Outlook: A Quarterly Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
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Info and News from the Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine SIG

Kerstin Schroder, PhD, Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine SIG Chair

It has been a while since the EBBM SIG provided an update of developments and activities. There is much to report. I'd like to start with the specific challenges targeted by the EBBM SIG and what this SIG has to offer to new members, followed by specific news.

The Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine SIG connects an interdisciplinary group of professionals from all over the world with wide-spread interests in health promotion, disease prevention, health care, behavioral and psychosocial interventions, and research methodology. Despite the enormous heterogeneity of our members, what connects us is a profound interest in one or more of the following focus areas EBBM has taken on as its major challenges:

  1. Creating an evidence base that allows us to compare treatments, evaluate intervention effects and efficiency, and choose the most promising and feasible intervention strategy for a specific client. Our members are interested in guidelines for the conduct and report of randomized controlled trials and other intervention research, conducting meta-analyses and evaluating their results in light of their strengths and shortcomings, and contributing to an increasing knowledge base that provides resources and guidance to practitioners and their clients.
  2. Improving research methodology by educating members about strengths and weaknesses of research strategies and statistical solutions, fostering critical thinking and a rigorous evaluation of the available literature, and providing an open forum for discussion with the ultimate goal to improve the quality of both evidence base and evidence-based practice decisions.
  3. Translating evidence-based knowledge into evidence-based behavioral practice (EBBP). For practitioners, the challenge resides in researching the literature and finding the evidence most relevant and useful in practical decision making with the aim to select the most promising treatment strategy for a specific client or client group.

If these topics are of interest to you, please join our SIG and make a commitment to attend next year's breakfast roundtable and other target activities of our SIG at the Annual SBM Meeting in Washington, DC.


SIG-Chair position. Jennifer Carroll is no longer Co-Chair of the EBBM SIG. She now serves as a Member-at-Large on the SBM board. In her place, Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin has joined in as Co-Chair of our SIG. Please see her introduction below.

Report from the 2010 Breakfast Roundtable. Members of the EBBM SIG had a very productive roundtable discussion at this year's SBM conference in Seattle. We called for and found a representative of our SIG for the Public Policy Committee in Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin who subsequently joined in as the EBBM SIG Co-Chair. Further, prompted by a call for expert consultants issued at the SIG Council Meeting at SBM, we discussed pathways for identifying expert volunteers in both research methods/statistics and specific content areas such as obesity, physical activity, cancer. Expert consultants may engage in activities such as providing mock review sessions for grant manuscripts of junior members, providing feedback on journal manuscripts, or organizing a workshop targeting junior members. Please consider serving as a consultant for junior members of SBM in your area(s) of expertise.

Plans for Future Conferences. Breakfast roundtable discussions for future conference activities included SIG-sponsored workshops targeting one of the EBBM-specific challenges outlined above. Please watch out for announcements for the 2011 SBM conference in Washington. Currently, a workshop featuring Evidence-Based Behavioral Practice Modules and a workshop on meta-analyses are under consideration.

Further, plans for the introduction of an EBBM SIG-sponsored award were discussed. The aim of the award will be to acknowledge outstanding new contributions to our field. We plan on forming a review panel for paper and poster abstracts submitted for the 2011 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC to identify a recipient. Please consider joining this review panel. A respective call for Reviewers will be issued over the EBBM SIG listserv soon.

Workshop report on "Evaluating Meta-analyses: A Critical Consumer's Guide"
BY: James Coyne, PhD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

A group of about twenty researchers attended the seminar "Evaluating Meta-analyses: A Critical Consumer's Guide." The presenters, Jim Coyne and Mariet Hagedoorn, came well prepared with handouts and lots of slides, but the exchange with and among the participants soon came to be the focus. The workshop focused on creating sophisticated consumers--researchers, teachers, clinicians and policymakers--or, as we term it, "connoisseurs". Discussion centered on some of the shortcomings of recently published meta-analyses, as well as the strengths of some exemplars in terms of authoritativeness and transparency. The session ran out of time, but it was resolved that the group would keep in contact by email. We are considering a continuation workshop at a future SBM conference.

Report on Resources for Training in Evidence-Based Behavioral Practice (EBBP)
BY: Molly Ferguson, MPH, & Bonnie Spring, PhD, Northwestern University

The NIH-funded contract entitled "Resources for Training in Evidence-Based Behavioral Practice" (EBBP) was created to bridge the gap between behavioral medicine research and practice. In partnership with SBM, the EBBP Project has launched five online training modules that can be found at www.ebbp.org/training.html. These modules include The EBBP Process, Searching for Evidence, Introduction to Systematic Reviews, Critical Appraisal, and Randomized Control Trials. Coming this fall are two new modules on shared decision-making. One will address practitioners who work with individuals in a clinical setting; the other will address public health practitioners who adopt a community/population perspective. We look forward to describing the EBBP modules in greater detail in the Fall issue of Outlook.

Change in EBBM SIG Leadership: Introducing Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin as Co-Chair of the EBBM SIG
BY: Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, PhD, Columbia University

Dr. Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin (Columbia University) has joined the EBBM SIG as co-chair. Her primary research interests are the implications of race/ethnicity for disparities in genetic testing, cancer prevention via the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, cancer screening, and treatment outcomes in breast, colorectal, prostate, and cervical cancer. Policy makers and practice organizations have adopted many of the findings from her studies of provider-based interventions to enhance smoking cessation, breast, colorectal, and cervical cancer screening, as well as shared decision making models for prostate cancer screening. She has authored meta-analyses in smoking cessation, is working alongside her SBM colleagues on the commissioned review of interventions for cancer pain, and participates in ongoing reviews for the Cochrane (Collaboration) Public Health Review Group. She is a fellow of SBM, an active member of the Cancer SIG, the Membership Committee, and the SBM Publications and Communications Council. She looks forward to working with the EBBM SIG toward advancing its aims.