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Health and Decision MakingHealth and Decision Making SIG News

Sara J. Knight, PhD and Jamie L. Studts, PhD, Health and Decision Making SIG Chairs

The 2009 Annual Meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) in Montreal marked the first meeting of the Health Decision Making (HDM) Special Interest Group (SIG). About thirty of the HDM SIG's fifty members networked and discussed plans for the coming year, including programming for the 2010 meeting. The HDM SIG has started a listserv to encourage information exchange, scientific debate, and mentoring. We welcome new members from all disciplines to participate in the early growth and development of the HDM SIG. It is an exciting time in the SIG and there are many opportunities to contribute to its direction.

The HDM SIG was founded to build a vigorous scientific and educational program in health decision making within SBM. HDM SIG members have a special interest in understanding informed decision making by patients and the general population, shared decision making between patients and health professionals, and clinical decision making by health professionals. SIG members are engaged in research in a wide range of domains including risk perception and risk communication, health literacy and numeracy, patient preferences, clinical judgment and medical decision making, the role of affect in decision making, and the development and use of decision aids and decision support tools. The scientific and professional work of SIG members influences health policy, patient and health professional education, health communication, and informatics.

The HDM SIG has identified several priorities for its initial growth:

  • fostering communication and collaboration among its members,
  • developing and offering activities through SBM venues that will enhance the collective knowledge of health decision making among SBM members,
  • providing high quality peer review of abstracts and manuscripts on decision making topics submitted to SBM meetings and publications,
  • providing guidance on the science of health decision making to SBM committees, SIGs, and councils.

The HDM SIG is the point of contact for liaisons between SBM and other organizations relevant to health decision making such as the Society of Medical Decision Making and the Society for Judgment and Decision Making.

Students, fellows, and junior faculty members are especially welcome in the HDM SIG. Mentoring activities are planned for the 2010 Annual Meeting in Seattle. The SIG will sponsor an annual award for the best health decision making research presented (either poster or oral) by a trainee at the annual meeting. The nomination process for the award will take place immediately after notification of acceptance for presentation at the conference. The winner will be determined by an expert panel put together by the SIG's Awards Committee (Mary Politi, PhD, and Marc T. Kiviniemi, PhD). Watch the SBM HDM listserv for further details about the award and nomination process.

For additional information about the HDM SIG, please contact the HDM SIG Chairs, Sara J. Knight, PhD, at sara.knight@ucsf.edu, or Jamie L. Studts, PhD, at jamie.studts@uky.edu.