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

Biostatistician III, 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

Weissman J, Johnson JD, Anderson M, Hollender L, Huson T, Paranjpe A, Patel S, Cohenca N. Association between the presence of apical periodontitis and clinical symptoms in endodontic patients using cone-beam computed tomography and periapical radiographs. J Endod. 2015 Sep 5. pii: S0099-2399(15)00544-0. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2015.06.004. [Epub ahead of print].

Gray SL, Anderson M, Hubbard R. Anticholinergic use with incident dementia-reply. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(9):1577. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.2574. PubMed

Chubak J, Kamineni A, Buist DSM, Anderson ML, Whitlock EP. Aspirin use for the prevention of colorectal cancer: an updated systematic evidence review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2015 Sep. Report No.: 15-05228-EF-1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Evidence Syntheses, formerly Systematic Evidence Reviews.

Dublin S, Walker RL, Gray SL, Hubbard RA, Anderson ML, Yu O, Crane PK, Larson EB. Prescription opioids and risk of dementia or cognitive decline: a prospective cohort study. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015 Aug;63(8):1519-26. doi: 10.1111/jgs.13562.

Reid RJ, Anderson ML, Fishman PA, McClure JB, Johnson RL, Catz SL, Green BB. Relationship between cardiovascular risk and lipid testing in one health care system: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2015 Jul 23;15:281. doi: 10.1186/s12913-015-0884-2. PubMed

 

New findings

Senior adult male sitting at table taking blood pressure with a blood pressure machine

There’s no place like home … to track blood pressure

Research led by KPWHRI’s Beverly Green, MD, MPH, finds that patients prefer at-home monitoring of blood pressure. 

health care innovation

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Research helps our newest clinics build the future—now

Katie Coleman tells how Kaiser Permanente Washington research supports innovation at new clinics in Ballard and South Lake Union.

research into action

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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.