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

  • Behavioral Medicine

  • 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

  • Chronic Illness Management

  • Addictions

    Prevention and treatment

Recent publications

Ubel PA, Smith DM, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Derry HA, McClure J, Stark A, Wiese C, Greene S, Jankovic A, Fagerlin A. Testing whether decision aids introduce cognitive biases: results of a randomized trial. Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Aug;80(2):158-63. Epub 2009 Dec 9. PubMed

McClure JB, Swan GE, Catz SL, Jack L, Javitz H, McAfee T, Deprey M, Richards J, Zbikowski SM. Smoking outcome by psychiatric history after behavioral and varenicline treatment. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2010;38(4):394-402. Epub 2010 Apr 2. PubMed

Swan GE, McClure JB, Jack LM, Zbikowski SM, Javitz HS, Catz SL, Deprey M, Richards J, McAfee TA. Behavioral counseling and varenicline treatment for smoking cessation. Am J Prev Med. 2010;38(5):482-90. PubMed

McClure JB, Ludman EJ, Grothaus L, Pabiniak C, Richards J. Impact of spirometry feedback and brief motivational counseling on long-term smoking outcomes: a comparison of smokers with and without lung impairment. Patient Educ Couns. 2010 Aug;80(2):280-3. Epub 2010 Apr 29. PubMed

Fagerlin A, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Smith DM, Nair V, Derry HA, McClure JB, Greene S, Stark A, Alford SH, Lantz P, Hayes DF, Wiese C, Zweig SC, Pitsch R, Jankovic A, Ubel PA. Women's decisions regarding tamoxifen for breast cancer prevention: responses to a tailored decision aid. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Feb;119(3):613-20. Epub 2009 Nov 12. PubMed

Sukhanova A, Ritzwoller DP, Alexander G, Calvi JH, Carlier C, McClure JB, Rolnick S, Johnson C. Cost analyses of a web-based behavioral intervention to enhance fruit and vegetable consumption. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2009;6(1):92. PubMed

Alexander GL, McClure JB, Calvi JH, Divine GW, Stopponi MA, Rolnick SJ, Heimendinger JB, Tolsma DD, Resnicow K, Campbell MK, Strecher VJ, Cole Johnson C. A randomized clinical trial evaluating online interventions to improve fruit and vegetable consumption. Am J Public Health. 2010 Feb;100(2):319-26. Epub 2009 Dec 17. PubMed

Deprey M, McAfee T, Bush T, McClure JB, Zbikowski S, Mahoney L. Using free patches to improve reach of the Oregon Quit Line. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2009;15(5):401-8. PubMed

McClure JB, Ludman EJ, Grothaus L, Pabiniak C, Richards J. Impact of a brief motivational smoking cessation intervention: the Get PHIT randomized controlled trial. Am J Prev Med. 2009;37(2):116-23. Epub 2009 Jun 12. PubMed

Bergen AW, Conti DV, Van Den Berg D, Lee W, Liu J, Li D, Guo N, Mi H, Thomas PD, Lessov-Schlaggar CN, Krasnow R, He Y, Nishita D, Jiang R, McClure JB, Tildesley E, Hops H, Tyndale RF, Benowitz NL, Lerman C, Swan GE. Dopamine genes and nicotine dependence in treatment-seeking and community smokers. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2009;34(10):2252-64. Epub 2009 Jun 3. PubMed

 

Behavioral Health

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Surviving an FFP: COVID-19

Dr. Jennifer McClure shares advice and resources for staying physically and emotionally well during the COVID-19 crisis, and beyond.

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.