants, apply for internal funding and foundation grants to collect preliminary data.
Child and Family Health SIG Update
Bernard Fuemmeler, PhD, MPH, Duke University Medical Center, Child and Family Health SIG chair; Danielle Wishenka, MA, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Child and Family Health SIG Outlook liaison; and Maija Taylor, MA, Bowling Green State University, Child and Family Health SIG student member
As we ready ourselves to embark on the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM's) 37th Annual Meeting & Scientific Sessions in Washington, DC, we are reminded of one its famous citizen's remarks: "It's easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." What Frederick Douglass believed to be true is now being proven by behavioral and social scientists. It is becoming increasingly clear that there are sensitive periods of human development that have the potential to impart long-term health consequences. Economic modeling shows that we can expect a greater return on investment when money is spent on early education programs than on remedial programs for adolescents and adults. New science on epigenetics shows that exposures and experiences during prenatal and early life can shape the ways in which our genes function, which ultimately affects behavior and health over the life-course. Translational neuroscience also shows how early childhood adversity and stress can have long-term consequences on the development of neural structures and networks relevant to mood and addiction. Thus, whether your interest is in translating behavioral medicine research into interventions, or the basic behavioral factors that contribute to chronic disease, there is never a better time to be a behavioral scientist with an expertise in child health.
If your research and practice intersects with the health and well-being of children, adolescents, and families, then the Child and Family Health (CFH) SIG is your place at the SBM. We anticipate a productive conference this year with several presentations where CFH topics are represented. Our SIG plans to compile a full list ahead of the conference and will distribute it via the CFH SIG listserv.
Be sure to attend the CFH SIG's midday business meeting and social event on Thursday, March 31, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. The CFH SIG Student Award and the Professional Award for Outstanding Research in Child and Family Health will be presented to April Bowling, MA, and Robert L. Newton Jr., PhD, respectively. Awardees are selected based on a blinded review of abstracts accepted for presentation as a paper or poster in a given year. These awards highlight examples of excellence in research conducted by those in our field. During the midday meeting we will also host Tonya M. Palermo, PhD, from Seattle Children's Research Institute, who will receive our annual award for Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Child and Family Health and deliver our annual invited address. The title of Dr. Palermo's talk is "Using Technology to Deliver Chronic Pain Self-Management Interventions to Children and Adolescents." The CFH SIG midday meeting promises to be an exciting opportunity to network and catch up on the latest happenings of the SIG. We welcome all who are interested, so please join us!
This year has been a productive one for our SIG and its members. Susmita Kashikar-Zuck, PhD, was recently appointed to serve as a member of the Advisory Council of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health. Along with the Obesity and Eating Disorders SIG, CFH SIG members helped prepare a response to the World Health Organization's request for information on the Interim Report of the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity. We also led a response to the National Institutes of Health request for information on the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. In addition, members of our SIG have co-authored a paper on emerging issues in child and family health that was submitted with other SIGs for a special issue.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the CFH SIG, please contact Erica Linc, program manager for SBM, at firstname.lastname@example.org. SIG members are also welcome to submit ideas and suggestions for SIG-related activities through our listserv: email@example.com. For more information, check us out online at https://www.sbm.org/sig/child_family/. Also, please feel free to contact Bernard Fuemmeler, PhD, MPH, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Nataliya Zelikovsky, PhD, at email@example.com, if you are interested in becoming more involved in the SIG or would like additional information.
Mindfulness Approaches for Disordered Eating and Weight Management
Jessica Gokee LaRose, PhD
One of the central issues plaguing the field of behavioral obesity treatment remains the large variability in response within behavioral weight management programs. There are a variety of potential explanations for this heterogeneity in response, including genetics, metabolism, as well as a host of psychological and behavioral variables. From a behavioral and psychological perspective, data indicate that those individuals who experience loss of control eating, binge eating and/or emotional eating often experience suboptimal outcomes in traditional programs. Thus, efforts to address these factors within treatment programs may serve to reduce variability and improve treatment response across a larger proportion of participants. One potential approach to improving outcomes that has garnered increasing attention from behavioral scientists is mindfulness and acceptance based approaches. Mindfulness based interventions hold potential to improve emotional eating and thereby have clinical significance for both disordered eating and obesity treatments.
According to recent reviews (Katterman et al 2014; O'Reilly et al 2014), mindfulness based approaches have demonstrated efficacy for reducing emotional eating and binge eating, with less conclusive findings related to weight loss. Researchers have posited that particularly for those individuals who are more responsive to cues that motivate overeating, acceptance and commitment approaches may promote better self-regulation and long-term weight loss (Forman & Butryn 2015). It is quite possible that mindfulness and acceptance based approaches might enhance treatment outcomes, particularly among those individuals who experience emotional eating and may not fare as well in traditional behavioral programs. However, there remains much work to be done in this area.
