The function of the ISBM is to conduct activities that stimulate research and practice and coordinate communication and interaction within the worldwide behavioral medicine community. One important way to disseminate the concepts and findings of behavioral Medicine throughout the world is through the international congresses sponsored by the ISBM. The first international Congress of Behavioral Medicine was held in Uppsala, Sweden in 1990; a second was held in Hamburg, Germany in 1992; the third was held in Amsterdam in 1994; the fourth was held in Washington DC, USA in 1996; the fifth was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1998 ; the sixth was held in Brisbane, Australia in 2000; the seventh was held in Helsinki, Finland in 2002, the eighth was held in Mainz, Germany in 2004, the ninth was held in Bangkok, Thailand in 2006, the tenth was held in Tokyo, Japan in 2008, the eleventh was held in Washington DC, USA in 2010, the twelfth was held in Budapest, Hungary in 2012, and the next will take place in Groningen, the Netherlands in 2014. For 2016, Melbourne has recently been approved as the venue by the Governing Council.
A second important way to disseminate the concepts and findings of behavioral medicine throughout the world is through a major scientific journal. The International Journal of Behavioral Medicine (IJBM) published by Springer Science+Business Media S.A., is the official journal of the ISBM. Its first issue was in January, 1994. The journal is devoted to furthering an understanding of scientific relations between sociocultural, psychosocial and behavioral principles on the one hand and biological processes, physical health and illness on the other.
A third important way to disseminate the concepts and findings throughout the world is through teaching seminars. Thus, for example, the ISBM in conjunction with the World Health Organization and Karolinska Institute conducted a four-day interdisciplinary educational seminar in Stockholm, Sweden, on "Behavioral Medicine Approaches to Primary Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease." Other seminars have been held in: Caracas, Venezuela; Bangkok, Thailand; and Vindeln, Sweden. Another important activity of the ISBM has involved liaison with other professional organizations. Thus, for example, the ISBM has sponsored symposia and/or programs at the European Society of Cardiology and the International Conference on Preventive Cardiology. Other important activities of the ISBM include education and training through the preparation of curricula and the facilitation of international collaborative research studies.