Outlook: A Quarterly Newsletter of the Society of Behavorial Medicine
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Health Decision Making SIG Update

Jamie L. Studts, PhD, Department of Behavioral Science, University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Marc T. Kiviniemi, PhD, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo

Suzanne C. O’Neill, PhD, Cancer Control Program, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University

With the Health Decision Making (HDM) SIG entering its second formal year, we hope to continue expanding the SIG’s contributions to SBM and the annual conference. One strategy we have targeted involves seeking collaborations with other professional societies and SBM SIGs that share common interests and initiatives. For the 2011 conference, the HDM SIG is preparing several conference submissions that support its mission to form relevant liaisons and to co-sponsor program offerings with other SIGs.

One of the key motivating factors in forming the HDM SIG was to provide more opportunities to discuss health-related decision making research and its clinical applications as they relate to behavioral medicine settings. Although the importance of informed and shared decision making is more commonly acknowledged in medical care, there is relatively less consideration of these important topics in behavioral medicine. To highlight potential opportunities to extend these lines of research and practice into behavioral medicine, the HDM SIG is working with the Society of Medical Decision Making (SMDM) and the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making (FIMDM) on a presentation at the 2011 annual meeting. The presentation will discuss the FIMDM-sponsored DECISIONS study, a large, nationally-representative survey of adults age 40 and older regarding their experiences with decisions and decision processes related to nine common medical decisions.

This initiative to partner with SMDM and FIMDM is co-led by Drs. Suzanne O’Neill and Erika Waters with the support of the SBM Scientific and Professional Liaison Council. The initial goal of the planned submission will be to have DECISIONS study investigators provide an introduction to some of the most compelling study results. Following each presentation, an SBM member will provide commentary regarding the relevance of the work for behavioral medicine research and practice, as well as health policy. We hope that this will stimulate new research ideas and establish or strengthen fruitful collaborations among members of the two societies.

In the future, the HDM SIG hopes to expand liaison efforts to the Society of Judgment and Decision Making and other relevant societies. This will move us towards fulfilling our stated mission of supporting health decision making theory, science and practice within SBM as well as establishing connections with other vital societies that are committed to promoting informed and shared decision making to improve health outcomes. The HDM SIG welcomes input from SBM members about other societies that might be good targets for other liaison efforts as well as ideas for conference programming to advance the SIG’s mission. Please send any suggestions to Jamie L. Studts, PhD, jamie.studts@uky.edu. HDM SIG members are also welcome to submit suggestions to the HDM SIG listserv, healthdecisionmaking@list.sbm.org.