Conference Workshops


Using Stress Management Interventions To Improve Psychological, Biobehavioral and Health Outcomes in Individuals with Cancer

Michael Antoni

Half-Day Workshop

The workshop will run in the Afternoon of Tuesday, Sep 03

Room: Asimon, Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel

Since various forms of psychological adversity are associated with biobehavioral stress processes that predict poorer health outcomes in patients with cancer, behavioral interventions have been developed to improve skills for adapting to the challenges of cancer diagnosis and treatment. These may reduce adversity during treatment and improve long-term clinical outcomes by modulating biobehavioral processes during and after primary treatment.

Designed for clinicians and researchers to (1) present the underlying theoretical model used to develop group-based cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM), (2) detail the Relaxation-based and Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)-based modules, which comprise the 10-week CBSM intervention that has been validated in a wide variety of clinical populations, (3) summarize randomized controlled trials in patients with cancer showing that CBSM reduces adversity and improves psychological adaptation, and modulates neuroendocrine and immunologic/inflammatory processes during primary treatment, and improves longer-term clinical outcomes, and (4) provide samples of ongoing and planned work designed to test specific components of CBSM in briefer formats, linguistic and cultural adaptations, and use of remote delivery platforms presented as a stimulus for discussion of future avenues for psycho-oncology researchers and practitioners to consider.

Didactic lecture and handouts focused on delivering interventions in breast and prostate cancer patients and methods for conducting novel research studies to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of stress management interventions in cancer populations.

Intended Participants
Clinicians and researchers working with diagnosed cancer patients.

Improving behavior change intervention effectiveness: determining determinant importance and optimizing behavior change techniques effectiveness

Rik Crutzen, Gjalt-Jorn Ygram Peters

Full-Day Workshop

Room: Elafiti 4, Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel

The workshop will run in the Morning and Afternoon of Tuesday, Sep 03. You can select to participate in either of the two sessions or whole day.

Workshop overview abstract

The overarching aim is to introduce cutting edge approaches to the selection or description of determinants and behavior change techniques in intervention development, analysis, and reporting. Note that this is a combination of two closely related workshops. They can be followed either as one full day workshop, or as two half day workshops.

Intended participants: (early career) behavior change researchers & practitioners who develop interventions

Morning: Determining determinant importance

Objectives: After this workshop, participants …

  • … can work with an eclectic approach to determinant research
  • … have a basic understanding of how literature syntheses, qualitative methods, and quantitative methods complement each other in determinant research
  • … can apply the Confidence Interval-Based Estimation of Relevance (CIBER) approach to determinant selection
  • … can select determinants and sub-determinants as intervention targets and justify this selection
  • An introductory lecture of ~1 hour
  • An interactive session of ~1.5 hours
  • Wrap-up with feedback on interactive session of ~0.5 hour

Product: Participants will produce a CIBER plot, either with their own data, or with an open dataset the facilitators will provide

Afternoon: Optimising behaviour change techniques effectiveness


Objectives: After this workshop, participants can …

  • … explain the relationship between determinants and behavior change techniques
  • … explain how evolutionary learning processes underlie behavior change techniques
  • … translate behavior change principles into practical applications
  • … fill and generate Acyclic Behavior Change Diagrams (ABCDs)


  • An introductory lecture of ~1 hour
  • An interactive session of ~1.5 hours
  • Wrap-up with feedback on interactive session of ~0.5 hour

Product: Participants will produce an ABCD, either with their own data, or with an open dataset the facilitators will provide

Convenor and Facilitator details

Rik Crutzen (Maastricht University, the Netherlands) and Gjalt-Jorn Peters (Open University, the Netherlands) have published a number of articles on behavior change theory and practice. They have also developed a number of innovative solutions to facilitate the development of new, and analysis of existing, behavior change interventions.

Treating Patients with Opioid Addiction and Chronic Pain Using Empirically Validated Clinical Techniques

Amy Wachholtz, Amy Frers

Workshop has been cancelled

Motivational Interviewing Foundation Skills for health practice and health services research.

