Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD
Ellen G. Engelhardt, PhD
Deputy Editor
by Brian Zikmund-Fisher , PhD; University of Michigan

This summer is a busy time for SMDM. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to join many of you in Leiden for the Biennial European Conference in June but take a look at the conference recap. I'm also looking forward to seeing many of you at the North American Meeting in Montreal, Canada coming up in October.

If you are interested in the results of the last newsletter's poll on barriers to implementing shared decision making, Ellen and I have a short commentary outlining the findings and themes. Personally, I was intrigued by several results, including that perceptions of shared decision making or lack thereof, were remarkably consistent across clinician and non-clinician respondents.

The Summer Poll focuses on public engagement activities. SMDM, as a society, is not only concerned about conducting good science, but also about ensuring that our work and our insights are broadly used. While we use SMDM gatherings and other scientific meetings to reach professional audiences, I'd like to take the pulse of SMDM members about what other kinds of activities you do to reach broader, non-academic audiences. Do you write for public venues? Do you give presentations to public audiences? We'd like to know. Please just take a minute or two to answer the poll questions, and I'll report back in the Fall issue.
This issues also features some great commentaries:
  • SMDM President Uwe Siebert has a wonderful letter on the experience of Summer, our Society's meetings, and a variety of current initiatives.
  • Ellen Lipstein and Sarah Beal about medical decision making as a developmental skill in children
  • Ankur Pandya and Lyndon James on knowing your audience when you teach MDM
  • Mark Liebow updating us on health policy news

A reminder: Please remember to cast your vote for the SMDM Board elections. Election information is in the Member News section.

Lastly, I wanted to note the wonderful news that Annette O'Connor has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and that Allan Detsky has been appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. Congratulations, Annette and Allan!

See you in Montreal!

Uwe Siebert,
Summer Time

by  Uwe Siebert,  MD, MPH, MSc, ScD  UMIT - University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Austria and Harvard University, USA

It’s summer time – and the livin’ should be easy…

For many of us, the summer affords a welcome opportunity to pause and reflect. The idea of summer reflection comes up frequently in poetry, painting, and music, but also in management guidance as a key element to improving our work and way of life.

Perhaps, like me, your summer may have started with a “summer rush,” like the title of a song I discovered recently in an album called “Summer Reflections.” Or maybe you’ve been feeling the oppressive heat, captured in the tune of one of Vivaldi’s weary songbirds waiting for the summer storm. Or perhaps you’ve just had a well-earned break!

Many of us may use the summer break to reflect on what we have been doing as professionals, as providers, as teachers, as researchers, as friends, as family, as humans. Or indeed, what we have not been doing. Either way, it gives us the chance to think about how we might act (differently or not) in the future, and I invite you to reflect on these potential universes and their counterfactual outcomes.

My summer started in the colorful environment of Leiden, in the Netherlands, during the excellent European SMDM Conference, which made me more than ever aware of the potential of our Society, its different disciplines and how our forces are coming together (see below). My season continued with a summer camp on causal inference with a particularly impactful feature: at the end of each day, an improvisation poet summarized the topics of the day in a poem, which triggered lively dinner discussions and made that meeting simply unique and unforgettable. During one of the poems, I got inspired, the livin’ was easy for a moment, and I wrote my own poem (no worries, I will neither share it with you nor will I become a poet).

Once you come back from your reflections, you may have a few minutes to read the following updates on our Society – a lot has moved on!

17 th Biennial SMDM European Conference
We had an extremely successful and productive SMDM European Conference in Leiden. A huge Thank You to the meeting Co-chairs Anne Stiggelbout and Ewout Steyerberg and the Scientific Review Committee for bringing together such a stimulating program and to our PMA Team for managing the meeting so smoothly. Hilary Bekker and Elske van den Akker-van Marle generated a fantastic and comprehensive Short Course Program.
The meeting held in the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) Building and in Leiden’s Stadsgehoorzaal was truly international, with an all-time record of 315 registrants from 26 countries across all continents, which nicely aligns with our International Development Initiative. In addition, the interdisciplinary workshops and sessions of the meeting were a great example of what we can achieve by joining forces in SMDM. The meeting brought together the entire field of medical decision making, from modeling and economic evaluation to implementation science, risk communication, patient-shared decision making, judgment and decision making, and ethical, legal and social implications. The integration of patients into the meeting moved forward, and with its timely topic “Personalized and Value-Based Health Care” the meeting advanced this field.

