IBTNetwork Activities (Summer 2017 Newsletter)

SPOTLIGHT ON RESEARCHERS

Dr. Linda E. Carlson: Moving from Best Evidence to Best Practice

Dr. Linda Carlson was recently awarded a Chair from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) under a grant entitled Mentorship Program in Innovative Integrative Oncology Clinical Trials: Moving from Best Evidence to Best Practice. Using a mentorship approach, the program will train students in patient-oriented research methods, including Patient Engagement (PE) and Knowledge Translation (KT) strategies, and will conduct cutting-edge clinical research in integrative cancer therapies.

Thanks to this new Chair, Dr. Linda Carlson combines integrative oncology research with her passion for mentorship and patient engagement. Over the next decade, she believes that more real-world, pragmatic patient-centred research focused on effectiveness will translate into improving everyday clinical practice.

Read the full article about Dr. Carlson

IBTN Co-Directors Secure Two New Canadian Chair Appointments

Two of IBTN’s co-chairs, Drs. Kim Lavoie and Simon Bacon, have set out to increase ties between researchers and build capacity for the next generation of researchers through a new Chair in Behavioural Medicine from Université du Québec à Montréal (Dr. Kim Lavoie) and a five-year appointment by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (Dr. Simon Bacon). Aiming for a better understanding of the behavioural and psychological factors influencing chronic disease and at developing prevention, intervention, and training strategies in the field of biobehavioural research, their initiatives resonate with the growing trend of improving research trials in the field of behavioural science. Both Drs. Lavoie and Bacon are pleased to see how this important field is gaining foothold at the university, national, and international level.

Read the full article about Drs. Kim Lavoie and Simon Bacon

Dr. Molly Byrne on Strengthening Research through Public and Patient Engagement

IBTN Member Dr. Molly Byrne presented a public lecture in Montréal this past June entitled Strengthening Research through Public and Patient Engagement: An Irish Example of Patient-Oriented Research in Diabetes. In discussing the strengths and challenges of stakeholder-engaged research, Dr. Byrne shared details about studies she has conducted which used strategies to engage end-users of the research.

Her studies include a behavioural diabetes research prioritisation exercise that consulted with patients, services providers, and policy makers, and used a consensus-based approach to identify research and clinical outcomes considered important by patients and their services providers. Dr. Byrne also talked about a “young adult panel” that joined the research team to develop an intervention to promote better outcomes among this population.

Watch the lecture (YouTube, 76 minutes)

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

TOD Questionnaire as Clinically Informative in Cardiac Patient Populations

The TOD Questionnaire (Techniques for Overcoming Depression) is used to assess the frequency with which patients being treated for depression use cognitive behavioural techniques in daily life. A study led by IBTN Core member Dr. K.E. Freedland (Washington University School of Medicine) published earlier this year in Cognitive Therapy and Research examined the questionnaire’s latent structure, reliability, and concurrent validity in depressed cardiac patients. Mokken scaling was used to determine its dimensionality.

The study revealed that the TOD was unidimensional, sensitive to change, and that the total score correlates with therapist ratings of the patient in relation to CBT socialization, homework adherence, and use of CB techniques. The authors suggest that other TOD studies are needed in different depressed patient populations.

Download the publication

REACH study investigates improving retention and engagement in outpatient HIV care

Conducted in the U.K., results of the REACH study were published last March in Health Services and Delivery Research. The study aimed at exploring, describing, and understanding outpatient care adherence in people living with HIV. The study developed a “retention risk tool” to identify those at risk of disengaging from care.

Quantitative and qualitative data showed that a range of psychological, social and economic issues were associated with disengagement from care. The authors, which include IBTN Core member Dr. Susan Michie (University College London), propose that future research is needed to validate the retention risk tool across populations and settings.

Download the publication (PDF, 2 MB)

 

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Summer School in Experimental Science Journalism (Montréal, August 7-11)

IBTN core member Dr. David Secko, Chair of Journalism and Associate Professor at the Centre for Structural and Functional Genomics at Concordia University (Montréal, Canada), invites graduate students to attend Projected Futures, a summer school in experimental science journalism in Montréal from August 7 to 11.

Projected Futures is an intensive and experiential summer school that will challenge participants to rethink how science is communicated with society. Graduate students will be exposed to the foundations of evidence-based science journalism and then asked to experiment to create new forms of scientific storytelling.