Konstadina Griva

Full-Day Workshop

The workshop will run in the Morning and Afternoon of Tuesday, Sep 03

Workshop times: 08:30 – 12:30, 13:30 – 16:30

Room: Karaka, Valamar Argosy Dubrovnik Hotel

The application of Motivational Interviewing (MI) continues to grow at a rapid pace. Over the last decades practitioners and researchers extended MI well beyond alcohol and drug use disorders to areas as diverse as health care, preventive care, criminal justice, and education. Common in all settings and applications is the challenge of behavior change.
The proposed workshop is designed as introductory level workshop for professionals interested in learning the MI – either with the aim to infuse into regular health encounters or as part of research interventions. This 1-day course for a total of 8 hours of training on how to use core motivational interviewing skills in conversations about health-related change or intervention activities. The aims are to familiarize with the MI framework and key skills and to explore how to use as part of clinical care OR research
Session 1 (am) introduces participants to the theory, spirit and principles in using MI to help people make positive changes and the key communication skills– emphasis will be given to MI consistent advice giving skills as advice/education is often the cornerstone of many intervention.
Session 2 (pm) is dedicated to practice– the application of core MI (micro-) skills in series of real play and simulation-based training exercises.

A wide range of learning methods will be used, including demonstration, video observation, brief content lectures, discussion and focused practice. Above all will be the creation of a constructive, respectful and enjoyable atmosphere for learning and discussion.

Intended Participants
This workshop is aimed at people who want to learn Motivational Interviewing. It will be both an introduction to/overview of MI, AND an exploration of how to shape MI consistent health care / or health research. It will be of interest to both newcomers and those more familiar with MI.

Using the Person-Based Approach to develop effective and engaging behaviour change interventions

Kate Morton, Rosie Essery, Katy Sivyer, Kate Greenwell

Half-Day Workshop

The workshop will run in the Morning of Tuesday, Sep 03

Time: 09:30 – 13:00

Room: Asimon, Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel


  • To introduce the Person-Based Approach for intervention planning, development, implementation and evaluation
  • To provide detailed examples of how the Person-Based Approach has been applied to create successful behaviour change interventions
  • To show how the Person-Based Approach complements theory and evidence-based approaches, and can be integrated with patient and public involvement
  • To enable participants to practise using techniques from the Person-Based Approach with facilitation from the team.


The workshop will begin with an introduction to the Person-Based Approach, illustrating how this complements theory and evidence-based approaches to developing interventions and giving a clear demonstration of the methods used for intervention planning, development and optimisation for real life settings.
Working examples will showcase how the Person-Based Approach is used to optimise behaviour change interventions for patients and healthcare practitioners across diverse health conditions (hypertension, antibiotic resistance, cognitive impairment, eczema, and weight loss). These real-life case studies will show how the Person-Based Approach is used at each stage of development and optimisation to help ensure that behaviour change interventions are feasible, engaging, persuasive and effective for all ages and abilities. We will also demonstrate how the Person-Based Approach can be flexibly adapted depending on the context of the intervention.
Interactive activities will be interspersed throughout the workshop to enable delegates to try out techniques with opportunity for discussion and feedback from the facilitators. These include opportunities to develop guiding principles to inform intervention planning, and to use the table of changes – a systematic process for facilitating rapid decision-making during intervention development, both of which are key tools from the Person-Based Approach.

Intended Participants
This workshop will be suitable for people who are new to the PBA, or those who would like to know more about how to use it in practice.

Fidelity and process evaluation of complex behaviour change interventions

Wendy Hardeman, Elaine Toomey

Half-Day Workshop

Workshop time:  08.30 – 12.30, Tuesday, Sep 03

Room: Elafiti 2, Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel

Workshop information: The workshop schedule and activity materials are available at the following link: Please bring a laptop with you to the workshop or print the activity materials in advance.

Our workshop aims to introduce and develop knowledge and skills in enhancing and assessing fidelity within health behaviour change interventions and process evaluation.
After the workshop, participants should (1) be able to explain the importance of process evaluation and the role of fidelity; (2) understand fidelity as a broader concept: i.e. incorporating, enhancing, assessing and reporting across intervention stages and at multiple stakeholder levels; (3) understand common fidelity frameworks, their pros and cons and utility; (4) understand fidelity assessment strategies, including pros and cons and selection criteria.
An international survey of fidelity knowledge, practice and attitudes (Toomey et al.; found that despite good awareness of fidelity and its importance, poor knowledge and understanding limits how fidelity is addressed. Participants identified a need for further training and education, which this workshop addresses by disseminating knowledge and skills from our own fidelity research in behaviour change and implementation science. There is great interest in fidelity, evidenced by a well-attended State-Of-The-Art presentation and symposium (convened by Toomey) at EHPS 2018. Our previous workshops at the International Behavioural Trials Network Conference (Montreal, June 2018), Health Behaviour Change Trials Winter School (Galway, October 2018), and 3rd Implementation Science conference (Utrecht, February 2019) were highly evaluated.