40 th Annual North American Meeting
When summer time is over, we can start looking forward to the 40 th Annual North American Meeting from October 13-17, 2018, in Montreal. With Meeting Chairs Holly Witteman , William Dale , and the Patient Partner Chairs Isabel Jordan and Beverly Canin , we expect a vibrant meeting with the topic “Decision Making Across the Lifespan”. Dr. Monica Peek has been confirmed as keynote speaker for “How Structural Inequities Impact Health Disparities Across the Lifespan: Lessons for Medical Decision Making.” Meeting registration opens soon.

Mobile and Online International & Educational Program
We have moved on with our initiative “SMDM Mobile and Online International Educational Program”. We have identified first SMDM members who volunteered to provide material for core “101” type tutorials for our online program. Our plan is to develop an SMDM online curriculum website that hosts original MDM material and links to MDM-related material on other websites. This activity will also allow us to reach those who are unable to attend our courses or annual meetings. If you have interest in participating in this activity, please e-mail with your interest.
Fundraising and Training Projects
Under the leadership of Jill Metcalf , the success of our fundraising campaign continues. With the help of Jill Metcalf and Ava John-Baptiste , we received a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to launch a fellowship program, which will support four SMDM fellows over three years. In addition, the Hess Foundation will support SMDM faculty to provide training in shared decision making. Look for information about both programs in the coming months and in Montreal. Further grants are pending and will be submitted.

With the help of Beate Jahn and Jill Metcalf , the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) networking activities among SMDM members have been initiated to foster SMDM interest groups’ activities, bridge separate disciplines and support outreach to new European countries. More information about the COST Action program is available here with full details available here: SESA Guidelines. If you are interested in inviting SMDM to participate as an International Organization, please contact

James Stahl , Hilary Bekker , Jill Metcalf and others are currently working on a funding application to integrate decision making science into the curriculum of medical school students.

Unfortunately, there is also bad news in the field of clinical decision making. Due to a loss of federal funding, the National Guidelines Clearinghouse (NGC) in the US has been shut down. NGC was an independent host of major clinical guidelines in the United States. Several initiatives are currently exploring other options for hosting the guidelines. SMDM is a voluntary member of Friends of AHRQ, an alliance of more than 250 organizations dedicated to ensuring the agency’s continued role in improving health in the US.

Please note that SMDM Board Elections are now open and close on Friday, August 17, 2018. Please participate in the elections to vote for leaders to represent YOUR Society!

Enjoy the summer, sun or shade.
The opinions stated in the following commentaries are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of the Society for Medical Decision Making.
Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD
Ellen G. Engelhardt, PhD
Deputy Editor
Challenges in Implementing Shared Decision Making: Findings from the Spring 2018 SMDM Poll
by Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD; SMDM e-newsletter Editor-in-Chief and Ellen G. Engelhardt, PhD; SMDM e-newsletter Deputy Editor

In the last newsletter, the Spring 2018 Scientific Issues in MDM Poll asked a few questions about implementation of shared decision making (SDM). How (un)common it is, and what barriers we see to implementation. 

After a bit of nudging, we got 57 separate responses to the Poll. About 43% identified themselves as clinicians, and about half considered the questions through the lens of various primary care settings vs. more specialist settings.

Perhaps not surprisingly, almost 80% of respondents felt shared decision making occurred either “never or rarely” or “with a minority of patients”. This pattern was roughly the same among clinicians / non-clinicians and among those considering primary care settings vs. other settings.

We also asked for a specific suggestion to improve implementation of shared decision making in practice. Both Ellen and I did informal reviews to identify themes, though I will not claim that this was a rigorous qualitative coding process. 

