Diana S.M. Buist, PhD, MPH

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“My research goal is to gather solid evidence and to use it to improve patient care by increasing benefits and decreasing harms.”

Diana S.M. Buist, PhD, MPH

Senior Investigator and Director of Research and Strategic Partnerships, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Twitter: @dianabuist

Biography

Diana Buist, PhD, MPH, is an epidemiologist and health services researcher with extensive experience conducting comparative effectiveness research. Her work focuses on reducing harms and increasing benefits for patients in the area of cancer screening and outcomes spanning across patient, provider, and system factors.

Dr. Buist has an extensive record of practical research that has led to many efforts to improve care, including the development and refinement of national breast cancer screening guidelines and their implementation within Kaiser Permanente Washington. She has been conducting research within Kaiser Permanente Washington for more than 20 years and is a strong believer in patient-centered care and the important role patients play in improving the value and quality of health care. Dr. Buist is involved in several studies aimed at providing high-value health care that provides patients and their providers with information on the expected benefits and harms of cancer screening and treatment strategies.

Dr. Buist also has a long history collaborating with external researchers, including helping lead two large national research consortia focused on improving cancer screening and outcomes: the National Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium and the Cancer Research Network of the Health Care Systems Research Network. Her extensive experience working with diverse data from these consortia in longitudinal studies and randomized trials in clinical systems puts Dr. Buist in a unique position to examine screening, care, and outcomes in health systems across the country.

As Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) Director of Research and Strategic Partnerships, Dr. Buist works with other Kaiser Permanente regions, our local academic partners, and other external collaborators to build enduring strategic partnerships to enhance KPWHRI’s mission, align with KPWHRI faculty research priorities, and capitalize on our unique strengths in ways that are consistent with our mission.

Dr. Buist contributes to a variety of other projects at KPWHRI, including:

  • conducting a pragmatic clinical trial of home testing for human papilloma virus, or HPV, among women overdue for cervical cancer screening
  • optimizing long-term outcomes among women with a personal history of breast cancer through studying second breast events and second cancers associated with initial breast cancer, and investigating radiation therapy, breast density, tumor biology, and surveillance strategies for these women
  • identifying screening strategies that detect breast cancer early, minimize harms, and reach diverse communities
  • understanding the shared decision-making process for lung cancer screening from the patient and provider perspectives to help inform individuals about the harms and benefits of undergoing screening
  • investigating how artificial intelligence can be used in cancer imaging for risk prediction and/or early detection
  • evaluating the harms and benefits of different work-up intensities for incidentally detected lung nodules
  • training individuals in how to conduct learning health system research.

Dr. Buist is also an affiliate professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health and an affiliate member at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She enjoys sharing her expertise by mentoring junior faculty and PhD and MPH candidates and teaching courses.

RESEARCH INTERESTS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Cancer

    Cancer screening and prevention; outreach and primary care prevention; comparative effectiveness; cost transparency; surveillance; secondary prevention; breast cancer treatment; breast cancer screening; outcomes following cancer diagnosis; cancer survivorship; provider variability in care

  • Preventive Medicine

    Cancer prevention and control; quality of care; preventive care; high-value care; consumer engagement in preventive medicine; systematic reviews

  • Women's Health

    Cancer prevention and control

  • Health Services & Economics

     

 

Recent publications

Terry MB, Buist DS, Trentham-Dietz A, James-Todd TM, Liao Y. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and change in mammographic density: a cohort study using pharmacy records on over 29,000 postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008;17(5):1088-95. PubMed

Welsh ML, Buist DS, Aiello Bowles EJ, Anderson ML, Elmore JG, Li CI. Population-based estimates of the relation between breast cancer risk, tumor subtype, and family history. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 Apr;114(3):549-58. Epub 2008 Apr 25. PubMed

Geiger AM, Buist DS, Greene SM, Altschuler A, Field TS. Survivorship research based in integrated healthcare delivery systems: the Cancer Research Network. Cancer. 2008;112(11 Suppl):2617-26. Epub 2008 Apr 21. PubMed

Boudreau DM, Yu O, Buist DS, Miglioretti DL. Statin use and prostate cancer risk in a large population-based setting. Cancer Causes Control. 2008;19(7):767-74. Epub 2008 Mar 6. PubMed

Lehman CD, Rutter CM, Eby PR, White E, Buist DS, Taplin SH. Lesion and patient characteristics associated with malignancy after a probably benign finding on community practice mammography. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2008;190(2):511-5. PubMed

Newton KM, Buist DS, Yu O, Hartsfield CL, Andrade SE, Wei F, Connelly MT, Chan KA. Hormone therapy initiation after the Women's Health Initiative. Menopause. 2008;15(3):487-93. Epub 2008 Jan 9. PubMed

Miglioretti DL, Smith-Bindman R, Abraham L, Brenner RJ, Carney PA, Bowles EJ, Buist DS, Elmore JG. Radiologist characteristics associated with interpretive performance of diagnostic mammography. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2007;99(24):1854-63. Epub 2007 Dec 11. PubMed

Owusu C, Buist DS, Field TS, Lash TL, Thwin SS, Geiger AM, Quinn VP, Frost F, Prout M, Ulcickas Yood M, Wei F, Silliman RA. Predictors of tamoxifen discontinuation among older women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2008;26(4):549-55. Epub 2007 Dec 10. PubMed

Chubak J, Buist DS, Boudreau DM, Rossing MA, Lumley T, Weiss NS. Breast cancer recurrence risk in relation to antidepressant use after diagnosis. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. 2008;112(1):123-32. Epub 2007 Dec 6. PubMed

Field TS, Doubeni C, Fox MP, Buist DS, Wei F, Geiger AM, Quinn VP, Lash TL, Prout MN, Yood MU, Frost FJ, Silliman RA. Under utilization of surveillance mammography among older breast cancer survivors. J Gen Intern Med. 2008;23(2):158-63. Epub 2007 Dec 1. PubMed

 

preventive care

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Exploring at-home cervical cancer screening

Kaiser Permanente is at the forefront of research looking at using home tests for HPV, a leading cause of cervical cancer.

Cancer screening

Breast density scans

Breast density is a risk factor for older women, too

Findings in JAMA Network Open could help guide decision-making about breast cancer screening for women 75 and older.

CATALyST

CATALyST Scholars

2 new scholars join learning health systems program

Scholars will study in-home oxygen use for COPD and the use of patient portals for adolescent sexual and reproductive health.

Cancer screening

An older woman stands in front of a mammography machine, preparing for her scan

Catching breast cancers when mammograms are limited

New study calculates risk-based approach to detect the most cancers with the fewest exams.

Breast Cancer Surveillance

Kaiser Permanente Washington Breast Cancer Surveillance Registry

Kaiser Permanente Washington has been part of the national Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium since 1994. Learn about the Kaiser Permanente Washington Breast Cancer Surveillance Registry here.

Healthy Findings Blog

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Cancer screening in the time of COVID-19

Dr. Diana Buist reflects on the challenges of providing screening during a pandemic — and finds reason for optimism.

KPWHRI In the Media

KPWHRI’s Diana Buist, PhD, quoted on one alternative to screening visits

At-home cancer screening could thrive after the pandemic

Reuters Health, published by Medscape, Nov. 24, 2020