o b s s r connector monthly

December 19, 2017

Director's Voice

An Enjoyable and Informative Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival. On December 8, 2017, we held our second annual NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival on the NIH campus. This one day festival, a combined effort of the NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Coordinating Committee (BSSR-CC) and OBSSR, highlights recent advances in NIH-supported behavioral and social sciences research in fiscal year 2017 (FY17) and provides NIH staff with the opportunity to network
and discuss future collaborations. We were honored to have Dr. Larry Tabak, NIH Principal Deputy Director, give the welcome and opening remarks at the festival this year.  

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Research Spotlights

Findings from Recently Published Research

community health worker

Community health worker intervention improves health of patients with multiple chronic diseases

Over 65% of health care  spending is associated with care for individuals with multiple chronic conditions. While community health worker (CHW) interventions have been shown to improve chronic disease outcomes within a disease-specific context, little is known regarding the efficacy in patients with multiple chronic conditions. This was the focus of a recently published NHLBI-funded study. The study included 302 participants with two or more of the following chronic conditions: obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and tobacco dependence.
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sick leave

Paid sick leave reduces mortality risk in U.S. working adults

Working adults in the United States with paid sick leave have a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality within 4.5 years according to a recent study by a NHLBI-supported researcher. The study used data from 2000–2002 National Health Interview Survey and linked mortality files from the National Death Index through 2011. The final sample included 60,918 adults between the ages of 18 and 85 who reported being employed in the past week. Presence of paid sick leave was modeled as the primary outcome with adjustments made for a variety of covariates including age, gender, education, income, and history of chronic conditions.
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body mass index

Childhood Socioeconomic status modifies genetic variant for body mass index

The heritability of body mass index (BMI) is estimated between 40–70%; however, only 2.7% of BMI variation is explained by genetic variants. Environmental factors may account for the unexplained variation in BMI heritability given their influence on obesity status. This is the focus of a new NIA-funded study which examines whether psychosocial environments modify the effect of genetic variants on BMI. The discovery sample included data from the Health and Retirement Study. Measures included childhood and adulthood socio-economic status, trait and state anger, chronic burden, stressful life events, positive and negative social support, and depressive symptoms.
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In the Know

Events and Announcements

Training on Optimization of Behavioral and Biobehavioral Interventions

Applications to attend a five-day, multi-presenter training on the Optimization of Behavioral and Biobehavioral Interventions are now being accepted. The training will be held May 14- 18 in Bethesda, Maryland. The training will cover the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST); factorial and fractional factorial optimization trials; adaptive interventions; the sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trial (SMART); and obtaining funds for optimization projects. In addition, a variety of researchers will describe how they are optimizing behavioral and biobehavioral interventions, followed by a panel discussion of scientific, operational, and practical considerations.  Applications must be submitted by January 26, 2018.
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Application Process Open for 2018 mHealth Training Institute

Applications for the 2018 mHealth Training Institute or mHTI (July 29 – August 3, 2018 at the University of California, Los Angeles) are now being accepted. Building on the success of past mHTIs, the week-long immersion program uses a blended learning environment to provide selected scholars with a core grounding in latest mHealth methodologies and develops their capacity to successfully contribute to team science. Through reflective and active learning guided by faculty mentors, scholars will apply the gained knowledge to developing transdisciplinary mHealth solutions for real-world health problems, while building an interdisciplinary learning community and a dense scientific network. The application deadline is January 27, 2018.
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Eighteenth Annual Summer Institute on Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials

OBSSR in collaboration with NHLBI will hold the Eighteenth Annual Summer Institute on Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials on July 8-19, 2018, in Warrenton, Virginia. The purpose of the multi-day training is to provide a thorough grounding in the conduct of randomized clinical trials to researchers interested in developing competence in the planning, design, and execution of randomized clinical trials involving behavioral interventions. The deadline for submitting a completed application is February 2, 2018.  
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NIH Single IRB Policy Reminder

As we approach the implementation date for NIH’s Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board (Single IRB) for Multi-Site Research, we would like to remind you of the resources available for understanding this policy. The policy affects multi-site studies involving non-exempt human subjects research funded by NIH, and applies to grant applications with due dates on or after January 25, 2018 and R&D contracts in response to solicitations issued on or after January 25, 2018.
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Be Careful to Pick the Right Funding Opportunity Announcement

Recent policy changes requiring clinical trial applications to be submitted to FOAs that specifically allow clinical trials, first announced in fall of 2016, impact how all NIH applicants choose a FOA, whether you are submitting a clinical trial or not. Over the last year, each NIH Institute and Center has been carefully evaluating its research funding priorities and strategic goals and using that information to articulate their funding priorities for clinical trials. They are communicating their priorities through the funding opportunity announcements they issue.
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Funding Announcements

Clinical Trials or Observational Studies of Behavioral Interventions for Prevention of Opioid Use Disorder of Adjunct to Medication-Assisted Treatment-SAMHSA Opioid STR Grants

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to solicit applications to examine the impact of behavioral interventions within the context of states' plans for use of the SAMHSA Opioid STR grant funds authorized under the 21st Century Cures Act. Applications are encouraged for clinical trials or observational studies that examine the impact of interventions such as mindfulness meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, or multi-disciplinary rehabilitation for primary or secondary prevention for opioid use disorder (OUD) or as an adjunct to medication assisted treatment (MAT) of OUD. Applications that emphasize treatment of the comorbidities of OUD and chronic pain are of particular interest.
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Ancillary Studies to Identify Behavioral and/or Psychological Phenotypes Contributing to Obesity

The purpose of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to encourage grant applications to support the addition of measures of psychological and/or behavioral constructs or weight-related variables (e.g.; BMI, body composition) to existing or new research studies in humans with the goal of elucidating behavioral or psychological phenotypes that explain individual variability in weight trajectory or response to obesity prevention or treatment interventions. 
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Social and Behavioral Research eLearning Course

Good Clinical Practice in Social and Behavioral Research

Complete the free NIH Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Training through the Society of Behavioral Medicine. In September 2016, the NIH issued a Policy on Good Clinical Practice Training for NIH awardees  involved in NIH-funded clinical trials. The principles of GCP help assure the safety, integrity, and quality of clinical trials. Certificates will be given upon completion of the training.
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