The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) is proud to announce Dr. Leslie Johnson as the winner of the 2019 Health and Behavior International Collaborative Award. Dr. Johnson, also an SBM member, is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Emory University. She plans to use the award to visit the University of Melbourne, Australia, where she will work with researchers to determine predictors for diabetes-related anxiety and depression in patients at high risk for developing Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) taking part in the Kerala, India Diabetes Prevention Program. She also will estimate the prevalence and persistence of these disorders in patients at high risk for developing T2DM. Additionally, she will identify causes of diabetes-related anxiety among patients with T2DM in the INtegrating DEPrEssioN and Diabetes treatmENT (INDEPENDENT) trial in India.
T2DM is a leading cause of disease-related deaths globally, with India having the largest absolute number of adults (over 70 million) with diabetes in the world. Symptoms of depression and/or anxiety comorbid with T2MD have been well documented, with recent evidence showing that depression and/or anxiety increase the risk of progressing from prediabetes to diabetes. Dr. Johnson will use hierarchical regression to determine which factors (i.e., demographic data, lipid profile, body mass index) are most commonly associated with the persistence of each condition. She also will complement this with qualitative approaches to identify culturally specific triggers for anxiety in this patient population. Dr. Johnson hopes her findings will help improve diabetes management interventions and assist physicians in India and around the world. She believes this funded research will lead to better identification and treatment of patients with symptoms of anxiety before it leads to poor health outcomes.
The Health and Behavior International Collaborative Award is jointly sponsored by SBM, the International Society of Behavioral Medicine (ISBM), the International Behavioural Trials Network, the Society for Health Psychology (SfHP), and the American Psychosomatic Society (APS).
Congratulations also to the other 2019 HBIC Award winners: Thomas Kraynak (APS winner); SBM member Tess Langfield (IBTN winner); Suzanne Tanya Nethan, BDS, MDS, (ISBM winner); and SBM member Chloe Huelsnitz (SfHP winner).