Jennifer McClure, PhD

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“We create programs and tools to empower people and help them lead healthier lives. By doing so, we can reduce the need for health care and the growing burden of health care costs for all.”

Jennifer McClure, PhD

Director, Investigative Science; Senior Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Biography

Jennifer McClure, PhD, is director of Investigative Science at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI). She is also a senior investigator and clinical psychologist whose research focuses on developing new interventions to reduce people’s risk of chronic disease and cancer or help them better manage existing chronic disease through:

  • Smoking cessation
  • Dietary improvement
  • Increased physical activity
  • Treatment adherence
  • Stress management
  • Better oral health
  • Informed decision-making

Much of Dr. McClure’s research emphasizes creating highly individualized behavioral treatments that can be disseminated on a population level, through health care systems and tobacco quitlines or directly to individuals via digital health tools, such as mobile health (mHealth) apps. Her goal is to design programs that are effective, convenient, engaging, and cost-effective, understanding that to make the leap from research to real world, interventions should meet these criteria.

Dr. McClure is best known for her research creating novel treatments for nicotine dependence, particularly interventions targeted to smokers who are ambivalent about quitting. These individuals may want to quit smoking some day, but are not yet ready to give up tobacco. Most smokers fall into this category, but few interventions are targeted to this important group. Her research has demonstrated the effectiveness of using proactive counseling and online interventions to motivate and support smoking cessation among ambivalent smokers. Her work has also shed light on the potential risks and benefits of using biological indicators of disease or disease risk to motivate quitting. Now she is developing two new mHealth apps to help ambivalent smokers kick the habit: one designed for anyone who smokes and one designed specifically for smokers living with HIV.

Dr. McClure’s collaborative research covers a range of topics from reducing sedentary behavior to comparing the effectiveness of various strategies for assessing and diagnosing high blood pressure.

In recognition of her scientific contributions, Dr. McClure was named a fellow in the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) in 2013 and a fellow in the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco in 2018. In 2019 she joined the faculty of the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J Tyson School of Medicine as a professor in Health Systems Science. Dr. McClure is also an affiliate professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health and an affiliate investigator in the Division of Public Health Sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

RESEARCH INTERESTS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Behavior Change & Behavioral Medicine

    Tobacco cessation; pharmocogenomics of nicotine addiction; treatment adherence; population-based behavior interventions; health risk communications; oral health promotion; dietary change; physical activity promotion; informed decision-making; psychoneuroimmunology; HIV

  • Health Informatics & Digital Health

    Development of eHealth and mHealth intervention tools

  • Mental Health

    Depression treatment and development of behavior change interventions for people with serious mental illness

  • Cancer

    Prevention

  • Chronic Illness Management

    HIV

  • Addictions

    Prevention and treatment

Recent publications

Tsoh JY, McClure JB, Skaar KL, Wetter DW, Cinciripini PM, Prokhorov AV, Friedman K, Gritz E. Smoking cessation. 2: Components of effective intervention. Behav Med. 1997;23(1):15-27. PubMed

Payne TJ, McClure JB, Martin P, Ries B, Catz SL, Skaar K, Tsoh J, Jones A. Race and age related differences in pre-treatment characteristics of smoking clinic enrollees at a VA medical center. Proceedings of the 3rd annual Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. 1997, 59.

Thomason BT, Jones GN, McClure JB, Brantley PJ. Psychosocial co-factors in HIV illness: an empirically-based model. Psychology and Health. 1996;11:385-393.

McClure JB, Catz SL, Prejean JG, Brantley PJ, Jones GN. Factors associated with depression in a heterogenous HIV-infected sample. Journal of Psychosomatic Research. 1996; 40, 407-415.

McClure JB, Catz SL, Jones GN, Brantley PJ. Depression as a predictor of T-cell decline in HIV-infected patients. Ann Behav Med. 1995;17(Suppl.), 181.

McClure JB, Catz SL, Davis PG, Brantley PJ, Jones GN. Predictors of utilization in HIV+ patients: psychosocial and illness factors. Ann Behav Med. 1995;17(Suppl.), 181.

Jones GN, Brantley PJ, Hebert R, Kidd J, Shadravan I, McClure JB, Thomason BT. Air quality and respiratory functioning in children with pulmonary disorders. J La State Med Soc. 1994;146(10):455-61.

Heffner JL, McClure JB. Commentary on Graham et al.: biochemical verification of abstinence in remotely conducted smoking cessation trials should not be a universal design requirement for rigor. Addiction. 2022 Jan 26. doi: 10.1111/add.15803. Online ahead of print. PubMed

Green BB, Anderson ML, Ehrlich K, Hall YN, Hansell LD, Hsu C, Joseph D, Margolis KL, McClure JB, Munson SA, Thompson MJ. Blood pressure checks for diagnosing hypertension: health professionals' knowledge, beliefs, and practices. J Am Board Fam Med. 2022;35(2):310-319. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2022.02.210318. PubMed

Greenwood-Hickman MA, Zhou J, Cook A, Mettert KD, Green B, McClure J, Arterburn D, Florez-Acevedo S, Rosenberg DE. Exploring differences in older adult accelerometer-measured sedentary behavior and resting blood pressure before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gerontol Geriatr Med. 2022 Apr 27;8:23337214221096007. doi: 10.1177/23337214221096007. eCollection 2022. PubMed

 

Now recruiting

Adult male looking at phone screen with dog in lap

Volunteers needed for GEMS+ study

NIH-funded study will test a new health app for smokers living with HIV.

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. 

Behavioral Health

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Surviving an FFP: COVID-19

Dr. Jennifer McClure shares advice and resources for staying physically and emotionally well during the COVID-19 crisis, and beyond.

research

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Oral Health 4 Life: 10 years of research to improve smokers’ health and dental care

As Dr. Jennifer McClure completes the last of three innovative studies, she reflects on how the work began, the difference it may make, and what happens next.

healthy findings blog

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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.

Tobacco & e-cigarettes

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Combustible tobacco: Still public health enemy #1

Dr. Jennifer McClure applauds the American Cancer Society’s recent strike against tobacco that burns. And she unpacks its evidence-based stance on e-cigarettes.