16 Identifying and Testing Mechanisms of Action in Behavioral and Social Intervention Research

Thursday, March 22, 2012: 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Session Type: Hands-on Workshop
1.5 CE hours
Theme: Critical Issues in the New Grant Submission and/or Review Processes
Sponsored by: Behavioral, Epidemiologic and Health Services Research
Description: The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is committed to supporting quality behavioral intervention research. In 2011 the Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Branch (BSSRB) of the NIDCR commissioned a special issue of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry outlining essential elements of behavioral and social intervention research for the institute. One element is determining mechanisms of action in the proposed intervention. Mechanisms of action (MoA) refers to why the intervention works, for whom the intervention works, and in what context the intervention works. Inclusion of MoA testing in behavioral and social intervention research increases validity, reliability, and creates a stronger evidence base for practitioners and dental educators. As the BSSRB works with applicants we have noticed that identifying MoA has been especially difficult for some. As NIH funding for oral health research becomes more competitive many review groups are scoring based on the applications’ hypothesized MoA and how the applicants plan to measure and test these mediators and moderators. The goal of this hands-on workshop is to better equip the oral health research community to improve their proposals and subsequent research.

Workshop Goals:

1.       A detailed description of MoA including statistical considerations

2.       An interactive walk-through of MoA in a completed research project

3.       A group exercise to identify MoA in a hypothetical research proposal
Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to differentiate between mediators and moderators and identify the appropriate statistical methodology.
Participants will understand mechanisms of action in behavioral and social intervention research.

Mechanisms of Action Workshop
S. CERMAK, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Mechanisms of Action Workshop 2
M. ROBINSON, Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
See more of: Hands-on Workshop