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EBBM Committee: Next Steps
David C. Mohr, PhD

I am very pleased to be writing this column as the new chair of the Evidence-Based Behavioral Medicine (EBBM) Committee.  I would like to take this opportunity both to acknowledge the work and dedication of the previous EBBM chair (and current president-elect), Bonnie Spring, and to describe the current goals of the EBBM Committee. 

While Bonnie’s contributions to EBBM are too numerous to list exhaustively, some of her accomplishments as EBBM Committee Chair have included:
Increasing EBBM awareness within SBM to the point that the EBBM SIG numbered nearly 500.

Increasing awareness of EBBM in the field more broadly through publication, and as an “ambassador” to other organizations.  For example, Bonnie edited the July 2007 special issue of Journal of Clinical Psychology, which was devoted to EBBM practice and training, and authored the lead article.  She has also conducted symposia and seminars at many SBM meetings and sister organizations, including the Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology, Society of Medical Decision Making, International Society of Behavioral Medicine, ABCT, APA, and the World Health Care Congress on Behavioral Health and Wellness.

Obtaining a 5-year OBSSR contract to develop web-based resources for training in evidence-based behavioral practice – an effort that will likely have far-reaching impact in defining and disseminating EBBM across multiple disciplines. 

As we move forward, the aims of the EBBM Committee will continue to be the development and dissemination EBBM.  This will include:

  1. Continuing to promote evidence-based practice through publication, presentation, and education. These efforts will be organized by a) continuing to create the evidence base through systematic reviews, b) dissemination, and c) clarifying and advancing the methodologies that support EBBM research. 
  2. Integrating SBM SIGs into EBBM committee.  This may have several benefits, including the promotion of the development of an evidence base.  SBM possesses a wealth of expertise.  Working with the SIGs we aim to realize that expertise by facilitating the development of systematic reviews in areas of particular relevance for EBBM.  We currently are piloting this effort with the Cancer SIG.
  3. Working closely with the SBM Policy Committee to coordinate our efforts to support behavioral medicine practice and research.

To achieve these goals we have organized four subcommittees.  The subcommittees, members, and their current projects are listed below:

Evidence Base Synthesis Subcommittee: Joost Dekker, Bonnie Spring, Suzanne Miller, Deb Bowen, Evelyn Whitlock, David Mohr
This subcommittee will oversee the development of a evidence base, primarily through systematic reviews.  Current projects are:

Weight gain prevention after smoking cessation.  Bonnie Spring, Brian Hitsman, Kristin Hitchcock. 
This is a systematic review evaluating whether combined weight control plus smoking treatment affects cessation and weight gain differently than smoking treatment alone.   

Cancer SIG: Suzanne Miller, Deb Bowen, Linda Fleisher, David Mohr, Bonnie Spring: This is the first liaison with an SBM SIG.  The Cancer subcommittee is developing an EBBM review comparing medical and behavioral interventions for Fatigue, Pain and Depression in Cancer.

Dissemination: Bev Thorn, Barb Walker, Tim Carmody
This subcommittee will continue engaging in outreach and developing dissemination through developing and papers/conference presentations on EBBM and creating liaisons with other organizations that are involved in research, education of clinicians, and education of students.

Methodology: Russ Glasgow, Bob Kaplan, David Mohr, Judy Ockene, Bonnie Spring
This subcommittee examines methodology as it pertains to both the acquisition of basic evidence for EBBM, as well as evidence in the area of implementation. The current projects are:

Control Conditions: Ken Freedland, Bob Kaplan, David Mohr, Judy Ockene, Bonnie Spring, Steve Hollon, Victoria Beckner.
This project is examining the use of control conditions in randomized controlled trials.

EMR and Rapid Learning Systems: Bob Kaplan, Russ Glasgow.
This paper examines the use of electronic medical records to create “rapid learning systems.”

Current Issues in Systematic Reviews:  Evelyn Whitlock, Alice Ammerman, Mark Atkins, Mark Helfand, Bonnie Spring.  
This working group is developing a series of papers on historic and contemporary issues in systematic reviews. 

Liaison Subcommittee to the Policy Committee: Russ Glasgow, Bob Kaplan, Judy Ockene.
Liaison to the SBM Policy committee.

I welcome communication with SBM members.  If you have any comments, questions, or would like to become more involved with the EBBM committee, please do not hesitate to contact me at d-mohr@northwestern.edu.