Ellen’s themes included the following:
a) Incorporating SDM training in medical curricula
b) Convincing doctors that SDM is beneficial to patients through studies with medically relevant outcomes
c) Policy changes to stimulate/facilitate SDM (e.g., reimbursement for time spent on SDM)
d) Create demand for SDM from patients
e) Create tools to help clinicians practice SDM in clinical practice
f) Collaborating with medical societies to spread the word and incorporating SDM in clinical guidelines
g) Partnering with implementation scientists

My own review noted a few related ideas that I wanted to comment on:

First, many respondents alluded to issues of workflow. That we need to make SDM fit into clinic flows, be integrated into processes, etc. A particularly notable comment called out the tendency of SDM researchers to study academic settings and noted a need for greater attention to the fact that the workflow issues are likely different in community settings.

Second, many respondents mentioned the need for incentives, whether financial or structural, to motivate clinicians to choose to engage in SDM. 

Lastly, I was struck by the comments addressing the need for explicit consideration of implementation science, whether through building partnerships with experts in that area, always seeking local champions for SDM, and a focus on practical issues. The last point would require the SMDM community to step away, at least somewhat, from the ideal version of shared decision making that we wish we could achieve.

There’s a quote from SMDM Trustee Holly Witteman that I often bring up at times like this: “We have to design for the way people are, not the way we wish they were.” Perhaps the same idea applies here to implementing SDM. We need to remember to design and implement shared decision making initiatives for the way clinicians and health systems are, not the way we wish they were. 

Some food for thought as you enjoy your summer!
Ellen Lipstein,
Sarah Beal, PhD
Medical Decision Making as a Developmental Skill
by Ellen Lipstein, MD, MPH and Sarah Beal, PhD; Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Members of SMDM are leaders in developing strategies and interventions to support adults making medical decisions, whether it be policymakers, healthcare providers or individual patients. As we look towards the October Annual meeting focused on Decision Making Across the Lifespan, it seems appropriate to consider how decision makers develop, from childhood through adulthood.
Adolescence represents a transition period from concrete, present-focused thinking to abstract thinking with increasing consideration of the future. Within the context of this developmental milieu, parents, policy-makers, and healthcare providers have the opportunity to aid adolescents in honing their capacity to engage in medical decision making. Like most tasks, participating in medical decisions comes easily to some, while others require more active training and assistance to develop this crucial skill. 
Ideally, once they have the capacity to express preferences, all children would learn to be active participants in medical decision making through the thoughtful use of developmentally-appropriate decision opportunities. For example, it would be developmentally inappropriate for a toddler to decide whether or not to take a medication; however, asking her whether she wants to take it from a medication cup or a syringe introduces her to the idea of medical decision making. As the child grows and develops so too does the appropriate level of decision participation, until, as an older adolescent, the patient can actively participate in a shared decision about what treatment will be best in light of her goals and preferences. However, many pediatric patients are given only limited opportunities to engage in developmentally appropriate decision making. As a result, patients are often unprepared to transition to the adult healthcare system, contributing to poor health outcomes.
The lack of systematic, evidence-based approaches for engaging children and adolescents in medical decision making has limited opportunities for developing decision-making skills, relying largely upon the foresight and intervention of parents and healthcare providers. To ensure that adult patients are prepared to participate in medical decisions, we must start earlier by addressing the developmentally-appropriate decision support needs of pediatric and adolescent patients. SMDM members have the opportunity to address these critical healthcare delivery needs, by developing innovative, evidence-based methods to improve decision making across the lifespan.
Ankur Pandya, PhD
Lyndon James,
Teaching MDM: Know Your Audience
by Ankur Pandya, PhD and Lyndon James, MD, MPH; Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health

On a sunny afternoon at SMDM 2017 in Pittsburgh, members of the MDM Teaching Interest Group met to share their teaching experiences. One after another, our colleagues recounted the difficulty of delivering a comprehensive decision analysis curriculum under the yoke of time pressure. There is no easy answer to this problem but, following a lengthy debate, the group reached a consensus: the curriculum should fit the specific learning needs of the student group.

One of the keys to an excellent teaching curriculum lies in understanding the needs of your specific audience. From our discussions with MDM members, there tend to be four camps of decision science scholars.

