Health worker holding patient's hand

Columbia Roybal Center for Fearless Behavior Change

In 2019, Dr. Ian Kronish and Dr. Donald Edmondson, were awarded funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) to create the Columbia Roybal Center for Fearless Behavioral Change. One of 13 Roybal Centers nationally, the goal of this Center is to develop, test, and disseminate behavior change interventions that improve health behaviors after acute medical events that are common in aging populations.

Most adults will experience a serious medical event, such as a heart attack, stroke, or cancer diagnosis, at some point in their lifetimes. Our research has shown that the distress that arises from these events leads many patients to develop a heightened fear of having recurrent events. For many of these patients, this fear can lead patients to avoid the very health behaviors that reduce their risk. Accordingly, our Columbia Roybal Center applies the experimental medicine approach to develop and test scalable interventions to prevent or address these fear-based mechanisms. We currently have several pilot studies underway.

Our Center seeks to advance research in this area by providing funding and infrastructure support for pilot studies testing behavior change interventions consistent with our mission. Awarded pilot projects will receive up to $25,000 in funding for one year. Special consideration will be given to early-stage investigators, but all are encouraged to apply.