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

Chubak J, Whitlock EP, Williams SB, Kamineni A, Burda BU, Buist DS, Anderson ML. Aspirin for the prevention of cancer incidence and mortality: systematic evidence reviews for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Apr 12. doi: 10.7326/M15-2117. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Green BB, Anderson ML, Chubak J, Baldwin LM, Tuzzio L, Catz S, Cole A, Vernon SW. Colorectal cancer screening rates increased after exposure to the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). J Am Board Fam Med. 2016;29(2):191-200. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2016.02.150290. PubMed

Cherkin DC, Sherman KJ, Balderson BH, Cook AJ, Anderson ML, Hawkes RJ, Hansen KE, Turner JA. Effect of mindfulness-based stress reduction vs cognitive behavioral therapy or usual care on back pain and functional limitations in adults with chronic low back pain: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2016 Mar 22-29;315(12):1240-9. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.2323. PubMed

Aiello Bowles EJ, Larson EB, Pong RP, Walker RL, Anderson ML, Yu O, Gray SL, Crane PK, Dublin S. Anesthesia exposure and risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: a prospective study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Feb 11. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14024. [Epub ahead of print].

Gray SL, Dublin S, Yu O, Walker RL, Anderson ML, Hubbard R, Crane PK, Larson EB. Benzodiazepine use and risk of incident dementia or cognitive decline: prospective population based study. BMJ. 2016 Feb 2;352:i90. doi: 10.1136/bmj.i90. PubMed

 

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