Learn more

FROM THE IBTN TWITTER FEED (@IBTNetwork)

Big Data Used to Reveal Health Trends: NIH Human Movement Study

Using a larger dataset than any previous human movement study, a team led by Scott L. Delp, Ph.D., James H. Clark Professor of Bioengineering and Director of the Mobilize Center at Stanford University, analyzed 68 million days of minute-by-minute step motion recordings from over 717,000 smartphone users of the Azumio Argus app from 111 countries. The study focused on 46 countries with at least 1,000 users. Delp explained that the new study provides user data taken in their free-living environments rather than self-reporting survey methods, and introduces a new frontier for health science data collection.

Tweeted by @NIH

Read more

Enhancing Participation in Health Examination Surveys

Capturing information about population health requires improved rates of participation in health examination surveys. A Finnish study suggests that simply increasing flexibility relating to examination times and places could help increase willingness to participate.

Tweeted by @MaritaHennessy

Read more

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

IBTN Conference 2018 – Call for Topics

The IBTN 2018 Conference Scientific Committee is hard at work identifying topics and speakers for the upcoming Montréal conference in May 2018. We’d like to hear from you! Are you interested in hearing particular experts? Are there special topics you’d like to see addressed? Are there skill workshops you’d like to attend? Send your suggestions to info@ibtnetwork.org.

The IBTN Newsletter is yours!

The IBTN Newsletter is circulated every 3 months. If you have news you’d like us to share with the IBTN Community, please email us at info@ibtnetwork.org.

Moving from Best Evidence To Best Practice

Thanks to her new CIHR Chair, Dr. Linda Carlson continues to successfully combine her passion for mentorship and patient engagement with integrative oncology research.

Dr. Linda E. Carlson

For those exploring new ground, there is an inherent challenge in talking about one’s work. This is particularly true for those working in innovative fields such as Integrative Oncology. Though Dr. Linda Carlson is a university professor, a psychologist, and a researcher, her work does not involve teaching large classes, offering therapy to patients, or working in a wet lab. Her work goes beyond the traditional boundaries, and ventures into the future of behavioural medicine as interdisciplinary, evidence-based, and patient-oriented.

During her graduate school days studying psychoneuroendocrinology at McGill University in Montréal as part of her training as a Clinical Health Psychologist, Dr. Linda Carlson explored yoga and meditation out of personal interest. Her internship rotation brought her to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre (Alberta, Canada) where she met Dr. Michael Speca who was developing a mindfulness program for oncology patients. Its aim was to offer increased support to patients coping with the vulnerability and stress of cancer treatment. She was excited by the opportunity to combine personal practice with professional life and was eager to explore this blend of research and clinical practice.

She subsequently received a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award from 2002 to 2007 for her research in mindfulness-based cancer recovery, followed by numerous other awards between 2006 and 2013 as new investigator and for research excellence.

Beyond the more than 150 papers and book chapters she has published in the area of psycho-oncology, she published a professional training manual in 2009 with Dr. Shauna Shapiro (The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness into Psychology and the Helping Professions) and a patient manual in 2010 with Dr. Speca, Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery: A Step-by-Step MBSR Approach to Help You Cope with Treatment and Reclaim your Life.

On any given week, after meeting with students and co-investigators to monitor progress and troubleshoot project questions, Dr. Carlson teaches mindfulness-based cancer recovery classes to patients at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, and conducts patient education seminars on complementary therapies.

Her week also includes working on publishing study results, dutifully seeking research funding, and fulfilling her editorial and administrative duties with a number of societies, including the Health Psychology journal (of which she is Associate Editor), the executive committee of the Society for Integrative Oncology, and the annual meeting planning committee of the American Psychosomatic Society.

Dr. Carlson believes networking with other researchers is not merely advantageous, it is fundamental in health research. Accordingly, her interdisciplinary approach has brought her to work with immunologists, cell biologists, and other basic scientists, as well as oncologists, nurses, kinesiologists and others. She has also worked with innumerable other co-investigators from the University of Calgary, from Canada, and from around the world in the course of publishing her study results and serving as a consultant.

When asked about the biggest challenge facing the field today, Dr. Carlson underlines the systemic barriers to knowledge translation and the inability of the health care system to integrate new technologies and keep up with research findings. Looking ahead, she believes that more real-world, pragmatic patient-centred research focused on effectiveness will translate into improving everyday clinical practice. She also foresees research that integrates technology with traditional behavioural intervention methodology will greatly help to advance the field, notably by improving reach and access, and enabling the collection of large amounts of tracking, usage, and outcome data from users. That said, she believes the use of online and mobile technology in this field of research must be rigorously tested. “It is essential to work towards improving reach and access for patients no matter where they reside,” explains Dr. Carlson. Over the next decade, Dr. Carlson hopes to see increased knowledge accessibility and integration, and sees strong interdisciplinary networks as fundamental in making this happen.