The upcoming SBM 2016 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, offers some exciting opportunities to hear about emerging data in this area. To kick things off on Wednesday, March 30, there is a pre-conference seminar, Seminar 16: Understanding the Principles at Work in Mind-Body Programmes and Integrating those into Behavior Change Interventions, which will be led by James Carmody, PhD.
The following day, Thursday, March 31, there are several paper sessions of interest:
Finally, on Friday, April 1, be sure to check out Paper Session 50: Whole Health: Mind, Body, Spirit where data will be presented from two studies in this area. Ashley E. Mason, PhD, will present the paper titled "Reductions in Reward-Driven Eating Mediate Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Program on Weight Loss in Obesity: Data from a Randomized Controlled Trial", and Amy Heard, BA, will present "Mindfulness Moderates the Relation between Body Image and Disordered Eating Attitudes."
As always, the Annual Meeting promises to be full of cutting edge science. There are also a variety of professional development sessions at this year's meeting. On Thursday, be sure to check out the Obesity and Eating Disorders and Student SIGs' Breakfast Roundtable: Achieving Work/Life Balance in an Age of Opportunities. We look forward to seeing you in DC!
Katterman et al. Mindfulness meditation as an intervention for binge eating, emotional eating, and weight loss: A systematic review. Eating Behaviors. 2014;15(2):197-204.
O'Reilly GA, Cook L, Spruijt-Metz D, Black DS. Mindfulness-based interventions for obesity-related eating behaviours: a literature review. Obes Rev. 2014 Jun;15(6):453-61.
Forman EM, Butryn ML. A new look at the science of weight control: how acceptance and commitment strategies can address the challenge of self-regulation. Appetite. 2015;84:171-80.
Using the 'Design Thinking' Method to Bridge the Digital Divide between Behavioral Scientist and their Institutional Review Boards
Camille Nebeker; John Harlow; Cinnamon Bloss; and Nadir Weibel
Vast quantities of personal health data (PHD) are increasingly being created through mobile apps, wearable sensors, and social networks, further expanding our ability to design and test personalized and adaptive health interventions1. While exciting, such studies are also raising new and nuanced ethical challenges that impact Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and researchers alike2. Given the potential for improved individual wellness and decreased health care costs, ethical and regulatory concerns must be carefully considered. The Technology Special Interest Group believes behavioral scientists are important stakeholders in this conversation. We encourage our Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) colleagues to take a leadership role in influencing the responsible conduct of research studies that involve pervasive sensing and ubiquitous computing technologies.
Conversations about the ethical and regulatory aspects of research studies producing PHD are beginning to occur, albeit slowly and in silos. Those of us who are using new research tools and methods, which we are calling MISST for Mobile Imaging, pervasive Sensing, Social-media and location Tracking, are challenged to develop protocols for conducting this research in a manner that promotes informed consent and protects the confidentiality of the vast quantity and granular data produced by MISST technologies. MISST devices/apps can be worn, deployed, carried, or implanted to monitor and measure a research participant's behavior, location, and assorted biological indicators (e.g., sweat, heart rate). For example, we can now objectively measure sedentary behavior using a wearable accelerometer sensor 3,4, stimulate autobiographical memory via a wearable camera 5,6, monitor mental health with smartphone capabilities 7,8, mine social media to predict disease outbreaks 9,10, and track geographic location to contextualize health behaviors 4,11. These are fantastic opportunities, yet these new methods may be unfamiliar to the IRBs charged with reviewing related research. As researchers, we have a responsibility to develop protocols that are ethically sound and socially responsible. Likewise, we have a responsibility to educate our IRB members to assist them in identifying and managing study risks and risk management strategies. Over the past few years, we have observed a growing gap between the researchers who want to use MISST methods and the IRBs who review these protocols. This gap has led to unusually lengthy reviews and, at times, delayed approval of sponsored research.
To address this problem, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has granted support to develop the Connected and Open Research Ethics (CORE) initiative. The CORE initiative aims to bridge the growing gap between rapidly advancing technologies and a relatively static ethical landscape by creating responsive and dynamic standards informed by the CORE Network composed of IRB affiliates, researchers, tool makers, and, eventually, the public. We see SBM members taking an active role in CORE. As such, we put forth a call for action asking SBM members to join the CORE Network, contribute to the CORE Forum, and help grow the network by encouraging your colleagues and IRB to get involved. With active stakeholder engagement, the CORE initiative will provide the nearly 6,000 IRBs, and the thousands of researchers they represent, with dynamic best practices to guide the ethical design and review of MISST research studies.
At the upcoming SBM 2016 Annual Meeting, our team will conduct a pre-conference seminar called CORE by Design. The goal is to generate ideas for the CORE functionality and development of processes that support SBM member needs (i.e., efficient IRB review, meaningful consent processes). The seminar format will use the Design Thinking (DT) approach to develop protocols designed to facilitate ethical research using MISST technologies. DT is an agile approach that enables groups to define problems, propose solutions, prioritize ideas, design a prototype, and plan an implementation strategy. During the seminar, participants will apply DT using the double diamond 4D approach where we initially Discover and Define then Develop and Deliver. As a formal method for practical and creative resolution of problems, DT emphasizes a phase during which the group focuses on generating as many ideas as possible using thoughtful prompts (e.g., how might we . . . increase motivation to self-track health behaviors underserved populations? create consent language that is accessible?). A goal of this seminar will be to engage SBM members as stakeholders to create ethical standards that support the changing landscape of 21st century science.