  • First are the End Users; these are typically clinicians or policy makers, and the majority of their interaction with the field is by consuming the decision analytic literature and related guidance. They need to know how to appreciate the literature for the purposes of making decisions, often quickly. Time for teaching may be especially limited in this group (e.g., medical residents).

  • Second are the Model Producers; these students learn the methods of decision analysis in more depth, so that they can produce useful models to inform decision making. Methods may differ depending on their focus, but a broad appreciation of modelling techniques is worthwhile. 

  • Third are the scholars of Decision Psychology (or “Descriptive” decision science) and Shared Decision Making; these students wish to learn how people decide, whether or not that follows rational decision-making models and rules. Those involved in Shared Decision Making especially need to know about the interaction between decision maker and patient. 

  • Fourth are the Theorists; these students must learn the axiomatic method of economic reasoning and mathematics underlying decision analytic methods. There are many theoretical disciplines, but some are presented as examples. 

We hope that by reflecting on your teaching audience, you will be able to refine what’s taught to make the best use of your teaching time. We welcome you all to Montreal for SMDM North America 2018 to continue the conversation!
Figure 1: Diagram representing the four major groups in the Medical Decision Making student body. Crossover topics for all four groups are highlighted in the central purple area. CEA – Cost Effectiveness Analysis
Mark Liebow,
A Slow Health Policy Summer
by Mark Liebow, MD, MPH; Mayo Clinic

The U.S. Congress usually spends part of its summer working on appropriations bills for the next fiscal year, which begins on October 1 for the Federal Government. Lately, it hasn’t got them done in time, so we have continuing resolutions, “minibus” bills, or, their big brother, omnibus bills to keep the government going from the beginning to the end of the fiscal year. The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation has been making better progress this summer than its Senate counterpart in getting bills done, even the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education bill, traditionally one of the most controversial bills. While these bills are far from final, the appropriators have been rejecting the Trump administration’s plan to cut funding deeply for research agencies (and merge the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality into the National Institutes of Health (NIH)). The NIH would get more than a $1 billion increase in funding in the House bill. 

However, it is an election year and many legislators want to go home and campaign, so the chances of all appropriations bills being passed by Congress before the end of September is very small. The next issue of this newsletter will likely bring news of the first continuing resolution, which normally means spending at the same level as in Fiscal Year 2018, at least for a while. 

Robert Redfield, a virologist and AIDS researcher, became Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March. He had not been at the Centers before that. His tenure so far has not been controversial. 

The Justice Department, in an unusual move, refused to defend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) against a suit by Texas that claimed that Congress’s 2017 abolition of the penalty for not buying health insurance (as part of the tax cut bill) made the rest of the ACA unconstitutional. The Justice Department wouldn’t go that far but suggested to the judge in the case that several of the key (and popular) insurance reforms should be struck down. This has faced political opposition. Many legal scholars have derided the theory offered in the case. The case has not yet gone to trial and if Texas wins, there will certainly be an appeal, but a final victory for Texas would cost millions of people their health insurance and affect profoundly the finances of academic medical centers. 

An unusually large number of House members have resigned or are not running for re-election and there have been predictions of a “wave” election favoring Democrats. At the very least, many members of Congress will be new and some political analysts think Democrats will take control of the House. The Senate has fewer retirements and is not predicted to have as many seats change party in the election, so change in party control is less likely. 
SMDM 40th Annual Meeting:
Decision Making Across the Lifespan
Meeting co-chairs: Holly Witteman, PhD; William Dale, MD, PhD; Isabel Jordan, Parent/Patient Partner and Beverly Canin, Patient Partner

This year's Annual Meeting will be held from October 13 - 17, 2018 at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, QC, Canada. 

For more than four decades, SMDM members have sought to improve the health care experiences and health of people at every stage of life. There are differences in the health issues confronting people at different life stages, and there are also commonalities bridging different stages. As SMDM reaches middle age and looks ahead to the next 40 years and beyond, the 2018 Annual Meeting will bring together patients, families, health professionals, policymakers, researchers, and other stakeholders to discuss the latest evidence about making better decisions for better health. The 40th Annual Meeting will be a Patients Included™ meeting, where patients will be in attendance and will appear as presenters. 