MENTORSHIP CHAIR

Most recently, Dr. Carlson was awarded a Chair from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) under a grant entitled Mentorship Program in Innovative Integrative Oncology Clinical Trials: Moving from Best Evidence to Best Practice. The training program involved in this grant is called TRACTION, Training in Research and Clinical Trials in Integrative Oncology.

TRACTION is multidisciplinary. It is geared towards training students from different programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels studying innovative behavioural clinical trial design and execution in integrative oncology.

Using a mentorship approach, the program trains students in patient-oriented research methods, including Patient Engagement (PE) and Knowledge Translation (KT) strategies, and conducts cutting-edge clinical research in integrative cancer therapies. It engages directly with students and involves them as active team members. It also provides its students opportunities to develop mentoring skills by working with junior trainees.

Beyond providing students the opportunity to publish their results, attend and present their work at conferences, TRACTION also helps them engage with community partners in knowledge translation and program dissemination. The ultimate objective is to increase capacity for patient-oriented research in the area of integrative oncology.

BUILDING NETWORKS AND RELATIONSHIPS

Dr. Carlson has successfully combined personal and professional interests in her work and is excited that her new mentorship chair continues to weave together her passion for mentoring students and her commitment to engaging patients in their recovery process. The program also allows her to leverage her enthusiasm for translating knowledge arising from study results, and she is particularly keen about conduction leading-edge and unprecedented clinical trials, such as she did with the MATCH study.

Dr. Carlson encourages her students to believe that nothing is beyond their grasp once they have clearly articulated and developed what they want to accomplish. Perseverance is one of the best tools in a researcher’s toolkit. She also believes in the importance of building strong team relationships, particularly within postdoctoral training programs, and the need to build teams with an interdisciplinary approach. Team work is a skill that can be learned, shared, improved, and leveraged, and indeed should be.

This year, Dr. Carlson plans on attending the Society for Integrative Oncology annual meeting, the American Psychosomatic Society meeting, and other psycho-oncology meetings. She will be speaking in November at the Psycho-Oncology New Zealand (or PONZ) annual meeting.

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Dr. Carlson is a sought-after speaker and travels internationally to share her research findings. She holds the Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology at the University of Calgary, and works as a Clinical Psychologist and serves as Director of Research at the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre. She is also a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the Mind and Life Institute, an Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions Health Scholar, a Full Professor in Psychosocial Oncology in the Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology.

 

Integrative Oncology is a subspecialty of behavioural medicine which focuses on a broad range of interventions to treat common emotional, social, behavioural, and psychological risk factors for and consequences of cancer. Integrative Oncology includes many complementary therapy (CT) approaches such as natural health products (herbs, vitamins, and minerals), nutrition, acupuncture, music therapy, touch therapies (such as massage), physical activity, and mind-body therapies (MBTs) such as meditation, yoga, relaxation, imagery, and tai chi/Qigong.

It incorporates a system of interdisciplinary care blended throughout cancer care as necessary for each person, employing a collaborative interdisciplinary team approach which is patient-centred, so that the patient’s needs, values and preferences dictate the course of care.

It is an evidence-based approach that uses complementary therapies in concert with conventional medical treatment to enhance efficacy, improve symptom control, alleviate patient distress, and improve overall quality of life.

The MATCH study (Mindfulness and Tai Chi for Cancer Health) is an innovative preference-based clinical effectiveness trial that is being conducted in Calgary and Toronto for treating distressed cancer survivors. It will serve as a training ground for many of the TRACTION fellows, giving them first-hand learning about innovative methods involved in running a complex clinical trial. Download the protocol paper (PDF).

The MATCH study stemmed directly from a previous trial (called MINDSET) that compared mindfulness to supportive-expressive therapy in breast cancer survivors, using a more traditional RCT design. MINDSET uncovered that preference made a difference to outcomes and this is what lead her to incorporate preference-based treatment arms into MATCH.

KEYWORDS: Behavioural medicine, complementary therapies, health psychology, integrative oncology, mindfulness, psychosocial oncology

Behavioural Medicine in the Spotlight for its Role in Chronic Disease Prevention

IBTN Members Secure Two New Canadian Chair Appointments

Two of IBTN Co-Directors, Drs. Kim Lavoie and Simon Bacon

Last December, in Montreal, Canada, the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) added four new strategic chairs to the university’s existing eleven strategic research chairs. Designed to support research development in emerging, interdisciplinary and innovative areas, one of these new chairs will focus on behavioural medicine and was awarded to one of IBTN’s co-chairs Dr. Kim Lavoie.

