Special Issue: The Science of Behavior Change: Implementing the Experimental Medicine Approach

A pioneering collaboration between 10 prestigious institutions across the nation has released a special issue of Health Psychology that proposes groundbreaking approaches to uncover basic behavioral processes that influence behavior change. This collaboration involves researchers at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research of Northwell Health, Columbia University, Medical University of South Carolina, Oregon Health & Science University, SUNY Downstate Health University, Yale University, University of California Berkeley, University of Connecticut, Harvard University, and Boston University.

 

In this special issue, the authors unveil nearly a dozen scientific tests of basic behavioral processes and two commentaries covering diverse scientific areas in behavior change interventions. They describe how investigative teams are using the experimental method to advance our understanding of what drives human behavior, such as medication adherence, mindfulness training, and episodic future thinking. Importantly, each scientific team describes how they have adhered to Open Science processes in the conceptualization and implementation of their project. With this new knowledge, researchers can move beyond a trial-and-error approach to develop powerful evidence-based tools that improve behavior change interventions across a wide range of human behavior.

 

July 31, 2020 | Society of Behavioral Medicine Presents The Fundamentals of Climate Change and Health Behavior Change

WEBINAR: The Fundamentals of Climate Change and Health Behavior Change

Friday, July 31st, 2020 (11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. EDT)

In this webinar, three experts will present research on climate change and health behavior change. Speakers will describe climate change and both the adaptive and mitigative responses by humans in response to it. Health behaviors will be discussed in the context of climate change from an individual, policy, and systems perspective. The webinar will conclude with a Q&A.

Register for the webinar

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Pilot Funding Opportunity | NIA-funded Reversibility Network

The NIA-funded Reversibility Network (PIs: Eric Loucks, Margaret Sheridan, Keith Godfrey) is designed to foster research to reverse/remediate the effects of early life adversity (e.g. abuse, neglect, poverty, racial discrimination, etc.) in mid- and later-life, and welcomes scientists to apply for pilot funding through the Reversibility Network program shown below. Applications are due on Aug. 14.

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Recording | Donald Edmondson, PhD Presents The Role of Mechanism Discovery and Targeting in the NIH Stage Model

Overview: The need for effective behavioral interventions has never been greater, but existing interventions yield weak and/or difficult to replicate effects. Further, implementation of behavioral interventions at scale is rare, and may further dilute intervention effects. The NIH Stage Model provides a framework for guiding intervention development from early phase discovery through large scale implementation, and the NIH Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) program has articulated a rigorous method for incorporating the underlying mechanisms of behavior change at each stage of intervention development. This talk will discuss how the two frameworks for research complement each other, and how individual researchers can adopt practices that will yield more powerful, replicable, and informative interventions.

Recording link here.

 

COVID-19 Response Resources

Various resources are publically available for those in the research community looking for funding opportunities and research materials related to COVID-19. In an effort to collect those resources for COVID-19 research, the following links are made available here and on the SOBC Resources page.

 

1. The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research’s (OBSSR) collection of funding opportunities specific to COVID-19 and the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Link here.

2. NIH Public Health Emergency and Disaster Research Response (DR2). NIH DR2 provides various data collection tools, resources, and training materials for public health emergencies and disasters, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Link here.

3. PhenX Toolkit with COVID-19 related measurement protocols. Link here.

 

Upcoming Mind the Gap Webinar | Connections Between Traditional and Causal Mediation Methods

Presented by: David P. MacKinnon, Ph.D.

Thursday, June 18, 2020 | 2:00–3:00 p.m. ET

 

Register here.

 

About the Webinar

This presentation describes mediation analysis and the connections between traditional mediation analysis and recently developed causal mediation analysis. Mediating variables have a long and important history in theoretical and applied research because they describe how and why two variables are related. One common example of applied mediation research is the study of the mediating processes that explain how a prevention/treatment program achieves its effects on an outcome variable. If the intervention’s active ingredients are identified, the intervention can be made more powerful and more efficient. Other applied mediation examples include identifying how a risk factor leads to disease and how early life experiences affect later development.

 

Important recent developments in causal mediation analysis include new counterfactual (potential outcomes) methods that generate accurate estimates for continuous and categorical measures. In general, researchers have been slow to adopt causal mediation methods because of their complexity and the perceived lack of connection between traditional and causal methods. However, understanding connections between traditional and causal mediation increases understanding of both methods. The background for each approach is described, along with questions about traditional mediation and potential outcomes that causal mediation perspectives can help answer. The presentation ends with future directions in mediation theory and statistical analysis.

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Research Opportunity: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Availability of Emergency Competitive Revisions for Research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


Notice Number: NOT-RM-20-015

Release Date: April 27, 2020
First Available Due Date: April 15, 2020
Expiration Date: June 20, 2020

Issued by Office of Strategic Coordination (Common Fund)

Purpose

The Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC), which manages the Common Fund, is issuing this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) to stimulate innovative research on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the disease it causes, Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). OSC seeks new, innovative perspectives and approaches to the prevention of, preparation for, or response to coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, domestically or internationally. The funding for this supplement is provided from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, 2020.

OSC is therefore offering Emergency Competitive Revisions to active Common Fund grants and cooperative agreements addressing the research objectives described below.

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April 27, 2020 | Dr. Kevin Volpp Presenting on Behavioral Economics and Health

Dr. Kevin Volpp is the Founders Presidential Distinguished Professor at the School of Medicine and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Director of the Penn Roybal Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics (CHIBE), 1 of 2 original NIH-funded Centers in Behavioral Economics and health. He is also the Division Chief of Health Policy for the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and a special advisor to the CEO of Penn Medicine and the Dean/EVP. He is known nationally and internationally for developing the application of behavioral economics to health and for designing and testing initiatives to improve health that have been implemented in tens of millions of Americans. He has garnered numerous awards for his research including election into the National Academy of Medicine, the British Medical Journal Group Award for Translating Research into Practice, and Article of the Year and Career Achievement Awards from multiple societies, including from NIH for work in social and behavioral sciences and the John Eisenberg Award from the Society of General Internal Medicine. He served on the Editorial Board of the Annals of Internal Medicine and as a Contributing Writer to JAMA and is now on the Editorial Board of the NEJM Catalyst.

 

Access the lecture via the following information:
Meeting URL: https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/#/meetings/joinbynumber

Meeting Number: 191 616 728

 

Identify important new directions for health-related behavioral and social science research by March 29, 2020

The NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) is seeking broad public input on important new directions for health-related behavioral and social sciences research (BSSR). Specifically, OBSSR requests your input on research directions (see RFI): that will support the achievement of the scientific priorities in the OBSSR Strategic Plan 2022-2026 (see current strategic plan) and that will advance or transform the broader health impact of BSSR.  OBSSR is interested in focusing on research directions that are trans-disease and cross-cutting in nature and address critical gaps in the field.

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