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 Collaborative 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

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

Meenan RT, Anderson ML, Chubak J, Vernon SW, Fuller S, Wang CY, Green BB. An economic evaluation of colorectal cancer screening in primary care practice. Am J Prev Med. 2015;48(6):714-21. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2014.12.016. PubMed

Gray SL, Anderson ML, Dublin S, Hanlon JT, Hubbard R, Walker R, Yu O, Crane PK, Larson EB. Cumulative use of strong anticholinergics and incident dementia: a prospective cohort study. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(3):401-7. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.7663. Epub 2015 Jan 26. PubMed

Green BB, Anderson ML, Wang CY, Vernon SW, Chubak J, Meenan RT, Fuller S. Results of nurse navigator follow-up after positive colorectal cancer screening test: a randomized trial. J Am Board Fam Med. 2014 Nov-Dec;27(6):789-95. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2014.06.140125. PubMed

Bonomi AE, Nemeth JM, Altenburger LE, Anderson ML, Snyder A, Dotto I. Fiction or not? Fifty Shades is associated with health risks in adolescent and young adult females. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2014;23(9):720-8. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2014.4782. Epub 2014 Aug 21. PubMed

 

New findings

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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.