Interactive strategies (group-work, question-and-answer sessions and hands-on practical activities) will facilitate engagement and learning. Examples of activities include rating fidelity frameworks in terms of practicality and applicability; generating strategies to enhance and assess fidelity using intervention descriptions; balancing fidelity with the need to adapt delivery; and defining action plans for own fidelity research following the workshop.

Intended Participants
Researchers and research students with any level of expertise and experience in intervention fidelity, and an interest in applying fidelity principles to developing, implementing and evaluating interventions.

Ecological momentary assessment (EMA) methods in health psychology: an introductory workshop

Daniel Powell, Gertraud (Turu) Stadler

Half-Day Workshop

The workshop will run in the Morning of Tuesday, Sep 03

Workshop time: 09:30 – 13:00

Room: Elafiti 3, Valamar Lacroma Dubrovnik Hotel


Ecological momentary assessment (EMA), otherwise known as ambulatory assessment or the experience sampling method, is a method of collecting relatively-intensive repeated measures in daily life. This workshop will provide a “how to” session on EMA research methods for those with interest in incorporating the method into their research.

On completion of the workshop, delegates will be able to:
(1) Explain the advantages and disadvantages of using EMA methods in health psychology
(2) Identify the potential for EMA studies across different domains: behavioural, cognitive, emotions, symptoms, and physiological.
(3) Formulate a within-person research question that is relevant to their own areas of interest
(4) Design an appropriate EMA study to address a specific research question
(5) Recognise the importance of having a theory of change in EMA research

The half-day workshop will be participatory and interactive, and will assume no or little prior knowledge. Participants will debate how EMA is used in Health Psychology, recognising the benefits but also the potential pitfalls to watch out for. Delegates will learn how to formulate and distinguish within-person from between-person research questions. EMA design will be explored in a short mock protocol task in small groups, with theory of change highlighted as a means of informing design choices. Finally, delegates will be introduced to the multilevel datasets that are typically yielded from EMA studies, addressing some fundamental practical questions: What does multilevel even mean? What does a multilevel dataset look like in SPSS? How straightforward is data linkage across devices? How do I determine statistical power? How much of a problem is missing data?

Intended Participants
We welcome all researchers with an interest in designing EMA studies and analysing resultant data.

Applying mindfulness techniques to enhance health and well-being

Rebecca Acabchuk, Suzanne Meunier, Natalie Griffin

Full-Day Workshop

The workshop will run in the Morning and Afternoon of Tuesday, Sep 03

Times: 08:30 – 12:30, 13:30 – 17:00

Room: Galijun, Valamar Argosy Dubrovnik Hotel

Mindfulness is a fast growing topic of interest in research, clinical settings and in the general public. Mindfulness techniques and practices (e.g., acceptance, non-judgement, compassion) can be used to promote wellness, either alone or strategically combined with common behaviour change strategies (e.g., goal setting, self-monitoring) to improve long-term behaviour change across various health domains. To successfully incorporate mindfulness in rigorous research and practice, professionals and researchers must be current on the latest science and potential implementation pitfalls. Furthermore, resonate with the conference theme, it is helpful to cultivate a mindfulness practice of one’s own to better serve others.

● Overview current scientific findings on mindfulness/meditation interventions, apps, and tools.
●Illustrate through experiential learning how mindfulness techniques can be strategically combined with behaviour change strategies to establish long-term behaviour change across various health domains.
● Address obstacles, pitfalls, and common misconceptions about mindfulness practices.
● Provide strategies for maximizing benefits of mindfulness in daily life.

Activities will centre around active participation and experiential learning and include stimulating group discussions using the “possibility thinking” protocol, worksheets, and group exercises (including guided mindfulness practices that highlights workshop objectives). Attendees will be provided with a workshop manual that includes an outline of material, resource list, and strategies for incorporating mindfulness into research design, education, health promotion, clinical practice, personal/professional development, and tips for tailoring mindfulness programs for specific audiences.

Intended Participants
●Anyone interested in learning more about using mindfulness-based interventions, incorporating mindfulness techniques into educational settings, clinical practice and/or behaviour change interventions/programs, or developing/strengthening their own mindfulness practice for personal well-being to better serve others.
● No prior experience in mindfulness training or behaviour change techniques is required, all experience levels are welcome and participants are encouraged to contribute.