Bridging behavioral science with cancer prevention and control: Contributions of an NCI working group (2009-2019)

William M.P. Klein, Alexander J. Rothman, Jerry Suls

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Human behavior plays a central role in cancer-related morbidity and mortality. Much behavior is, in turn, attributable to several core biological, cognitive, emotional, motivational, and interpersonal processes. Understanding the systematic and interactive impact of these processes can inform efforts to address cancer-relevant outcomes such as tobacco use, reliance on cancer misinformation, engagement in genetic testing, adherence to treatment, and acceptance of palliative care. Here, we review efforts of the NCI-supported Cognitive, Affective, and Social Processes in Health Research working group. Since 2009, this group has endeavored to advance the integration of basic behavioral science with cancer prevention and control by addressing topics such as the degree to which behavioral interventions alter cognitions underlying behavior, how technological innovations might facilitate behavioral measurement and intervention in areas such as smoking cessation, whether decision science principles might be applied to genetic testing decisions, how the cognitive effects of chemotherapy impair self-regulation, and the extent to which emotional factors drive palliative care decisions. The group has initiated numerous activities to build capacity for research in these areas including state-ofthe-science meetings, written syntheses, conference symposia, and training workshops. We conclude with reflections about future needs as well as how to sustain such integrative efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-342
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Prevention Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

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  • Journal Article

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