Dr. Lavoie’s objectives as recipient of the new UQAM Chair in Behavioural Medicine are all aimed at achieving a better understanding of the behavioural and psychological factors influencing chronic disease and at developing prevention, intervention and training strategies in the field of biobehavioural research. This initiative will undoubtedly be well-served by Dr. Lavoie in that her past and current work in the field of behavioural medicine has been geared to these very ends. Dr. Lavoie earned herself this position thanks to the innovative potential of her work, her strong ties with internal and external collaborators, the scientific, social and cultural impact of her work, as well as her supervisory work with students towards their integration into the field.

Dr. Lavoie has expressed her excitement at the chance to continue to promote the vast potential of this field of medicine in addressing one of the world’s most important health challenges, chronic diseases. Recognized as responsible for the highest mortality rate among the human population (14 million deaths per year), chronic diseases include such heavy-hitters as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and obesity, and involve common risk factors such as tobacco use, poor diet, and sedentary lifestyles. Dr. Lavoie’s research also focuses on another important risk factor – patients’ non adherence to treatment – which she has shown can be better managed through improved patient-oriented interventions and training of healthcare professionals in motivational communication.

Also serving as Co-Director of the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre (MBMC), Dr. Lavoie will use this new opportunity to continue to expand the scope of research in this important field, namely alongside the work of the IBTN and the MBMC, and the work of her closest collaborator, also co-director of the MBMC and co-chair of the IBTN, Dr. Simon Bacon, who was recently awarded a $1.8M CIHR Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Mentorship Chair in Innovative Clinical Trials.

Dr. Bacon’s five-year Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Chair, announced earlier this year, involves a number of new initiatives that resonate with this growing trend in improving research trials in the field of behavioural science. Thanks to this Chair, Dr. Bacon will be spearheading training for approximately 150 trainees and new investigators towards improving study design. This initiative will be rolled out in tandem with international experts, patients, healthcare professionals, policy makers, and local (Concordia University, CIUSSS-NIM), provincial (the Quebec SPOR Support Unit, Réseau de recherche sur la santé cardiométabolique, le diabète et l’obésité) national (Diabetes Canada, Hypertension Canada), and international (International Behavioural Trials Network, CEPS Platform) organisations. It will also provide scholarship funding for nearly 20 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, offer direct pilot funding to kickstart novel projects, develop an international exchange program to enhance multidisciplinarity, and create opportunities for long-term capacity building. The initiative will also include yearly summer schools offering students and researchers hands-on opportunities to learn, network, share, workshop, and establish strong collaborative ties across the globe.

The CIHR Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) is geared towards fostering evidence-informed health care by bringing innovative diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to the point of care. It aims to ensure greater quality, accountability, and accessibility of care. It is founded on the principle that a continuum of research should engage patients as partners, focus on patient-identified priorities, and improve patient outcomes. SPOR chairs and funding seek to help develop capacity, establish collaborative networks and support units, and improve competitiveness in conducting clinical trials.

Dr. Bacon is pleased to see how this important field is gaining foothold at the university, national, and international level, namely in light of the high costs of chronic disease for human populations around the world, costs that can be counted in both economic and human terms. Dr. Bacon’s work has long been focused on increasing the visibility and impact of behavioural science in health science research, namely in fostering increased collaboration amongst researchers and improving the quality of behavioural trials to give increased momentum to their outcomes. Dr. Bacon’s past initiatives, including the founding of the IBTN, have been geared towards establishing best practices and formalizing standards in view of promoting and leveraging the breakthroughs of health behaviour research towards turning the tide on the high costs of chronic disease on human populations.

Both Dr. Lavoie and Dr. Bacon are poised to make waves in the field over the coming years and both look forward to deepening the ties between researchers in the field from around the world in an effort to maximize outcomes and build capacity for the next generation of researchers.

——–

Dr. Lavoie is a Full Professor in the Department on Psychology at UQAM, adjunct professor at Université de Montréal, Chair of the Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine at the Canadian Psychological Association, Chair of the Canadian Network for Health Behavior Change and Promotion (CAN-Change), and recipient of multiple grants in motivational communication training.

