Melissa Anderson, MS

Anderson_Melissa_L_205x293.jpg

“My work is rewarding because we study a wide variety of scientific questions that address major public health priorities and our results have an impact.”

Melissa Anderson, MS

Senior Biostatistician, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Biography

Biostatistician Melissa Anderson, MS, has collaborated on a wide range of health care topics throughout her career, with an emphasis on preventive care. Her recent research has focused on cancer screening and cardiovascular health. Ms. Anderson worked with Beverly Green, MD, MPH, to determine whether a centralized system of stepped increases in support improves uptake and long-term adherence to colorectal cancer screening.  Ms. Anderson and Dr. Green have also collaborated to answer important questions regarding cardiovascular health, including whether a patient’s cardiovascular risks can be defined using automated electronic health record data and if this method can identify high-risk patients. Other areas of interest are blood pressure measurement variability, and diagnostic accuracy of various blood pressure measurement protocols.

Ms. Anderson has experience with longitudinal observational studies and has considerable expertise in the design and analysis of randomized clinical trials. She was the lead analyst for recent randomized trials of behavioral interventions to (1) promote smoking cessation and oral health behaviors among smoking quitline callers, (2) decrease sedentary time among older adults with obesity, and (3) improve pain and function outcomes through group-based cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction among patients with chronic back pain.  

Ms. Anderson received her master’s degree in biostatistics at the University of Washington in 1996.  Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in 2003, she worked at the Statistical Coordinating Center for the Cardiovascular Health Study, and the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. 

Research Interests and Experience

  • Biostatistics

    Randomized trials, diagnostic test accuracy, longitudinal data analysis, missing data methods

  • Behavior Change

    Physical activity, oral health care, smoking cessation

  • Cancer

    Breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening

    Cardiovascular Health

    Cardiovascular risk assessment, blood pressure measurement

  • Preventive Medicine

    Adherence to preventive care recommendations

Recent publications

Green BB, Fuller S, Anderson ML, Mahoney C, Mendy P, Powell SL. A quality improvement initiative to increase colorectal cancer (CRC) screening: collaboration between a primary care clinic and research team. J Fam Med. 2017;4(3). pii: 1115. doi: 10.26420/jfammed.2017.1115. Epub 2017 Apr 5. PubMed

Sethi R, Buchlak QD, Yanamadala V, Anderson ML, Baldwin EA, Mecklenburg RS, Leveque JC, Edwards AM, Shea M, Ross L, Wernli KJ. A systematic multidisciplinary initiative for reducing the risk of complications in adult scoliosis surgery. J Neurosurg Spine. 2017 Mar 31:1-7. doi: 10.3171/2016.11.SPINE16537. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Dublin S, Walker RL, Gray S, Hubbard RA, Anderson ML, Yu O, Montine TJ, Crane PK, Sonnen JA, Larson EB. Use of analgesics (opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and dementia related neuropathology in a community-based autopsy cohort. J Alzheimers Dis. 2017;58(2):435-448. doi: 10.3233/JAD-160374. PubMed

Cherkin DC, Anderson ML, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, Cook AJ, Hansen KE, Turner JA. Two-year follow-up of a randomized clinical trial of mindfulness-based stress reduction vs cognitive behavioral therapy or usual care for chronic low back pain. JAMA. 2017;317(6):642-644. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.17814. PubMed

Henrikson NB, Anderson ML, Opel DJ, Dunn J, Marcuse EK, Grossman DC. Longitudinal trends in vaccine hesitancy in a cohort of mothers surveyed in Washington state, 2013-2015. Public Health Rep. 2017 Jan 1:33354917711175. doi: 10.1177/0033354917711175. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

 

research into action

Blood-pressure_pic_Healthy_Hearts_study_-_1_column.jpg

Healthy Hearts Northwest helps small clinics improve care

A new study shows how a little supplemental support can result in big gains, especially in managing patients’ blood pressure.

innovating care

Fit-Kit-Colon-testing_1col.jpg

How to maximize screening for colon cancer

Research informs care as Kaiser Permanente Washington, exceeding 80 percent screening rate, launches home-based 'FIT First' pilot.

Read about it in News and Events.

improving care

H2N-Rural-Practice-Team_2_1col.jpg

Partnership with rural-health experts aims to improve heart care

Healthy Hearts Northwest is helping patients receive better care for cardiovascular conditions thanks to collaborators like Dr. L.J. Fagnan.

healthy findings blog

Woman looks out window reflectively

Can being accepting and mindful help you stop smoking?

Tobacco remains a public health priority. Dr. Jennifer McClure discusses her new findings comparing ’acceptance and commitment therapy’ to standard care.