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Behaviour Change

UK Society for Behavioural Medicine (UKSBM): 12th Annual Conference in Cardiff

14 December 2016
The organising committee: Dr Mark Kelson, Nigel Kirby, Dr Rachel McNamara, Lianna Angel, Liz Randell, Dr Eleri Owen-Jones,  Dr Lauren Copeland (from left).
The organising committee: Dr Mark Kelson, Nigel Kirby, Dr Rachel McNamara, Lianna Angel, Liz Randell, Dr Eleri Owen-Jones, Dr Lauren Copeland (from left).

The 12th UKSBM conference, organised by a team from the South East Wales Trials Unit (SEWTU) based in the Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University, lead by Dr Rachel McNamara, was a resounding success. The theme chosen for the conference was “Complex interventions in a complex world” reflecting our own areas of interest and expertise.

A Personal Reflection

It was my first time attending this conference and I was very impressed with the range and standard of presentations. Just before the conference began there were three pre-conference workshops. The Cardiff team hosted one on designing and reporting feasibility and pilot studies and it was a great opportunity to share information and experiences and to meet some of the conference delegates.

Centre for Trials Research Studies

There was lots of centre representation with oral presentations and posters from the unit including the the Helpmedoit! study, the ENGAGE-HD trial, ANDREA-LD study, eCATALyST, Mam-Kind, GASP, Strengthening Families Programme, and BRAINTRAIN. It was a wonderful showcase of the range and complexity of research into behavioural medicine that we lead.

Day 1: Beginning with Professor Peter Elwood

The first day of the conference began with an inspirational talk from Prof Peter Elwood, who summarised an entire career, paid tribute to some unsung preventative medicine heroes and issued a challenge to young researchers to continue the work of promoting healthy behaviours.

This lead straight into oral presentations. There were a range of different types of presentations with longer oral (12 mins) and shorter oral (3 mins) which worked really well. The first day closed with prizewinning presentations and a keynote from Marcus Munafò on whether science really is self correcting and what we can do about it.

Conference Dinner in the Hilton

The conference dinner was held in the Hilton, who did a fantastic job of sticking to the healthy eating brief across the whole conference. We would also like to thank the jazz/swing band Belleville and associated lindyhop dancers, for providing the excellent after dinner entertainment.

Day 2: Beginning with Professor Paul Aveyard

The second day began with a fantastic presentation from Prof Paul Aveyard on his recent brief weight loss intervention along with some insights into how the study came about.

This was followed by more presentations both short and long. Finally, the conference closed with a presentation from Matt Field on the transition of laboratory based experimental research into more real-world settings.

Delegate Feedback


The response from delegates in person and on social media was overwhelmingly positive with many commenting on how well organised the event was and how picturesque the venue and setting were. With the castle illuminated at night and festooned with festive decoration and the winter wonderland right outside, it certainly was an atmospheric scene.

I was left with the impression of a society in rude health with a young and enthusiastic membership and I look forward to adding many more UKSBM conferences in the future.


Dr Mark Kelson