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

Rolnick SJ, Calvi J, Heimendinger J, McClure JB, Kelley M, Johnson C, Alexander GL. Focus groups inform a web-based program to increase fruit and vegetable intake. Patient Educ Couns. 2009;77(2):314-8. Epub 2009 May 5. PubMed

McClure JB, Swan GE, Jack L, Catz SL, Zbikowski SM, McAfee TA, Deprey M, Richards J, Javitz H. Mood, side-effects and smoking outcomes among persons with and without probable lifetime depression taking varenicline. J Gen Intern Med. 2009;24(5):563-9. Epub 2009 Feb 24. PubMed

McClure JB, Divine G, Alexander G, Tolsma D, Rolnick SJ, Stopponi M, Richards J, Johnson CC. A comparison of smokers' and nonsmokers' fruit and vegetable intake and relevant psychosocial factors. Behav Med. 2009;35(1):14-22. PubMed

McClure JB, Ludman E, Grothaus L, Pabiniak C, Richards J, Mohelnitzky A. Immediate and short-term impact of a brief motivational smoking intervention using a biomedical risk assessment: The Get PHIT trial. Nicotine Tob Res. 2009;11(4):394-403. Epub 2009 Mar 18. PubMed

Stopponi MA, Alexander GL, McClure JB, Carroll NM, Divine GW, Calvi JH, Rolnick SJ, Strecher VJ, Johnson CC, Ritzwoller DP. Recruitment to a randomized web-based nutritional intervention trial: characteristics of participants compared to non-participants. J Med Internet Res. 2009;11(3):e38. PubMed

Nishita DM, Jack LM, McElroy M, McClure JB, Richards J, Swan GE, Bergen AW. Clinical trial participant characteristics and saliva and DNA metrics. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2009;9:71. PubMed

McClure JB, Jack L, Deprey M, Catz S, McAfee T, Zbikowski S, Westbrook E, Swan G. Canary in a coal mine? Interest in bupropion SR use among smokers in the COMPASS trial. Nicotine Tob Res. 2008;10(12):1815-6. PubMed

Halperin AC, McAfee TA, Jack LM, Catz SL, McClure JB, Deprey TM, Richards J, Zbikowski SM, Swan GE. Impact of symptoms experienced by varenicline users on tobacco treatment in a real world setting. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2009 Jun;36(4):428-34. Epub 2008 Nov 11. PubMed

Bush TM, McAfee T, Deprey M, Mahoney L, Fellows JL, McClure J, Cushing C. The impact of a free nicotine patch starter kit on quit rates in a state quit line. Nicotine Tob Res. 2008;10(9):1511-6. PubMed

Curry SJ, Wetter DW, Grothaus LC, McClure JB, Taplin SH. Designing and evaluating individual-level interventions for cancer prevention and control. In SM Miller, DJ Bowen, RT Croyle, J Rowland (Eds.). Handbook of Behavioral Science and Cancer. Washington DC: American Psychological Association; 2008.

 

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.