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Project Descriptions


Cancer and Cognition Meeting and Paper

Rationale
There is growing attention within cancer survivorship research on neuropsychological effects (i.e., deficits in executive functioning, memory) associated with cancer and cancer therapies and their role in quality of life. However, the impact of cancer and related therapy on social cognitive processes, and the connection of these social cognitive processes to neuropsychological impairment and ultimately quality of life remain comparatively under-explored.

Purpose
The purpose of the meeting was to explore areas of interface between social/personality psychology and the neuropsychological effects of cancer and cancer therapy so as to ascertain whether social and personality theory might be used to enhance understanding of associated issues and ultimately improve survivorship quality of life. Identification of promising research directions was also considered.

Activities
A meeting was held at the NCI Campus in 2010. Attendees consisted of members of CASPHR as well as invited speakers: Julia Rowland (Director, Office of Cancer Survivorship), Wendy Nelson (Program Director, Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciecnes Branch), Paula Williams (Department of Psychology, University of Utah), Tim Ahles (Director, Neurocognitive Research Laboratory Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center), Sanne Schagen and Enny Das (Department of Psychosocial Research and Epidemiology, Netherlands Cancer Institute, and Department of Communication Science VU University, Amsterdam, respectively), and Stephanie Reid-Arndt (Department of Health Psychology, University of Missouri).

A paper examining the relevance of social psychological theories to understanding neuropsychological effects of cancer and cancer therapy is in preparation.

Research Team
Jamie Arndt*
Linda Cameron*
Sanne Schagen
Enny Das
Stephanie Reid-Arndt
Tim Ahles

*CASPHR member

Reference
Arndt, J., Schagen, S., Reid-Arndt, S., Das, E., Cameron, L., & Ahles, T. Broadening the cancer and cognition landscape: Planting social psychological seeds. Manuscript in preparation.

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Consultation on BRP Projects

Rationale, Purpose and Activities
CASPHR members consult on various BRP projects. Members draw on their expertise in psychological mechanisms underlying health behavior and the processing of health information to provide valuable feedback and ideas for relevant BRP initiatives. CASPHR has provided and continues to provide assistance and counsel on the following projects:

  • Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)
  • Food, Activity, Sleep, Sun-Safety, and Tobacco (FASST) survey
  • Food Attitudes and Behavior (FAB) survey
  • Consultation and participation in meetings, such as the Cancer and Communication Meeting, the Discrimination and Health Meeting, the Dyadic Processes Across the Cancer Continuum Meeting, and the Affective Sciences Meeting.
  • Scientific evidence relevant to FDA tobacco labels.

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Meta-Analysis On Incidental Emotion and Decision-Making

Rationale and Purpose
This meta-analysis examines systematic influences of incidental emotions influence on different types of judgments and decision making. This project has broad relevance to NCI, given that incidental emotions may influence many health-related judgments and decisions, including risk perception, information processing, health information seeking, interpersonal interactions, valuation and consumption, and medical decisions. There is a significant body of research on the effects of incidental emotions on decision making, but there is a lack of consensus in the literature concerning whether discrete emotions systematically influence specific judgments and decisions. Thus, we examine when, how, and under what circumstances incidental emotions influence judgments and decision making. By synthesizing the body of evidence on this topic, this meta-analysis will refine theoretical frameworks that predict systematic incidental emotion influences on decisions, and to highlight gaps that require additional research.

Activities
The project team has drawn on a broad base of expertise in theoretically-informed affective and decision sciences to refine the research questions and methodology for the meta-analysis. The team has conducted a systematic search of published and unpublished studies. The dataset will be analyzed to identify specific factors that influence particular patterns of judgment and decision-making.

Research Team
Angela Bryan*
Linda Cameron*
Rebecca Ferrer*
William Klein*
Amber Koblitz*
Ellen Peters*
Paschal Sheeran*

*CASPHR member

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Meta-Analysis on Interventions

Do changing attitudes, social norms, or self-efficacy change health-related intentions and behavior?

Rationale
Theories of health behavior change converge on the idea that changing attitudes, social norms, or self-efficacy engenders behavior change. These theories include (among others):

  • The Health Belief Model,
  • Protection Motivation Theory,
  • The Theories of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior,
  • The Transtheoretical Model, and
  • The Prototype/Willingness Model.

