Melissa Anderson, MS

“My work is challenging because our research teams study many different health conditions using complicated data sets. It's rewarding though because our results are high profile and address major public health priorities.”

Melissa Anderson, MS

Senior Biostatistician, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute


For biostatistician Melissa Anderson, MS, science truly is a team sport. A key contributor on many recent Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) findings reported by the media, she brings strong analytical expertise to studies across a range of disciplines, enthusiastically supporting the investigators with whom she works.

Ms. Anderson is most excited about her work studying the health impacts of intimate partner violence (IPV), also known as domestic violence. Led by KPWHRI Senior Investigator Emeritus, Robert S. "Tommy" Thompson, MD, the study found that IPV is widespread among women and men—causing significant detrimental effects to their physical and mental well-being. Ms. Anderson has been instrumental in analyses of health care utilization and costs associated with IPV, as well as IPV's health impact on children. Her deep knowledge of study results keeps her on the front lines as this work is disseminated across the country at conferences. She looks forward to the possibility of continuing to help address important knowledge gaps related to IPV.

Ms. Anderson's other areas of interest include breast cancer, aging, and cardiovascular health. She is a member of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and has served as a statistical consultant for the University of Washington's Institute on Aging since 1998.

Research Interests and Experience

Recent publications

McClure JB, Anderson ML, Krakauer C, Blasi P, Bush T, Nelson J, Catz SL. Impact of a novel oral health promotion program on routine oral hygiene among socioeconomically disadvantaged smokers: results from a randomized semi-pragmatic trial. Transl Behav Med. 2019 Feb 12. pii: 5316179. doi: 10.1093/tbm/ibz009. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Blasi PR, Krakauer C, Anderson ML, Nelson J, Bush T, Catz SL, McClure JB. Factors associated with future dental care utilization among low-income smokers overdue for dental visits. BMC Oral Health. 2018 Nov 1;18(1):183. doi: 10.1186/s12903-018-0646-8. PubMed

Tabano DC, Anderson ML, Ritzwoller DP, Beck A, Carroll N, Fishman PA, Grossman DC. Estimating the impact of diabetes mellitus on worker productivity using self-report, electronic health record and human resource data. J Occup Environ Med. 2018 Sep 4. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001441. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Gray SL, Anderson ML, Hanlon JT, Dublin S, Walker RL, Hubbard RA, Yu O, Montine TJ, Crane PK, Sonne JA, Keene CD, Larson EB. Exposure to strong anticholinergic medications and dementia-related neuropathology in a community-based autopsy cohort. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018 Jul 21. pii: JAD171174. doi: 10.3233/JAD-171174. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

McClure JB, Bush T, Anderson ML, Blasi P, Thompson E, Nelson J, Catz SL. Oral Health Promotion and Smoking Cessation Program Delivered via Tobacco Quitlines: The Oral Health 4 Life Trial. Am J Public Health. 2018;108(5):689-695. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.304279. Epub 2018 Mar 22. PubMed


KPWHRI In the Media

Meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy pay off for back pain

Mindfulness-based stress reduction, cognitive-behavioral therapy shown to be cost effective for chronic low-back pain

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Bulletin, Aug. 22, 2017

preventive medicine

Diabetes health: Pharmacy outreach increases statin use but not costs

Calls from pharmacists and EHR reminders improved cardiovascular outcomes in Group Health patients with diabetes, Dr. James Ralston and colleagues found.

Read it in Healthy Findings.

News release

Mindfulness meditation eases chronic low back pain

March 22, 2016—JAMA publishes randomized controlled trial by Group Health researchers, comparing mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy, and usual care for back pain.
Read it in News and Events.



Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain

(JAMA Network, 2:26)


Live Healthy

Early signs of cognitive impairment? Learn about Your Life, Your Choices

If you or a loved one is experiencing cognitive impairment or even early signs of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, now is a good time to start talking with your health care providers and family members about advance care planning.

Read it in Live Healthy.