New Info! The Inaugural IBTN Summer School – May 2018

The Inaugural IBTN Summer School: Developing Behavioural Interventions and Conducting High-Quality Trials


Preliminary list of lecturers and program structure… Learn more

The Inaugural IBTN Summer School is an academic program held over 6 days exploring how to breakthrough current obstacles in behavioural trial methodologies and expand the reach, capacity, and impact of trials in the field of behavioural medicine.

When: May 21-26, 2018 (with online activities to be held before and after)

Where: Concordia University and Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada

Who: Open to doctoral students and early career researchers who want to develop and extend their knowledge about behavioural trials




Confirmed Plenary Speakers for the 2018 IBTN Conference

We are thrilled to announce the following confirmed speakers for the upcoming International Behavioral Trials Network Conference next May 24-26 in Montreal!

Full program details (including new speakers, plenary sessions, workshops, poster sessions, and networking activities) to follow! For further information, contact the IBTN team:



Susan Michie, PhD (University College London)
Professor of Health Psychology at University College London (UCL) and Director of its Centre for Behaviour Change and of the Health Psychology Research Group. She leads the Human Behaviour-Change Project, holds an NIHR Senior Investigator’s award, is Associate Editor of Annals of Behavioral Medicine and Fellow of SBM, AcBehMedRes, AcMedSci, AcadSocSci, EHPS and BPS.
Robert Kaplan, PhD (Standford University)
Regenstrief Distinguished Fellow at Purdue University, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, and Director of Research at the Stanford School of Medicine Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC). He also served as Chief Science Officer at the US Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Associate Director of the National Institutes of Health. He is also a Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Health Services and Medicine at UCLA, where he led the UCLA/RAND AHRQ health services training program and the UCLA/RAND CDC Prevention Research Center. He has served as co-chair of the Social Behavioral and Economics Sciences subcommittee (of Committee of Science) of the US National Science and Technology Council, within the United States Executive Office of the President.
Jeremy Grimshaw, MD, PhD (University of Ottawa)
Senior Scientist in the Clinical Epidemiology Program at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and Full Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Department of Medicine. He is also Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Health Knowledge Transfer and Uptake, Co-Chair of the Steering Group for the Campbell Collaboration, a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a Member of the Centre for Implementation Research.
 Linda Collins, PhD (Pennsylvania State University)
Director of Pennsylvania State University’s The Methodology Center, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and Professor in the Department of Statistics.
Robert West, PhD (University College London)
Professor of Health Psychology at University College London, and Director of Tobacco Studies for the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Unit in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London.
Lynda Powell, PhD (Rush University)
Charles J. and Margaret Roberts Professor of Preventive Medicine, Medicine (Cardiology), Behavioral Sciences, and Pharmacology, and chairperson of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She has been a past principal investigator of five major randomized behavioral trials and has served as a standing member of the NHLBI Clinical Trials Study Section. She is currently the principal investigator of the Chicago site of the NHLBI-sponsored Obesity-Related Behavioral Intervention Trials (ORBIT) network. She is a founding faculty member in the NIH/OBSSR-sponsored Summer Institute for Randomized Clinical Trials Involving Behavioral Interventions. She is currently in the process of writing the first book on the strategy of behavioral randomized clinical trial methodology.
Jean Bourbeau, MD (McGill University)
Respirologist and Professor in the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology & Biostatistics at McGill University, and director of the McConnell Centre of Innovative Medicine (CIM) of the Research Institute of the MUHC (RIMUHC) and the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Unit at the Montreal Chest Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). He also chairs the COPD axis of the Health Respiratory Network of the FRQS (Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé), past president and current member of the Canadian Thoracic Society, and sits on the scientific committee of the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) and leading/co-leading Guidelines/Position statements in COPD (CTS, Chest, ATS/ERS, and GOLD).
Bonnie Spring, PhD (Northwestern University)