Dr. Bacon is a Full Professor in the Department of Exercise Science at Concordia University in Montreal, adjunct professor in the Departments of Medicine of McGill University and Université de Montréal, and the Departments of Psychology of UQAM and Concordia University. He has won numerous research awards from organizations such as Hypertension Canada, the National Institutes of Health in the US, the European Society of Hypertension, and the International Society of Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Video: Public Lecture on Patient-Oriented Research in Diabetes

Strengthening Research through Public and Patient Engagement: An Irish Example of Patient-Oriented Research in Diabetes

Public Lecture presented by Molly Byrne, Flaherty Visiting Professor
Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at the School of Irish Studies, Concordia University (Montreal, Canada)

Watch the lecture (76 minutes)

Overview of talk:

In Molly’s talk, she discusses strengths and challenges of stakeholder-engaged research. She talks about a number of studies she has conducted, all which have used strategies to engage end-users of the research. These include a research prioritisation exercise which sought the views of people with diabetes, services providers and policy makers to identify research priorities in behavioural diabetes research. In another study, Molly and her team used consensus methods to identify research and clinical outcomes considered important by people with diabetes and their services providers. Finally, Molly presented on a research study in which young adults with diabetes formed a ‘young adult panel’ and joined the research team to develop an intervention to promote better outcomes among this population.

The Flaherty Lecture is sponsored by Ireland Canada University Foundation and is co-sponsored by a number of Concordia academic and research units including the School of Irish Studies, the Faculty of Arts and Science, the PERFORM Centre as well as the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre and the International Behavioural Trials Network.

Overview of the presenter:

Dr Molly Byrne is an Ireland Canada University Foundation James M. Flaherty Visiting Professor 2016/17 (//www.icuf.ie/scholars/). She is a Health Psychologist, a Health Research Board Research Leader and Director of the Health Behaviour Change Research Group at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Molly’s research seeks to improve population health by developing, using and advocating use of behavioural science in intervention research to promote health behaviour change. Much of Molly’s research has focused on promoting better management of chronic illness, primarily diabetes and cardiovascular disease. All her research is done within multidisciplinary teams and engages key stakeholders in the research process, with the aim of increasing implementation of research into practice and maximising impact.

As Flaherty Visiting Professor, Molly is spending 8 weeks (until July 10th, 2017) with Dr Simon Bacon and Dr Kim Lavoie at the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre , in L’Hôpital Sacré-Cœur de Montréal. Here her work is focusing on identifying research priorities and developing the research agenda of the International Behavioural Trials Network. Following this, Molly will spend a week at each of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the Behaviour Change Institute, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

IBTNetwork Activities (Spring 2017 Newsletter)

Upcoming Conferences & Events

iCEPS Montpellier 2017 – Only 3 weeks away!

thumbs-icepsThe 5th iCEPS international conference — Non-Pharmacological Interventions: From Methodology to Evidence of Efficacy — is right around the corner! Hear world-renowned speakers talk about research protocols and improved understanding of the main action mechanisms involved in NPIs.

Preview of Plenary Lectures:

  • Group and Individual Cognitive Therapies in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Diabetes, Exercise, and Trial Results
  • Mindfulness, Cancer, and Trial Results
  • Hypertension, Exercise, and Trial Results
  • Osteopathy: Which Evidence of Efficacy?
  • The Perils of Attention Controls in Behavioural Intervention Research
  • Design Biases and Publications in Non-Pharmacological Trials
  • Functional Food for the Prevention of Metabolic Syndrome

Official iCEPS Conference Program

iCEPS 2017 Speakers

Full Plenary Schedule

Workshop Program

IBTN Conference 2018 – A Chance to Win Free Registration!

The IBTN offers you a chance to win free registration to the 2018 conference to be held in Montreal, Canada on May 24 to 26. Other prizes will also be drawn! Members of the online IBTN Community are automatically entered in the draw. Not a member yet? Simply visit the website and register as an IBTN Community member. The draw will be held in September 2017.

Visit the IBTN Community website

Behaviour Change in Large Organisations

UCL’s Centre for Behaviour Change (CBC) invites you to a series of lectures focused on topical issues affecting healthcare, with an opportunity to network with professionals and a range of scientists, policy-makers, and practitioners. The event will be co-hosted by Bupa UK and chaired by Dr. Paula Franklin (UK Medical Director, Bupa).

  • Prof Susan Michie, UCL: Introduction to Behaviour Change Science Applied to Organisations
  • Dr Luke James, Bupa: Behaviour Change at Bupa
  • Dr Paul Chadwick, UCL: The Behaviour Change Wheel as a Model for Organisations
  • Dr Rachel Carey, Bupa/UCL: Embedding Behaviour Change within Organisations: Case Studies

Open to all Bupa employees and CBC contacts.