SBMConnect: As Aid-in-Dying Bills Become Law, What is the Role of Health Decision Making?
The SBMConnect blog draws members' attention to ever-changing-and sometimes controversial-issues and news items. Each SBMConnect post briefly explains an issue or news item intended to have salience for our members. Each post is accompanied by a poll to get a sense of where SBM members stand on the topic. Discussion of each topic also takes place on our LinkedIn page.
A recent post, from SBM Health Decision Making Special Interest Group members Marie Chesaniuk, MA; and Lisa Henderson, MS, MA, NCC, LPC-MHSP, asks the question: As Aid-in-Dying Bills Become Law, What is the Role of Health Decision Making?
"California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the 'End of Life Act' on October 5, making it legal for doctors in California to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients who choose to die. Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Montana have passed similar laws, and 23 other states have aid-in-dying bills in their legislatures.
Rates of desire for death among terminally ill patients vary according to population and assessment methods, but they have been estimated at 17-45%, including fleeting desire to die. These estimates are consistent with the fact that a minority of terminal patients in Oregon request lethal prescriptions. Most, but not all, of these patients go on to use their prescriptions. . . ."
Read the rest and participate in the poll at www.sbm.org/sbmconnect.
New Articles from Annals of Behavioral Medicine and Translational Behavioral Medicine
SBM's two journals, Annals of Behavioral Medicine and Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy, Research (TBM), continuously publish online articles, many of which become available before issues are printed. Three recently published Annals and TBM online articles are listed below.
SBM members who have paid their 2016 membership dues are able to access the full text of all Annals and TBM online articles via the SBM website by following the steps below.
To check if you are a current SBM member, or if you are having trouble accessing the journals online, please contact the SBM national office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 918-3156.
Annals of Behavioral Medicine
Genomic Information may Inhibit Weight-Related Behavior Change Inclinations Among Individuals in a Fear State
Theoretical and Behavioral Mediators of a Weight Loss Intervention for Men
Direction of Association Between Depressive Symptoms and Lifestyle Behaviors in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease: the Heart and Soul Study
Translational Behavioral Medicine
Transforming community prevention systems for sustained impact: embedding active implementation and scaling functions
Statistical methodologies to pool across multiple intervention studies
The impact of behavioral and mental health risk assessments on goal setting in primary care
Honors and Awards
Congratulations to the following Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) members who recently received awards or were otherwise honored. To have your honor or award featured in the next issue of Outlook, please email email@example.com.
John P. Allegrante, PhD
Danielle Arigo, PhD
Rose E. Constantino, PhD, JD, MN, BSN, RN
Helen L. Coons, PhD, ABPP
Craig M. Jenkins, PhD, ABPP
Eric S. Kim, PhD
Carla K. Miller, PhD, RD
Camille Nebeker, EdD, MS
Dr. Nebeker was also the recipient of a 2015 Award of Excellence for Best Practice for her BRIC program. Available in both English and Spanish, BRIC training modules were developed to reduce risk to data fidelity and improve research integrity by educating novice research facilitators who implement clinic/community-based research studies.
Alison Phillips, PhD
Mark E. Vogel, PhD, ABPP
Kenneth D. Ward, PhD
Xiaomeng (Mona) Xu, PhD
Members in the News
The following Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) members and their research were recently featured in news articles or videos. To have your news spot featured in the next issue of Outlook, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danielle Arigo, PhD
Linda E. Carlson, BSc, PhD
Eric S. Kim, PhD
Karl E. Minges, MPH
To advertise in the spring/summer 2016 edition of Outlook, please supply ad copy to the SBM national office. Please contact the national office for additional information.
James F. Sallis Jr., PhD
Lisa M. Klesges, PhD
Michael A. Diefenbach, PhD
Monica L. Baskin, PhD
Elliot J. Coups, PhD
Amy L. Yaroch, PhD
Nicole Zarrett, PhD
Paul A. Estabrooks, PhD
Lorna Haughton McNeill, MPH, PhD
Alan M. Delamater, PhD
Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, PhD
Kristi D. Graves, PhD
Sherry L. Pagoto, PhD
Brent Van Dorsten, PhD
Ken Resnicow, PhD
Michael A. Diefenbach, PhD
Joanna Buscemi, PhD
Lisa M. Klesges, PhD
Kathleen Wolin, ScD
David X. Marquez, PhD
Suzanne M. Miller, PhD
William J. Sieber, PhD
Rajani S. Sadasivam, PhD
Guidelines for Articles Submitted to Outlook
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