Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Linda M. Collins is Professor of Global Public Health in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Biostatistics. She earned her B.A. in Psychology at the University of Connecticut and her Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology at the University of Southern California.
Collins’ research interests are focused on the development, dissemination, and application of the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST), a framework for the optimization of behavioral, biobehavioral, and social-structural interventions. The objective of MOST is to improve intervention effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and scalability. She is currently collaborating on research applying MOST in the areas of smoking cessation, the prevention of excessive drinking and risky sex in college students, and HIV services.
Collins’ research has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Science Foundation, among others. She has given more than 150 presentations on MOST around the world, and her publications have appeared in journals in the fields of behavioral science, quantitative methodology, medicine, and engineering.
Collins has held tenured faculty positions at the University of Southern California and at Penn State University, where she was Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Studies and Director of The Methodology Center. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and is a past president of the Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology and the Society for Prevention Research.
BA, Psychology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CTPhD, Quantitative Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Honors and awards
Fulbright Specialist, National University of Ireland Galway (2018)Pauline Schmitt Russell Distinguished Career Award, Pennsylvania State University’s College of Health and Human Development (2017)Evan G. and Helen G. Pattishall Outstanding Research Achievement Award, Pennsylvania State University’s College of Health and Human Development (2011)President’s Award, Society for Prevention Research (2004)Faculty Scholar Medal for the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Pennsylvania State University (2000)Psychology Department Teacher of the Year, University of Southern California (1992)Psychology Department Mentorship Award, University of Southern California (1991)Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology Award for Distinguished Early Career Contributions to Multivariate Behavioral Research (1991)
Areas of research and study
Behavioral ScienceCost EffectivenessCost-effective Health Programs and PoliciesDissemination and Implementation of Evidence-based Programs
Exploring behavioral intervention components for African American/Black and Latino persons living with HIV with non-suppressed HIV viral load in the United States: a qualitative studyCluesman, S. R., Gwadz, M., Freeman, R., Collins, L. M., Cleland, C. M., Wilton, L., Hawkins, R. L., Leonard, N. R., Silverman, E., Maslow, C. B., Israel, K., Ritchie, A., & Ory, S. (n.d.).
Journal titleInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Issue1AbstractBackground: The persistence of racial/ethnic inequities in rates of engagement along the HIV care continuum signals the need for novel approaches. We developed six behavioral intervention components for use in an optimization trial, grounded in a model that integrates critical race theory, harm reduction, and self-determination theory, designed to address various barriers that African American/Black and Latino persons living with HIV (PLWH) experience to the HIV care continuum. The components were: health education, motivational interviewing sessions, pre-adherence skill building, peer mentorship, focused support groups, and navigation. The present qualitative exploratory study describes participants’ perspectives on the components’ acceptability, feasibility, and impact. Methods: Participants were African American/Black and Latino PLWH poorly engaged in HIV care and with non-suppressed HIV viral load in New York City. From a larger trial, we randomly selected 46 participants for in-depth semi-structured interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim, and data were analyzed using directed content analysis. Quantitative data on sociodemographic and background characteristics and components’ acceptability and feasibility were also collected. Results: On average, participants were 49 years old and had lived with HIV for 19 years. Most were cisgender-male and African American/Black. Participants reported a constellation of serious social and structural challenges to HIV management including chronic poverty, unstable housing, and stigma. Across components, a non-judgmental and pressure-free approach and attention to structural and cultural factors were seen as vital to high levels of engagement, but lacking in most medical/social service settings. Prominent aspects of individual components included establishing trust (health education); developing intrinsic motivation, goals, and self-reflection (motivational interviewing sessions); learning/practicing adherence strategies and habits (pre-adherence skill building); reducing social isolation via peer role models (peer mentorship); reflecting on salient goals and common challenges with peers without stigma (focused support groups); and circumventing structural barriers to HIV management with support (navigation). Components were found acceptable and feasible. Findings suggested ways components could be improved. Conclusions: The present study advances research on interventions for African American/Black and Latino PLWH, who experience complex barriers to engagement along the HIV care continuum. Future study of the components is warranted to address racial/ethnic health inequities in HIV.