Register or learn more

 Recent Publications

Improving Arterial Health Step by Step: The SMARTER Study

The SMARTER study (whose results were recently published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism) examined the effects of physician-delivered step count prescriptions and monitoring in patients with type 2 diabetes and hypertension with the goal of enhancing physical activity and cardiometabolic profiles over a one-year period using pedometers and written step count prescriptions at each visit. The study showed that the step count prescription strategy led to a net 20% increase in step counts and improvements in both haemoglobin A1c and insulin sensitivity. Future studies will evaluate an amplified intervention to increase impact.

IBTN Co-Chair Dr. Simon Bacon was involved in this study.

Download this publication

Enhancing the Rigour of Reporting of Randomized Trials and Systematic Reviews

Knowing that properly documented analytic methods and findings improve transparency and contribute to improving the quality of biomedical publications describing randomised trials and systematic reviews, guidelines exist to facilitate complete reporting (such as CONSORT, SPIRIT, SAMPL, PRISMA, and PRISMA-P).

This overview article (published in Evidence-Based Mental Health) summarises aspects of statistical reporting in trials and systematic reviews of health interventions. The objective was to enhance familiarity of statistical details that should be reported. Considerations regarding sharing of study data and statistical code are also addressed.

IBTN Core Member Dr. David Moher contributed to this overview article.

Download this publication

 

Lifestyle Matters: A Randomized Controlled Trial

This UK trial sought to test whether an occupation-based lifestyle intervention could sustain and improve the mental well-being of 288 adults aged 65 and over using an individually randomised controlled trial measuring mental and physical well-being (using SF-36), extent of depression (PHQ-9), quality of life (EQ-5D) and loneliness (de Jong Gierveld Scale) at 6 and 24 months. The trial involved weekly group sessions over 4 months and one to one sessions. The results (published in Age and Ageing) raise questions regarding how preventive interventions can be effectively targeted in the absence of proactive mechanisms to identify those who are at risk of decline.

IBTN Core Member Dr. Linda Powell participated in this trial.

Download this publication

New Projects and Programs

Assessing a Body of Evidence of Complex Interventions

IBTN Core Member Dr. Paul Montgomery (University of Birmingham), in collaboration with the GRADE Working Group, is leading a research project to develop guidance for assessing and rating the quality of a body of evidence in systematic reviews of complex interventions. The guidance will be relevant for researchers in both clinical and social disciplines who conduct reviews on the effectiveness of complex interventions.

More than ever, policy makers rely on systematic reviews to inform decision-making regarding effective interventions. Interventions characterized as “complex” involve numerous interacting components and multiple outcomes. Such interventions use alternative approaches to assess a body of evidence in systematic reviews (i.e. some may need to integrate a large body of non-randomised evidence). In the meantime, concerns arise about potentially uninformative synthesis results and often-observed conclusions of weak evidence.

After conducting an international online panel involving multidisciplinary expertise, Dr. Montgomery’s project team will host a consensus meeting with a select group of participants to build consensus for the new guidance.

Read more about this project

$1.8 M for SPOR Mentorship Chair in Innovative, Patient-Oriented, Behavioural Clinical Trials

IBTN Co-Chair Dr. Simon Bacon has been awarded a 5-year Chair by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) to focus on improved behavioural clinical trials. The project will involve training approximately 150 trainees and new investigators in improved study designs in collaboration with international experts, local, national, and international organisations, patients, healthcare professionals, and policy makers. It will also provide scholarship funding for up to 7 postdoctoral fellows and up to 12 graduate students, offer direct pilot funding to kickstart novel projects, develop an exchange program to enhance multidisciplinarity and create opportunities for long-term collaboration/capacity building, and conduct yearly summer schools focused on hands-on activities, plenary sessions, and workshop activities.

Read more about Dr. Simon Bacon

 

 

Summer 2017 Training Course: Behaviour Change – Principles and Practice

The UCL’s Centre for Behaviour Change is offering a five-day course introducing the principles of behaviour change and their application to practical problems in different areas of interest. The course is aimed at behaviour change researchers, practitioners, intervention designers, managers, and policy makers, and offers participants a certificate of attendance. Next session begins July 31, 2017.

Learn more

 

 

 

Join the IBTN Community

thumbs-directoryLaunched in the fall of 2016, the online IBTN Community Directory is steadily growing. Join and connect with our community of researchers, experts, students, and practitioners in the field of behavioral trial design.  Solicit advice, share news and content, and partake in stimulating discussion pertaining to the field of behavioural trials. Help our community enhance the quality of design and research.

This “members only” site is offered at no charge and only takes moments to set up. Create a researcher profile, share details about your areas of expertise, and search for and message other members of the IBTN Community.

Create your account now!

Have you published recently? Tell us about it!