The Keynote speaker is Monica E. Peek, MD, MPH, MSc. Dr. Peek will give the Keynote Address on Monday, October 15 at 8:30 AM on How Structural Inequities Impact Health Disparities Across the Lifespan: Lessons for Medical Decision Making. 

Visit the 40th Annual Meeting Homepage for more information. Meeting registration and the scientific program will be posted to the website in early August. We look forward to seeing you in Montreal this October!
#SMDM18 #PatientsIncluded
SMDM 17th Biennial European Conference Recap
The SMDM 17th Biennial European Conference was held from 10 - 12 June in Leiden, The Netherlands. Thank you to conference co-chairs Anne Stiggelbout, PhD and Ewout Steyerberg, PhD for planning a wonderful and enriching scientific conference. A European Conference attendance record was set with over 300 attendees from 26 countries! Thank you to all who attended and made the conference a success!
SMDM 2018 Board of Trustees Election: Voting is now open!
All SMDM members in good standing as of June 1, 2018 are eligible to vote. Instructions for voting along with candidate biographies were e-mailed to all SMDM members in good standing. Reminder voting e-mails will be sent to all members who have not voted throughout July and August until the voting deadline. If you have any questions regarding voting, please contact

This year, SMDM members are electing a President-Elect, Vice President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer Elect and 3 Trustees, one of whom will be designated as an International Trustee.

The process for electing the International Trustee is as follows:

  • Among the nominees for the three Trustee positions, the Nominations Committee has selected two candidates who are eligible for the International Trustee position: Esther de Bekker-Grob and Kine Pedersen.

  • Among the nominees who are eligible for the International Trustee position, the nominee with the most votes will be elected to that position.

  • Of the remaining nominees, the two nominees with the most votes will be elected as Trustees of the Board.

2018 SMDM Slate of Officer & Trustee Candidates

President-Elect (3 year term; 1 to be elected)
Michael Kattan, PhD
Lisa Prosser, PhD

Vice President-Elect (2 year term; 1 to be elected)
Elisabeth Fenwick, PhD, MSc
Mary Politi, PhD

Secretary-Treasurer Elect (3 year term; 1 to be elected)
Ava John-Baptiste, PhD
Marieke de Vries, PhD

Trustees (3-year term; 3 to be elected)
Fernando Alarid-Escudero, PhD
Esther de Bekker-Grob, PhD (International Trustee Nominee)
Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH (Nominated by Petition)
Janel Hanmer, MD, PhD
Jeffrey Hoch, PhD
Kine Pedersen, PhD (International Trustee Nominee)
Victoria Shaffer, PhD

An important benefit of your membership in SMDM is the privilege to vote for leaders to represent YOUR Society. Your participation helps to build and enhance the Society now and into the future. Results will be announced via e-mail to the membership the following week after voting closes.

Voting closes on Friday, August 17, 2018 at 3:00 PM Eastern Time.
Nominations sought for naming of the Lee B. Lusted Award in QMTD Category for the Student Awards
SMDM seeks nominations of exceptional candidates who have made contributions in the area of Quantitative Methods & Theoretical Developments (QMTD) to have the Lee B. Lusted Student Awards in QMTD named after him/her. The honoree will have the sub-award named for him/her for five years.

Candidates for the QMTD sub-award will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
  • Made a seminal contribution to the field
  • Ongoing contributions/involvement with the Society
  • Role in teaching and mentoring
The goal is for the named set of awards to reflect the diversity of our SMDM community as well as the diversity of our research as a Society. There are five categories for the Lee B. Lusted Awards: Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making, Quantitative Methods and Theoretical Developments, Applied Health Economics, Heath Services and Policy Research, and Patient and Stakeholder Preferences and Engagement. For the period 2017-2022, the Lee B. Lusted Student Award in the Decision Psychology & Shared Decision Making (DEC) category is named in honor of Dr. Margaret Holmes-Rovner

Nominations should be less than one page and include the nominee's CV. Please submit your nominees by Friday, August 10, 2018 by completing a brief nomination form via the button below.
Call for SMDM Publications Committee Chair
SMDM seeks a member volunteer to serve as chair of the SMDM Publications Committee to succeed outgoing chair Dominick Frosch. The SMDM Publications Committee develops the general policies of the Society with regard to its publications and reports to the Board at least annually.

