Workshops @ISBNPA2024, Omaha, May 20th, 2024

Experience Cutting-Edge Research and Innovation at ISBNPA2024 Pre-Conference Workshops in Omaha

The International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) is thrilled to announce a series of dynamic pre-conference workshops taking place in Omaha on May 20, 2024. These workshops will provide attendees with valuable insights into the latest advancements in cancer prevention, digital interventions, policy changes, technology integration, and participatory research.

Registrations for the ISBNPA2024 Annual Meeting in Omaha are OPEN.

Apps, Portals, and Platforms: Leveraging Technology to Advance Behavioral and Community Health Research – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in Developing and Rolling out Health Technologies

Facilitators: Maja Pedersen, PhD, Stanford University School of Medicine


📲 Discover the spectrum of technology used in furthering behavioral and community health research through an interactive, hands-on learning experience.

👁 Gain insights from case studies ranging from mobile apps to Big Data to Generative AI, advancing your understanding of the ever-evolving technology landscape.

🌍 Delve into one digitally integrated research method, Stanford University’s Our Voice, to demonstrate the types of challenges faced by academic researchers attempting to integrate technology into their work, and solutions that can help. Examples from diverse global regions will be provided, along with discussion of the potential of digital tools to ethically engage communities in co-produced research.

🤝 Engage in interactive breakout sessions focused on integrating technology to advance health equity in four key areas: Physical & Environmental Health; Social Environments; Service Environments; Economic & Work Environments

🗣️ Breakout groups will be organized by thematic areas and facilitated by researchers in the Our Voice network across the globe. Sessions include a brief case study, reflections and lessons learned from firsthand experiences with a community-engaged digital citizen science tool and platform, and opportunities for attendees to spark collaborative ideas in their own research areas.

Join us to explore, engage, and evolve your tech-driven initiatives!

Network of Early Career Researchers and Students of ISBNPA (NESI) Workshop

Facilitators: Stephen Barrett, Bendigo Health, Australia

Merling Phaswana, Wits University, South Africa


This workshop is for early career researchers (ECRs) and students who are interested in advancing their career development and enhancing their research networks. The workshop will be a half-day session.

Using a World Cafe Approach of Community Engagement to Address Socioeconomic Inequalities in Cancer Prevention and Management

Facilitators: Mary Hearst, University of Minnesota School of Nursing

Rebecca Beeken, PhD, University of Leeds, UK

Linda Trinh, PhD, University of Toronto, Canada

Emily Hill, PhD, RDN, University of Colorado, USA


The purpose of this workshop is to provide an introduction and apply the World Café process as a tool for community engagement and action. The World Cafe crosses socioeconomic boundaries and can illuminate determinants and strategies for supporting healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviors to reduce the risk of developing cancer and improve the outcomes after a cancer diagnosis. To reduce inequalities in cancer we need to ensure we are engaging with a range of communities to support their participation in our research studies and ensure that the interventions we develop are relevant and effective across socioeconomic conditions. A World Café is a strengths-based, culturally responsive, and participatory approach for engaging stakeholders in your research that both opens the research for a broader socioeconomic base and, at the same time, works as a more informal way for individuals to share opinions. The process is adaptable and can be used for diverse topic areas ranging from answering primary questions, validating and adding to existing data collections. As part of this workshop attendees will take part in an example World Cafe to explore experiences, challenges and priorities for our research community around addressing socioeconomic inequalities in cancer within behavioral nutrition and physical activity studies. 

Challenges and Opportunities to the Design, Implementation, Evaluation, and Scale-Up of Digital Interventions Targeting Children and Families: A Multiple Case Study Perspective

Facilitators: Dr. Nicole Nathan, The University of Newcastle

Mavra Ahmed, University of Toronto

Penny Love, Deakin University

Erin Hennessy, Tufts University

Rachel Sutherland, The University of Newcastle

Christopher Pfledderer, UT Health Houston

Taren Swindle, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences


Brief: Designing, implementing, and evaluating digital interventions targeted at children and families is a multifaceted process, holding the potential to improve the well-being and development of the younger generation. These interventions encompass a wide range of digital tools and platforms, spanning from educational apps and games to parenting support websites and virtual communities. Each phase of this journey presents unique challenges and opportunities, requiring thoughtful consideration of features to ensure effective interventions, robust technical details for content curation, and the continuous monitoring and evaluation needed for long-term implementation and sustainability.

Aim: The primary objective of this workshop is to equip participants with the foundational knowledge necessary for scaling up interventions in early care and education settings using digital methods.

Format: To achieve this goal, the workshop will feature a series of concise case studies that traverse the scale-up continuum, including the phases of design, implementation, and scale-up. Following these case studies, there will be a roundtable discussion and a hands-on workshop where participants will work in small groups to gain practical insights into the methods and approaches required. 

Unravelling the System of Policy and Environmental Changes: Lessons Learned from Natural Experiment Evaluations on Physical Activity

Facilitators: Dr. Nicole R den Braver, Amsterdam University Medical Centres

· Dr. Famke J.M. Mölenberg, department of Public Health, Erasmus University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

· Dr. Jack S. Benton. Division of Psychology and Mental Health, School of Health Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

· MSc Carel-Peter L van Erpecum, Department of Applied Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


This workshop will focus on the evaluation of policy and environmental changes to promote healthy and active living. Specifically, it will cover how we can unravel the system in which policy and decision making takes place, and how best to evaluate real-world policy and environmental changes using natural experimental methods. There will be three core areas of focus: (1) systems dynamics perspectives and how they can be used to unravel policy implementation processes; (2) challenges and solutions for the design, planning and conduct of prospectively designed natural experimental evaluations of policy and environmental changes; (3) the importance of methodological triangulation in natural experiment evaluation. To cover these areas, we will use the case study of the implementation of city-wide 20 mile-per-hour speed limits intervention in two major Dutch cities (i.e., Amsterdam and Rotterdam). By the end of the workshop, participants will have gained increased knowledge of using various novel methodologies at different stages of policy implementation and evaluation. Ultimately, this knowledge can be used to better understand how health policies are developed and formulated, collaborate with policymakers, and generate more policy-relevant and causal evidence, with the eventual aim of creating more effective policies and environmental changes aimed at improving population health. 

Navigating Process Evaluation in Participatory Research

Facilitators: Maïté Verloigne, Ghent University and Other SIG leaders


Using a participatory approach to develop and implement an intervention to promote healthy behaviour, is receiving increased attention in our field. The participatory approach entails a strong and active collaboration between academic researchers and important stakeholders (including the target group of the intervention) and ensures the intervention is tailored to the needs and characteristics of the stakeholders and the context in which it is being implemented. However, researchers often struggle with evaluating participatory studies, and more specifically with conducting a process evaluation, as it can be conducted differently than in more traditional research studies. Examples are that there are different “processes” that may be evaluated (i.e., not only the participatory developed intervention itself) and that process evaluation may provide iterative opportunities to gather input during the development of the intervention and adjust accordingly. Therefore, this workshop will focus on increasing skills on how to design a process evaluation of a participatory study, focusing on the what, when and how.