Professor of Preventive Medicine, Psychology, and Psychiatry at Northwestern University and Director of the Center for Behavior and Health of its Institute for Public Health and Medicine. She serves on the American Psychological Association’s Advisory Steering Committee to Develop Clinical Treatment Guidelines, chairs the American Heart Association’s Health Behavior Change Committee, and author of NIH-funded on-line learning modules on evidence-based practice ( She is also founding editor and editor-in-chief of Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy, Research.
Ken Freedland, PhD (Washington University)
Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at Washington University School of Medicine and co-investigator and clinical supervisor for the multicenter Enhancing Recovery in Coronary Heart Disease (ENRICHD), a co-investigator and assessment core leader for the multicenter CODIACS Vanguard trial, and a co-investigator and clinical supervisor for the multicenter INSPIRE trial of stress management for lung transplant candidates. He is also a founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy (ACT) and an ACT-certified cognitive therapy trainer, an instructor in clinical trial methodology on the faculty of the National Institutes of Health Annual Summer Institute on Randomized Behavioural Clinical Trials.
Paul Montgomery, PhD (University of Birmingham, UK)
Professor of Social Intervention at the School of Social Policy at the University of Birmingham, and lead on the development of the CONSORT-SPI, a reporting guideline for randomised trials of complex psychological and social interventions. He maintains a clinical social work practice and specialises in Brief Intervention and Cognitive Behavioural techniques.
Linda Carlson, PhD (University of Calgary)
Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions Health Scholar, 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. She is also the Director of Research and works as a Clinical Psychologist at the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, and is a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the Mind and Life Institute.
David Buckeridge, PhD (McGill University)
Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University where he holds a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Applied Public Health. He is also a Medical Consultant to the Montreal Public Health Department and the Quebec Public Health Institute.
Molly Byrne, PhD (National University of Ireland, Galway)
Professor of Health Psychology at the National University of Ireland, Galway and recipient of the Health Research Board (HRB, Ireland) Research Leadership Award (2014-2019) to establish and direct the Health Behaviour Change Research Group (HBCRG).
Kim Lavoie, PhD (Université du Québec à Montréal)
Co-Director of the Montréal Behavioural Medicine Centre, co-lead of the International Behavioural Trials Network (IBTN) and former Director of the Chronic Disease Research Division at Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal. She is a Full Professor in the Department of Psychology and Chair of Behavioral Medicine at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She is also Chair of Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine at the Canadian Psychological Association and an active member of the CHEP recommendation panel (Adherence Subcommittee). She currently holds a Quebec Health Research (FRQS) Senior Investigator Award.
Grégory Ninot, PhD (University of Montpellier)
Professor at the University of Montpellier, France, Director of the CEPS Platform, dedicated to improving the methodology of behavioral trials, and co-lead of the International Behavioural Trials Network.
Leonard (Len) Epstein, PhD (University at Buffalo)
SUNY Distinguished Professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Community Health and Health Behavior, and Social and Preventive Medicine at the University at Buffalo, and the Chief of Division of Behavioral Medicine.
Susan Czajkowski, PhD (National Cancer Institute)
Chief of the Health Behaviors Research Branch (HBRB) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and previously project officer for the Enhancing Recovery in Coronary Heart Disease (ENRICHD) Patients Study and lead project officer for the NIH-funded Obesity-Related Behavioral Intervention Trials (ORBIT) network. She is also a fellow in the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and recently served as President of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research.
Simon Bacon, PhD (Concordia University)
Professor in the Department fo Exercise Science at Concordia University, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Chair in Innovative, Patient-Oriented, Behavioural Clinical Trials, Co-Director of the Montréal Behavioural Medicine Centre, fellow of the Obesity Society and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and researcher at the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et service sociaux du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal  (CIUSSS-NIM) and co-lead of the International Behavioural Trials Network.

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)

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

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

TRAINING OPPORTUNITY: Summer School in Experimental Science Journalism

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

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.


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.


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.


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