Publications Committee Chair responsibilities include: setting agendas and chairing quarterly committee calls, liaising with journal and newsletter Editorial Staff, overseeing progress on committee projects and initiatives, and providing committee updates to the Society’s Board of Trustees.
Candidates should e-mail SMDM President Uwe Siebert at with their interest or with any questions.
Latest News From Your Fellow Members
Samira A. Rahimi, Eng, PhD, Université Laval, and colleagues recently published an article in the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR). In this article, authors identified factors influencing the intention of health professionals to use a decision aid during prenatal visits for decisions about Down syndrome screening. (
Michael Kattan, PhD, Chair of the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences at Cleveland Clinic , has been elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA). The designation of ASA Fellow has been a significant honor for nearly 100 years. Under ASA bylaws, the Committee on Fellows can elect up to one-third of one percent of the total association membership as fellows each year. Individuals are nominated by their ASA-member peers. To be selected, nominees must have an established reputation and have made outstanding contributions to statistical science. The formal induction ceremony will be in Vancouver this coming July. ( )
Elizabeth M. Schoenfeld , MD, MS, and her research team recently published the first study of Emergency Department patients' perspectives of Shared Decision-Making . Their qualitative study found that patients almost always want some degree of involvement in decision-making, but were often unaware of decisions being made. Many felt they were knowledgeable enough to be involved, but noted that they wouldn't offer their opinions without an explicit invitation from their clinician.

Elizabeth M. Schoenfeld , MD, MS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School – Baystate, Springfield, MA, and a researcher at the Institute for Healthcare Delivery and Population Science at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA.
*corresponding author: ( )

Sarah L. Goff , MD is an Associate Professor in the Division of General Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School-Baystate and at the Institute for Healthcare Delivery and Population Science at Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, MA.

Gwendolyn Downs , DO was a resident in the Department of Emergency Medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School – Baystate, Springfield, MA, at the time the research was performed

Robert J. Wenger , DO is a resident in the Department of Emergency Medicine, at University of Massachusetts Medical School – Baystate, Springfield, MA

Peter K. Lindenauer , MD, MSc, is Professor of Medicine and the Director, Institute for Healthcare Delivery and Population Science, University of Massachusetts Medical School – Baystate

Kathleen M. Mazor , EdD is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Associate Director of the Meyers Primary Care Institute.
After 15 years on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, David Vanness , PhD will be joining the College of Health and Human Development at Penn State University as Professor of Health Policy and Administration this fall. (
Syllene Nunes, MD, MSc, PhD, is the Country Clinical Solutions Manager at Abbott Diagnostics Brazil. In this position, I continue to do my work for sustainability in healthcare, helping clients and patients achieving better outcomes and exploring big data management with simple and cost effective tools like utilization management and clinical decision support. Clinical lab big data can contribute a lot with population health management, giving new opportunities to improve people’s health as well as support more prevention! I will give a lecture in the XIII Reunião Latino-americana da Associação Latino-americana de laboratórios (ALADIL) 2018. (
Michael Hagen, MD, retired January 1, 2018, from his position as Senior President of the American Board of Family Medicine. He had held that position since 2007; prior to that he served as Vice President for Assessment Methods Development from 2002-2007. Dr. Hagen continues to teach part-time as a Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. (
Tanya GK Bentley , MS, PhD, has recently transitioned from health services research in pharmaceuticals and medical devices to that in mind-body medicine. She has particular interest in the effectiveness of voluntary, regulated breathing practices on various health outcomes. She looks forward to meeting fellow SMDMers who are also working in the mind-body or integrative medicine space. ( )
Laurent Metz, MD, MBA, Head of Health Economics and Market Access for Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Asia Pacific, has been appointed Chair of the Medical/Clinical Affairs Committee of the Asia Pacific Medical Technologies Association (APACMED). (
Annette O'Connor, PhD, MScN, has been appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada for her foundational leadership and pioneering research in the field of shared decision making, through which she has championed patient engagement in health care-related decisions.
Allan Detsky, MD, PhD, has been appointed a Member of the Order of Canada for his advanced economic expertise on the Canadian health care system, notably with respect to clinical policy making through cost-effective enhancements to improve patient outcomes.
What Are You Working On?
Connect and collaborate with your fellow members on their latest projects:

