Electronic Health Records Should Capture Social and Behavioral Determinants of HealthThe Institute of Medicine (IOM) just released its report on Capturing Social and Behavioral Domains and Measures in Electronic Health Records. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) are largely devoid of the documentation regarding behavioral and social determinants of health. Including a minimal number of important social and behavioral domains of health has the potential to improve clinical decision making and patient care, and provides a critical base of information for public health surveillance and the ever increasing use of EHRs for clinical research.
Making Culture Count in Health ResearchThe elimination of health disparities is a key goal of the medical research community, but one of the fundamental challenges of moving health disparities research forward is the capacity to account for culture. Differences in culture have a major influence in producing health gaps, and while most would agree that culture is pervasive, what exactly is it and how can researchers account for it when designing studies? An OBSSR panel provides answers to these questions and to offers guidelines to operationalize culture within health research.
Shortened US Longevity Linked to Smoking and ObesityIn the last 30 years, the US has lagged behind other high-income countries in increases in life expectancy. Demographer Dr. Samuel Preston explored the issue by looking at the population-wide effects of smoking and obesity and found that both independently decrease life expectancy, but unraveling the additive effects of the combination is difficult. Preston suggests the strong negative impact of smoking masks obesity, but, since rates of smoking have decreased in recent decades, he warns that obesity is poised to have a much larger impact on longevity in the US.
Predictors of Later Outcomes in Younger Siblings of Children With Autism Spectrum DisorderAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a severe neurobehavioral disorder with an early onset and is characterized by impairments in communication and social capabilities as well as sensory and repetitive behaviors. Identifying early signs of ASD could not only improve screening and diagnosis, but also inform the development of novel treatments. Because of its early childhood onset, it is difficult to identify a high risk group of young children who can be followed over time to recognize early signs of ASD.
Latest from OBSSRDeputy Director of OBSSR, Dr. G. Stephane Philogene, started off the new year with a presentation on ‘Research Opportunities at NIH’ at the Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference in New Orleans. Stay abreast of current and upcoming OBSSR activities.
OBSSR at 20: “No more exciting time to be a behavioral and social scientist”The year 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research (OBSSR). The establishment of OBSSR 20 years ago by the U.S. Congress recognized the importance of behavioral and social factors in the prevention and treatment of disability and disease.
Don't Miss This Week's BSSR Lecture on Communication NeuroscienceAs part of the BSSR Lecture Series organized by the National Institutes of Health Office of Behavioral Health and Social Sciences, Dr. Emily Falk’s lecture on January 9 will present recent work leveraging neural activity in brain systems linked to self-related processing and value to predict real-world, health-relevant behavior change in the context of smoking cessation and increasing physical activity. She will present data predicting individual changes in health behaviors across time, as well as population level responses to different groups of health messages and campaigns. There will also be discussion of ways in which neural data complement and extend what we learn from self-reports and how connecting neural data with real world outcomes can help deepen understanding of psychological mechanisms underpinning successful communication.