Interventionists are also guided by the assumption that changing behavioral and normative beliefs and enhancing confidence about acting will change behavior. However, there is no clear, systematic evidence that this is true. Most research on the topic is correlational and thus liable to give a misleading account of the actual impact of cognition change on behavior, even when analyzed in a meta-analytic framework (Weinstein, 2007). Also, experimental manipulations of behavioral and normative beliefs have not been systematically analyzed so as to permit inference on how big an effect that changing cognitions has on behavior (Webb & Sheeran, 2006).

Purpose
This project involves performing a meta-analysis of intervention studies to quantify the impact on health behavior change due to the changing of attitudes, norms, and self-efficacy. This project will also develop a new coding scheme to categorize the content of attitude, norm, and self-efficacy interventions in order to identify best practice in behavioral interventions.

Activities
The project will follow PRISMA guidelines for conducting and reporting meta-analyses (Moher et al., 2009). First, we’ll conduct literature searches to locate published, unpublished, and in-press studies. Second, for studies meeting inclusion criteria, we will code key characteristics such as source of the intervention, mode of delivery, duration of intervention, and measurement factors. Finally, for studies not meeting inclusion criteria due to inadequate difference between treatment versus control conditions in attitude, norm, or self-efficacy, we will develop a coding frame to characterize the intervention strategies and code these studies.

Research Team
Charles Abraham
Angela Bryan*
Rebecca Ferrer*
Kara Hall*
Annie Hooper
William Klein*
Alex Maki
Erika Montanaro
Alexander Rothman*
Paschal Sheeran*

*CASPHR member

References
Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., Altman, D. and the PRISMA Group (2009). Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: The PRISMA statement. PLoS Medicine, 6, 1-6.

Webb, T. L., & Sheeran, P. (2006). Does changing behavioral intentions engender behavior change? A meta-analysis of the experimental evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 249-268.

Weinstein, N. D. (2007). Misleading tests of health behavior theories. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 33, 1-10.

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Multilevel Project

Rationale
Cancer care, including prevention counseling, screening and follow-up, treatment, surveillance, and end-of-life care, often takes place within health care organizations or intersects in some way with them. Organizational research and policy research have traditionally examined the ways in which health care organizations respond to environmental influences, such as national and state health policies and programs, advocacy groups, community demographics, and health care markets. Health services research related to cancer has traditionally examined the role of individual patient characteristics, family and social supports, provider and provider team characteristics, and organizational structures and processes on patients’ receipt of, or participation in, health services. However, the influence on patient care from the interaction of environment and organization remains largely unexamined. Even less studied are methods of intervening on these contextual influences in order to improve outcomes for individuals needing cancer care.

Purpose
The National Cancer Institute is organizing a meeting to expand the scientific base for future research by applying theory, models and methods from several disciplines to explore multilevel interventions. These interventions include mediators and moderators across levels. The meeting will result in identifying priorities for research, and will propose research designs and measurement approaches addressing the challenges of multileveled interventions that affect health and health behavior. This meeting will build on 10 papers that grew out of a small group multidisciplinary meeting in June 2009. CASPHR contributes to this effort by providing input on meeting planning, development of the special issue, and recommended areas of emphasis.

Research Team
Rebecca Anhang-Price
Linda Cameron*
William Klein*
Steve Taplin

*CASPHR member

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Social Personality and Health Network

Rationale, Purpose and Activities
CASPHR helped create an organization for researchers interested in social/personality psychology and health to build stronger connections between these areas. For more information of the The Social Personality and Health (SPH) Network visit their website Exit Disclaimer

Steering Committee
Alexander Rothman (President)*
Jamie Arndt (Treasurer)*
Irene Blair (Secretary)*
Angela Bryan*
William Klein*
Andrew Geers
Mary Gerend
Traci Mann (co-chair of Pre-Conference Committee)
David Sherman (co-chair of Pre-Conference Committee)

*CASPHR member

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Theories Survey Project

Rationale
This longitudinal survey, with multiple data collection points, will be designed to allow for empirical comparisons of various health behavior theories (HBT) across behaviors. There is a lack of competitive model testing in the HBT literature, and it is in the interest of Behavioral Research Program (BRP) to facilitate such comparison, since HBT are important tools in many grants supported by BRP. Furthermore, this longitudinal survey can encourage more integration of HBT into ongoing and future initiatives.