Understanding heterogeneity of responses to, and optimizing clinical efficacy of, exercise training in older adults: NIH NIA Workshop summaryErickson, M. L., Allen, J. M., Beavers, D. P., Collins, L. M., Davidson, K. W., Erickson, K. I., Esser, K. A., Hesselink, M. K., Moreau, K. L., Laber, E. B., Peterson, C. A., Peterson, C. M., Reusch, J. E., Thyfault, J. P., Youngstedt, S. D., Zierath, J. R., Goodpaster, B. H., LeBrasseur, N. K., Buford, T. W., & Sparks, L. M. (n.d.).
Page(s)569-589AbstractExercise is a cornerstone of preventive medicine and a promising strategy to intervene on the biology of aging. Variation in the response to exercise is a widely accepted concept that dates back to the 1980s with classic genetic studies identifying sequence variations as modifiers of the VO2max response to training. Since that time, the literature of exercise response variance has been populated with retrospective analyses of existing datasets that are limited by a lack of statistical power from technical error of the measurements and small sample sizes, as well as diffuse outcomes, very few of which have included older adults. Prospective studies that are appropriately designed to interrogate exercise response variation in key outcomes identified a priori and inclusive of individuals over the age of 70 are long overdue. Understanding the underlying intrinsic (e.g., genetics and epigenetics) and extrinsic (e.g., medication use, diet, chronic disease) factors that determine robust versus poor responses to various exercise factors will be used to improve exercise prescription to target the pillars of aging and optimize the clinical efficacy of exercise training in older adults. This review summarizes the proceedings of the NIA-sponsored workshop entitled, “Understanding Heterogeneity of Responses to, and Optimizing Clinical Efficacy of, Exercise Training in Older Adults” and highlights the importance and current state of exercise response variation research, particularly in older adults, prevailing challenges, and future directions.
Advances in clinical trials methodology: Intervention optimization approaches in emergency medicineBernstein, S. L., Carter, P. M., Meurer, W., Walton, M. A., Kidwell, K. M., Cunningham, R. M., Dziura, J., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).
Journal titleAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Page(s)6-11AbstractThe classical two-arm randomized clinical trial (RCT) is designed to test the efficacy or effectiveness of an intervention, which may consist of one or more components. However, this approach does not enable the investigator to obtain information that is important in intervention development, such as which individual components of the intervention are efficacious, which are not and possibly should be removed, and whether any components interact. The Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) is a new framework for development, optimization, and evaluation of interventions. MOST includes the RCT for purposes of evaluation, but inserts a phase of research before the RCT aimed at intervention optimization. The optimization phase requires one or more separate trials similar in scope to an RCT, but employing a different experimental design. The design of the optimization trial is selected strategically so as to maximize the amount of scientific information gained using the available resources. One consideration in selecting this experimental design is the type of intervention to be optimized. If a fixed intervention, i.e. one in which the same intervention content and intensity is provided to all participants, is to be optimized, a factorial experiment is often appropriate. If an adaptive intervention, i.e. one in which intervention content or intensity is varied in a principled manner, is to be optimized, a sequential multiple-assignment randomized trial (SMART) is often a good choice. The objective of this article is to describe MOST and the scientific rationale for its use; describe two current applications of MOST in emergency medicine research, one using a factorial experiment and the other using a SMART; and discuss funding strategies and potential future applications in studying the care of individuals with acute illness, injury, or behavioral disorders.
Advancing behavioral interventions for African American/Black and Latino persons living with HIV using a new conceptual model that integrates critical race theory, harm reduction, and self-determination theory: a qualitative exploratory studyGwadz, M., Cluesman, S. R., Freeman, R., Collins, L. M., Dorsen, C., Hawkins, R. L., Cleland, C. M., Wilton, L., Ritchie, A. S., Torbjornsen, K., Leonard, N. R., Martinez, B. Y., Silverman, E., Israel, K., & Kutnick, A. (n.d.).