The IBTN Newsletter is circulated every 3 months. If you have news you’d like us to share with the IBTN Community, please email us at info@ibtnetwork.org.

Wishing you a healthy and successful New Year!

Assessing a Body of Evidence of Complex Interventions

It is now standard practice for policy makers to draw on systematic reviews as the superior source of evidence to inform decision-making regarding effective interventions. Many interventions are currently conceptualised as “complex”, as they involve a number of interacting components, multiple outcomes, levels of target (such as communities and entire populations), and their effects are amenable to various contextual factors.

Consideration of aspects of complexity may require using alternative approaches and additional guidance when synthesising and assessing a body of evidence in systematic reviews and guideline development. For example, many complex interventions cannot be evaluated using randomised controlled trials and may need to integrate a large body of non-randomised evidence. In the meantime, there are ambiguities around how best to conceptualise and interpret certainty in the body of evidence on intervention effects, when these are contingent upon intervention programming, implementation and contextual factors. Concerns have been raised that the oversight of the aspects of complexity might result in uninformative synthesis results and often-observed conclusions of weak evidence for many complex interventions.

A research project will develop guidance for assessing and rating the quality of a body of evidence in systematic reviews of complex interventions. The project is led by Prof Paul Montgomery (University of Birmingham) in collaboration with the GRADE Working Group and stakeholders in evidence synthesis and guideline development. The guidance will be relevant for researchers in both clinical and social disciplines who conduct reviews on the effectiveness of complex interventions.

The project team is currently conducting an international online panel involving multidisciplinary expertise to identify aspects that need to be modified in the GRADE guidance for complex interventions. Following the online expert panel, a consensus meeting will be hosted with a select group of participants to build consensus for the new guidance.

Submitted by IBTN core member Dr. Paul Montgomery

IBTNetwork Activities (Winter 2017 Newsletter)

Upcoming Conferences

iCEPS Montpellier 2017 – Final Call for Communications

thumbs-icepsThe 5th iCEPS international conference – Non-Pharmalogical Interventions: From Methodology to Evidence of Efficacy, to be held May 18 to 20, 2017 in Montpellier, France – is a forum where experts will share evidence of the efficacy, risk/benefits, safety and cost effectiveness of non-pharmalogical interventions (NPIs). Speakers will discuss research protocols leading to the administration of evidence, and an improved understanding of the main action mechanisms involved in NPIs. View the preliminary conference program

Event organizers have already announced the attendance of over 35 world-renowned specialist speakers. View the 2017 iCEPS speakers list

The deadline for poster, oral communication and workshop proposals is February 1. View proposal guidelines

Conference on Behaviour Change and Digital Health – February 22-23, 2017

thumbs-ucldigitalhealthThe UCL Centre for Behaviour Change is holding its 3rd annual conference on February 22 and 23 in London (UK). The event will focus on digital health and wellbeing, and will be hosted in association with the UCL Institute of Digital Health. World-renowned academic experts will join key members of the public health and technology sectors in a series of talks, presentations, and workshops.

View the conference flyer

View the conference program

IBTN Conference 2018 – Save the Date!

The IBTN has announced the dates of its 2018 conference in Montreal, Canada. Mark May 24 to 26, 2018 in your calendars and look out for more news in the coming months via the IBTN Newsletter.

ibtn2018_savethedate_eng

Recent Publications

Moving from “Theory-Inspired” to “Theory-Based” Interventions

thumbs-abm-michieA research project (whose objectives and methods have recently been published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine) led by Dr. Susan Michie (University College London, UK) aims to develop matrices of hypothesised links between behaviour change techniques (BTCs) and specific mechanisms of action as well as behavioural theories. Linking BCTs to the mechanisms of action described in behavioural theories allows researchers to target mechanisms of action more deliberatively and makes it easier for investigators to design studies that can evaluate the processes underlying effective interventions.

Download this publication

Sitting is the New Smoking – Sedentary Behaviour Change Strategies

thumbs-hpr-gardnerA review of sedentary behaviour change strategies (published in Health Psychology Review) led by Dr. Benjamin Gardner (King’s College London, UK) describes behaviour change strategies used in interventions seeking to reduce sedentary behaviour in adults. Interventions that qualified as “very or quite promising” by the review tended to have targeted sedentary behaviour instead of physical activity. Interventions based on environmental restructuring, persuasion, or education were seen as most promising. Self-monitoring, problem solving, and restructuring the social or physical environment were particularly promising behaviour change techniques.