Purpose
This project will 1) collect data allowing empirical comparison of HBT in the context of cancer-preventive behaviors; 2) include multilevel variables (e.g., dyadic- and environmental-level) and individual-level variables seldom explored in this context (e.g., affect) into conceptualizations of HBT; and 3) provide a dataset to external investigators to facilitate empirical comparison between HBT. Our goal is to move the HBT literature forward by engaging in empirical comparison. However, we note that conclusions drawn will be limited by the behaviors we choose, by the time intervals between assessments, and by the settings and populations selected.

Impact
This empirical comparison of theories will begin to establish which perform better in certain contexts. By providing our data to the grantee community, we open the discussion to alternative conceptualizations and specifications of HBT, including comparison of theories that integrate different HBT components and/or multilevel variables into a novel theory, allowing for even more comparison across theories within the scope of the context and behaviors we measure. An additional key contribution of this study concerns identification of potential overlapping HBT contribution. Many HBTs have similar constructs that are measured in various ways; this study may allow investigators to explore whether these constructs are conceptually different, or whether some might be constructs that overlap across theories. In addition to the research team listed below, an expert panel composed of NCI and external organization members will guide the development of the survey.

Research Team
Angela Bryan*
Becky Ferrer*
Kara Hall*
William Klein*
Sarah Kobrin
Alexander Rothman*
Paschal Sheeran*
Dikla Shmueli*

*CASPHR member

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Tobacco Warning Labels Project

Rationale
Following passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) obtained regulatory authority over tobacco products, including their development, marketing, and distribution. One element of the Act is to implement graphic warning labels by 2012, following the established practice in many other countries. Significant research in a number of areas is needed to implement new warning labels effectively. The NCI Tobacco Control Research Branch hosted a workshop to facilitate research and science on warning label use in October 2009. CASPHR contributes to this effort with expertise in issues of risk perception, persuasion, mortality salience, and smoking behavior.

Purpose
In this project, CASPHR will contribute expertise from cognitive, affective, and behavioral science to the development of warning labels as well as to efforts under other elements of the Act. A related aim is to implement more research in these areas to support FDA regulation. For example, CASPHR is hosting a symposium on the behavioral science of FDA tobacco regulation at the 2010 meeting of the Association of Psychological Science.

Research Team
Jamie Arndt*
Linda Cameron*
William Klein*
Ellen Peters*
Dikla Shmueli*

*CASPHR member

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White Papers and Reviews Project

Rationale
A primary goal of CASPHR is to facilitate development of white papers and systematic or meta-analytic reviews on issues at the interface between social and behavioral science and health. In some cases, these papers will examine emerging issues and provide a forum for articulating how these new findings or methods could inform the development, evaluation, and dissemination of new intervention strategies and new approaches to basic behavioral science aimed at addressing health issues. In other cases, these papers will synthesize existing areas of research that would benefit from comprehensive analysis of accumulated empirical evidence. CASPHR will employ a range of strategies to advance this work including organizing conferences to launch the development of papers or to synthesize the findings from a series of papers and organizing special issues of leading journals that publish papers at the interface of the social, behavioral, and health sciences.

Activities
CASPHR members are conducting a meta-analytic review of the relation between experimentally elicited changes in health cognitions and changes in health-related intentions and behavior. CASPHR members also co-edited a special issue of Self & Identity. This special issue showcases the connections between health, recent theorizing, and research in the areas of self- and identity regulation. These regulation concerns can prompt increases in precautionary actions and healthy behavior but also risky actions and unhealthy behavior. They can affect the development, detection, diagnosis, progression, management and treatment of a disease. This special issue served as a forum for presenting cutting edge findings at the intersection of self- and identity regulation and health. The table of contents Exit Disclaimerof the special issue is available online. Anyone may request a free copy of the special issue by emailing Sherri Cook at cooksh@od.nih.gov.

Research Team: Meta-Analysis of Cognition and Behavior Change
Charles Abraham
Angela Bryan*
Rebecca Ferrer*
Kara Hall*
William Klein*
Alexander Rothman*
Paschal Sheeran*
Dikla Shmueli*

Research Team: Special Issue of Self & Identity
William Klein*
Alexander Rothman*
James Shepperd

*CASPHR member

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