The Intensive Longitudinal Health Behavior Network (ILHBN), supported under RFA-OD-17-004 and RFA-OD-17-005, was established in October 2018 as part of the National Institutes of Health’s Longitudinal Health Behaviors initiative to encourage research projects that explain underlying mechanisms and predict health behaviors within individuals over time utilizing intensive longitudinal, within-person protocols that leverage recent advances in mobile and wireless sensor technologies and big data analytics.
Behavioral science places strong emphasis on theoretical models to systematically explain and predict behaviors and events influencing health outcomes. Unfortunately, advances in health behavior theories and the efficacy of health behavior interventions are limited by difficulties in invoking sustained health behavior changes within person across time. Health behavior theory that focuses on between-person perspectives, though helpful in explaining why some people engage in health behaviors while others do not, are inadequate in providing insights into whether, when, why, and how various dynamic physical, social, and environmental/contextual factors work in isolation as well as interactively to facilitate or hinder individuals from engaging in certain behaviors at specific points in time.
The ILHBN research sites study such diverse health behavior changes as prevention of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, smoking, drug use, alcohol use, and sedentary behavior; and the promotion of mental health, sleep, and physical activities. The establishment of the ILHBN enables consolidation and building of a network of resources to enhance current and future theorizing, measurement, analysis, and implementation of sustainable health behavioral change mechanisms.
Mission and Goals
The overarching mission of the ILHBN is to develop an infrastructure to pursue well-designed collaborative projects and complementary site-specific studies that, collectively, accomplish the goals of:
- introducing innovations into longstanding health behavioral theories;
- advancing the field of theory-driven behavior change interventions; and
- providing a framework to guide future intensive longitudinal studies of health behaviors.