Melissa Anderson, MS

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“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

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

Bowles EJA, Walker RL, Anderson ML, Dublin S, Crane PK, Larson EB. Risk of Alzheimer's disease or dementia following a cancer diagnosis. PLoS One. 2017 Jun 20;12(6):e0179857. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0179857. eCollection 2017. PubMed

Turner JA, Anderson ML, Balderson BH, Cook AJ, Sherman KJ, Cherkin DC. Mindfulness-based stress reduction and cognitive-behavioral therapy for chronic low back pain: similar effects on mindfulness, catastrophizing, self-efficacy, and acceptance in a randomized controlled trial. Pain. 2016 Nov;157(11):2434-2444.doi:10.1097/j.pain.0000000000000635. PubMed

 

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