Jennifer McClure, PhD

“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

Dillard AJ, Ubel PA, Smith DM, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Nair V, Derry HA, Zhang A, Pitsch RK, Alford SH, McClure JB, Fagerlin A. The distinct role of comparative risk perceptions in a breast cancer prevention program. Ann Behav Med. 2011 Oct;42(2):262-8. PubMed

Reitzel LR, McClure JB, Cofta-Woerpel L, Mazas CA, Cao Y, Cinciripini PM, Vidrine JI, Li Y, Wetter DW. The efficacy of computer-delivered treatment for smoking cessation. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Jul;20(7):1555-7. Epub 2011 May 25. PubMed

Wetter DW, McClure JB, Cofta-Woerpel L, Costello TJ, Reitzel LR, Businelle MS, Cinciripini PM. A randomized clinical trial of a palmtop computer-delivered treatment for smoking relapse prevention among women. Psychol Addict Behav. 2011 Jun;25(2):365-71. PubMed

Fagerlin A, Dillard AJ, Smith DM, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Pitsch R, McClure JB, Greene S, Alford SH, Nair V, Hayes DF, Wiese C, Ubel PA. Women's interest in taking tamoxifen and raloxifene for breast cancer prevention: response to a tailored decision aid. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Jun;127(3):681-8. Epub 2011 Mar 26. PubMed

Zbikowski SM, Jack LM, McClure JB, Deprey M, Javitz HS, McAfee TA, Catz SL, Richards J, Bush T, Swan GE. Utilization of services in a randomized trial testing phone- and web-based interventions for smoking cessation. Nicotine Tob Res. 2011 May;13(5):319-27. Epub 2011 Jan 31. PubMed

Catz SL, Jack LM, McClure JB, Javitz HS, Deprey M, Zbikowski SM, McAfee T, Richards J, Swan GE. Adherence to varenicline in the COMPASS smoking cessation intervention trial. Nicotine Tob Res. 2011 May;13(5):361-8. Epub 2011 Feb 24. PubMed

McClure JB, Catz SL, Ludman EJ, Richards J, Riggs K, Grothaus L. Feasibility and acceptability of a multiple risk factor intervention: The Step Up randomized pilot trial. BMC Public Health. 2011 Mar 17;11:167. PubMed

Javitz HS, Zbikowski SM, Deprey M, McAfee TA, McClure JB, Richards J, Catz SL, Jack JM, Swan GE. Cost-effectiveness of varenicline and three different behavioral treatment formats for smoking cessation. Transl Behav Med. 2011 Mar 1;1(1):182-90. doi: 10.1007/s13142-010-0009-8. PubMed

Couper M, Alexander GL, Maddy N, Zhang N, Little R, Nowak M, McClure JB, Calvi J, Rolnick S, Stopponi M, Johnson C. Engagement and retention: measuring breadth and depth of participant use of an online intervention. J Med Internet Res. 2010 Nov 18;12(4):e52.

Wessel J, McDonald SM, Hinds DA, Stokowski RP, Javitz HS, Kennermer M, Krasnow R, Dirks W, Hardin J, Pitts SJ, Michel M, Jack L, Ballinger DG, McClure JB, Swan GE, Bergen AW. Resequencing of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor genes and association of common and rate variants with the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence Neuropsychopharmacology. 2010 Nov;35(12):2392-402. Epub 2010 Aug 25.

 

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.