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

Senior Investigator and Director of Research, Faculty & Development, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

Biography

Jennifer McClure, PhD, is 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. Her work includes:

  • interventions to promote smoking cessation,
  • dietary improvement, 
  • increased physical activity,
  • treatment adherence,
  • better oral health, and 
  • informed decision making.

She also serves as Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute (KPWHRI)’s director of research, faculty, and development. In this role, Dr. McClure helps set the strategic vision for the institute, oversee policies and procedures relevant to the faculty, and ensure the institute’s financial growth and stability.

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 the internet and 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 eventually, 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 a new mHealth app to help ambivalent smokers kick the habit.

In other current work, Dr. McClure is examining smokers’ dual use of tobacco and marijuana—a growing public health problem as legalization of cannabis spreads. Her 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. Dr. McClure is 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. In 2008 she was named KPWHRI’s associate director of research. She assumed her role as director of research, faculty, and development in 2013.

RESEARCH INTERESTS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Behavior Change & Health Promotion

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

  • Health Informatics

    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

Recent publications

Businelle MS, Lam CY, Kendzor DE, Cofta-Woerpel L, McClure JB, Cinciripini PM, Wetter DW. Alcohol consumption and urges to smoke among women during a smoking cessation attempt. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2013;21(1):29-37. doi: 10.1037/a0031009. PubMed

Dillard AJ, Scherer L, Ubel PA, Smith DM, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, McClure JB, Greene S, Stark A, Fagerlin A. Breast cancer anxiety's associations with responses to a chemoprevention decision aid. Soc Sci Med. 2013 Jan;77:13-9. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.10.009. Epub 2012 Nov 2. PubMed

David S, McClure JB, Swan G. Nicotine dependence. Nezu A, Nezu C, Geller PA, Weiner I (Eds.), Handbook of Psychology, Health Psychology, Vol. 9 (149-181). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

McClure JB, Derry H, Riggs KR, Westbrook EW, St John J, Shortreed SM, Bogart A, An L. Questions about quitting (Q(2)): design and methods of a Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) randomized screening experiment for an online, motivational smoking cessation intervention. Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 Sep;33(5):1094-102. Epub 2012 Jul 4. PubMed

Swan GE, Javitz HS, Jack LM, Wessel J, Michel M, Hinds DA, Stokowksi RP, McClure JB, Catz SL, Richards J, Zbikowski SM, Deprey M, McAfee T, Conti DV, Bergen AW. Varenicline for smoking cessation: nausea severity and variation in nicotinic receptor genes. Pharmacogenomics J. 2012 Aug;12(4):349-58. doi: 10.1038/tpj.2011.19. Epub 2011 May 24. PubMed

Cassidy-Bushrow A, Alexander G, Lawrence F, McClure J, Ritzwoller D, Rolnick S, Tolsma D, Johnson C. Ca1-02: Women's perception of cardiovascular disease risk varies by hypercholesterolemia history: making effective nutritional choices. Clin Med Res. 2012;10(3):153. PubMed

McClure JB, Riggs KR, St John J, Cerutti B, Zbikowski S. Understanding oral health promotion needs and opportunities of tobacco quitline callers. Public Health Rep. 2012;127(4):401-6. PubMed

Green BB, Anderson ML, Cook AJ, Catz S, Fishman P, McClure JB, Reid R. Using body mass index data in the electronic health record to calculate cardiovascular risk. Am J Prev Med. 2012;42:342-7. PubMed

Green B, Anderson M, Fishman P, Reid R, Catz S, McClure J, Cook A. Electronic health record-based cardiovascular risk assessment and the use of BMI when laboratory data is not available. Clin Med Res. 2011;9(3-4):151-152. PubMed

Cofta-Woerpel L, McClure JB, Li Y, Urbauer D, Cinciripini PM, Wetter DW. Early cessation success or failure among women attempting to quit smoking: trajectories and volatility of urge and negative mood during the first postcessation week. J Abnorm Psychol. 2011 Aug;120(3):596-606. PubMed

 

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.

Personalized Medicine

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Has precision medicine’s time arrived?

Dr. Jennifer McClure reflects on using personalized genetic knowledge to improve health and health care.

Smoking & Oral Health

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Can a focus on better oral health help smokers quit tobacco?

Dr. Jennifer McClure partnered with the leading quitline provider to see what happens when smokers are counseled about oral health and tobacco.