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The SHINE RCT – Mindfulness-Based Intervention on Mindful Eating

thumbs-jbm-masonA randomized controlled trial (published in the Journal for Behavioral Medicine) led by Dr. Ashley E. Mason (Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA) evaluated changes in mindful eating as a potential mechanism underlying the effects of a mindfulness-based intervention for weight loss on eating of sweet foods and fasting glucose levels.

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New Projects and Programs

£3.7million from the Wellcome Trust for an Ontology for Behaviour Change

thumbs-wellcometrustThe Human Behaviour Change Project (HBCP) will build an artificial intelligence system to scan behaviour change literature worldwide towards building a model of human behaviour and broaching behaviour change intervention efficacy. This project is led by IBTN Member Dr. Susan Michie in collaboration with behavioural, computer, and information scientists.

Download the leaflet

Visit the HBCP website

View the HBCP launch video

New MSc in Behavioural Change (September 2017)

thumbs_ucl_mscRun by the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, a new MSc program in Behavioural Change is available as a full-time or flexible part-time course starting in September 2017 in London (UK). It welcomes graduates from all disciplines wishing to learn the principles behind successfully changing behaviour to address global problems.

Download the brochure

Join the IBTN Community

thumbs-directoryLaunched in the fall of 2016, the online IBTN Community Directory is steadily growing. Join and connect with our community of researchers, experts, students, and practitioners in the field of behavioral trial design.  Solicit advice, share news and content, and partake in stimulating discussion pertaining to the field of behavioural trials. Help our community enhance the quality of design and research.

This “members only” site is offered at no charge and only takes moments to set up. Create a researcher profile, share details about your areas of expertise, and search for and message other members of the IBTN Community.

Create your account now!

Contribute to the IBTN Newsletter

The IBTN Newsletter is circulated every 3 months. If you have news you’d like us to share with the IBTN Community, please email us at info@ibtnetwork.org.

Wishing you a healthy and successful New Year!

Growing the IBTN Community (Fall 2016 Newsletter)

CONNECTING TOGETHER AND BUILDING ON OUR SUCCESS

In response to suggestions made during the spring’s 2016 IBTN Conference, we are happy to announce the launch of the online IBTN Community site. Join and connect with our community of researchers, experts, students, and practitioners in the field of behavioral trial design.  Solicit advice, share news and content, and partake in stimulating discussion pertaining to the field of behavioural trials. Help our community enhance the quality of design and research.

This “members only” site is offered at no charge and only takes moments to set up. Create a researcher profile, share details about your areas of expertise, and search for and message other members of the IBTN Community.

Create your account now!

Highlights from the 2016 Conference in Montreal

The 2016 IBTN Conference proved to be a stellar start to a long-standing project of exchange, learning, and knowledge sharing. Attendees reported that the event was well-organized and appropriately sized and offered a multitude of networking opportunities. The conference’s organization allowed attendees to enjoy their time in the city, as well have the time to reflect on the materials and themes presented, and to acquire concrete tools useful to their research. Its intimate nature was well-appreciated, offering attendees the chance to speak directly with speakers and network with one another in a classy and collegial setting.  Read the full article

 

Slidedecks from the 2016 Conference available for download

The excellent line-up of world-renowned researchers and leaders in behavioural trial design and methodology have generously made their slide decks available for download.  The IBTN Conference Organizers wish to thank them for their time and commitment to the IBTN’s first conference!  Visit the download page


Conference proceedings published in the Health & Fitness Journal of Canada

Over 30 high-quality posters were presented at the 2016 IBTN Conference, featuring a range of excellent studies and methodological designs, leading to stimulating and entertaining discussions between attendees. All abstracts have been published in the Health and Fitness Journal of Canada (volume 9, number 2, 2016). Download the proceedings

 

Save the Date! Montpellier 2017

The international iCEPS Conference’s 5th edition will be held May 18 to 20, 2017 in Montpellier (France). The conference will be focused on the Evidence of Non-Pharmacological Interventions’ Efficacy. Non-Pharmacological Interventions (NPIs) have become essential solutions to improve the health and the quality of life, and sometimes the life expectancy of people suffering from chronic diseases or facing health risks. This international conference should allow participants to share evidence of the efficacy, benefits/risk, safety and costs/effectiveness of NPIs, discuss research protocols leading to the administration of evidence, and understand the main action mechanisms involved in NPIs. The event is intended is for anybody who is interested in scientific, medical, legal and ethical questions raised by NPIs. Read more about the iCEPS conference.

 

Have news to share?

The IBTN newsletter will be circulated every 3 months. If you have news you’d like us to share with the IBTN Community, please email us at info@ibtnetwork.org.