Elizabeth Thomas, PhD, Temple University (

I am PI on an NIMH K08 Award that seeks to develop and pilot test a peer-delivered decision support intervention for emerging adults with early psychosis. The purpose of the intervention is to facilitate shared decision-making with providers and engagement in evidence-based care. Currently, we are conducting qualitative interviews with emerging adults with early psychosis, seeking to understand decision points of particular difficulty during the early stage of treatment and related decision-making needs. Then, based on the Ottawa Decision Support Framework and in collaboration with key stakeholders and content experts, we will develop a decision coaching intervention that is tailored to meet emerging adults' decision-making needs. Peer specialists, who are individuals with lived experience of psychosis and who have received training to provide support to others, will receive specialized training to deliver the decision support intervention. We will then conduct a mixed methods, pilot trial to assess feasibility, acceptability, and the intervention’s potential impact on key decision-making targets.
Victoria Shaffer , PhD, University of Missouri ( )

Together with SMDM colleagues Brian Zikmund-Fisher , PhD, and Laura Scherer , PhD, we have recently published a paper in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine describing the Narrative Immersion Model, which was designed to address gaps in our theoretical understanding about how narratives work and their effects on health behavior. This model identifies parameters that predict the specific impact of different narrative types and describes the magnitude of narrative impact as increasing through successive layers of engagement with the narrative (e.g. interest, identification, immersion).
Thomas Gültzow , MSc, Maastricht University ( )

Are you an expert in the field of smoking cessation? Then we are looking for you!

Visor is a project of Maastricht University financed by the Dutch Cancer Society. The aim of this project is to develop an online decision aid to support smokers in making an informed decision regarding the use of an evidence-based smoking cessation tool to aid their quit attempt. Such decision aids have been shown to be effective in facilitating informed decision-making in health care generally and might also be effective in smoking cessation.

Up to this point there is no scientific expert agreement available on the required content and design of such an online decision aid for smokers. This is why we need input of experts in the field of smoking cessation. Participation exists of filling in 2 short online questionnaires of approximately 10 minutes each.

Are you a scientific expert and are you willing to help? Sign up for participation by filling in our contact form at our website or send an e-mail to and you will automatically receive the link for the first questionnaire in August 2018.
Student News
Congratulations to our upcoming graduates!

K.D. Valentine, PhD in Qualitative Psychology

Degree/Graduation Date: May 2019
Area: Qualitative Psychology
Position Seeking: Academic; Post-Doc
Advisor: Victoria Shaffer, PhD

Dissertation Title: Development of a Scale for Evaluating Screening Tests for Cancer:
Attributes Patients Emphasize (ESCAPE)

Presented at SMDM Annual Meeting: 
Development of the Cancer Screening Preferences Questionnaire (2017)
Cognitive Biases in Medical Decisions (2016)
Interest in Cancer Screenings Tests That Lack Benefit (2015)

Short Courses attended at the SMDM Annual Meeting:
Stated-Preference Methods: Design, Analysis, and Interpretation (2017)

SMDM Interest Group Participation:
Decision Psychology Interest Group

Here are the most recent job opportunities since our last newsletter. SMDM members can stay current on the newest opportunities in the Resources Section of SMDM Connect.
Even though we are only in August, generous SMDM members have begun contributing to the 2018 Annual Fund! Donors can target their contributions to support the overall goals of our Society or to support one of our award programs. Please join us in thanking the following people for their contributions to the 2018 Annual Fund!
The SMDM Lifetime Contributors list acknowledges the SMDM members who have made contributions to the Annual Fund over the years. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to everyone who has supported our Society!
University of Michigan
Deputy Editor
Netherlands Cancer Institute