Journal titleInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Issue1AbstractBackground: Rates of participation in HIV care, medication uptake, and viral suppression are improving among persons living with HIV (PLWH) in the United States. Yet, disparities among African American/Black and Latino PLWH are persistent, signaling the need for new conceptual approaches. To address gaps in services and research (e.g., insufficient attention to structural/systemic factors, inadequate harm reduction services and autonomy support) and improve behavioral interventions, we integrated critical race theory, harm reduction, and self-determination theory into a new conceptual model, then used the model to develop a set of six intervention components which were tested in a larger study. The present qualitative study explores participants’ perspectives on the study’s acceptability, feasibility, and impact, and the conceptual model’s contribution to these experiences. Methods: Participants in the larger study were African American/Black and Latino PLWH poorly engaged in HIV care and with non-suppressed HIV viral load in New York City (N = 512). We randomly selected N = 46 for in-depth semi-structured interviews on their experiences with and perspectives on the study. Interviews were audio-recorded and professionally transcribed verbatim, and data were analyzed using directed qualitative content analysis. Results: On average, participants were 49 years old (SD = 9) and had lived with HIV for 19 years (SD = 7). Most were male (78%) and African American/Black (76%). All had taken HIV medication previously. Challenging life contexts were the norm, including poverty, poor quality/unstable housing, trauma histories exacerbated by current trauma, health comorbidities, and substance use. Participants found the study highly acceptable. We organized results into four themes focused on participants’ experiences of: 1) being understood as a whole person and in their structural/systemic context; 2) trustworthiness and trust; 3) opportunities for self-reflection; and 4) support of personal autonomy. The salience of nonjudgment was prominent in each theme. Themes reflected grounding in the conceptual model. Participants reported these characteristics were lacking in HIV care settings. Conclusions: The new conceptual model emphasizes the salience of systemic/structural and social factors that drive health behavior and the resultant interventions foster trust, self-reflection, engagement, and behavior change. The model has potential to enhance intervention acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness with African American/Black and Latino PLWH.
Components of smartphone cognitive-behavioural therapy for subthreshold depression among 1093 university students: A factorial trialSakata, M., Toyomoto, R., Yoshida, K., Luo, Y., Nakagami, Y., Uwatoko, T., Shimamoto, T., Tajika, A., Suga, H., Ito, H., Sumi, M., Muto, T., Ito, M., Ichikawa, H., Ikegawa, M., Shiraishi, N., Watanabe, T., Sahker, E., Ogawa, Y., … Furukawa, T. A. (n.d.).
Journal titleEvidence-Based Mental Health
Page(s)E18-E25AbstractBackground Internet-based cognitive-behavioural therapy (iCBT) is effective for subthreshold depression. However, which skills provided in iCBT packages are more effective than others is unclear. Such knowledge can inform construction of more effective and efficient iCBT programmes. Objective To examine the efficacy of five components of iCBT for subthreshold depression. Methods We conducted an factorial trial using a smartphone app, randomly allocating presence or absence of five iCBT skills including self-monitoring, behavioural activation (BA), cognitive restructuring (CR), assertiveness training (AT) and problem-solving. Participants were university students with subthreshold depression. The primary outcome was the change on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) from baseline to week 8. Secondary outcomes included changes in CBT skills. Findings We randomised a total of 1093 participants. In all groups, participants had a significant PHQ-9 reduction from baseline to week 8. Depression reduction was not significantly different between presence or absence of any component, with corresponding standardised mean differences (negative values indicate specific efficacy in favour of the component) ranging between-0.04 (95% CI-0.16 to 0.08) for BA and 0.06 (95% CI-0.06 to 0.18) for AT. Specific CBT skill improvements were noted for CR and AT but not for the others. Conclusions There was significant reduction in depression for all participants regardless of the presence and absence of the examined iCBT components. Clinical implication We cannot yet make evidence-based recommendations for specific iCBT components. We suggest that future iCBT optimisation research should scrutinise the amount and structure of components to examine. Trial registration number UMINCTR-000031307.
Optimization of a technology-supported physical activity promotion intervention for breast cancer survivors: Results from Fit2ThrivePhillips, S. M., Penedo, F. J., Collins, L. M., Solk, P., Siddique, J., Song, J., Cella, D., Courneya, K. S., Ackermann, R. T., Welch, W. A., Auster-Gussman, L. A., Whitaker, M., Cullather, E., Izenman, E., & Spring, B. (n.d.).
Page(s)1122-1132AbstractBackground: The benefits of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) for breast cancer survivors are well established. However, most are insufficiently active. Fit2Thrive used the Multiphase Optimization Strategy methodology to determine the effect of 5 intervention components on MVPA in this population. Methods: Two hundred sixty-nine participants (mean age, 52.5 years; SD, 9.9 years) received a core intervention (the Fit2Thrive self-monitoring app and Fitbit) and were randomly assigned to 5 intervention components set to on/off in a full factorial experiment: support calls, deluxe app, buddy, online gym, and text messages. The intervention was delivered over 12 weeks with a 12-week follow-up. MVPA was measured via accelerometry at the baseline (T1), at 12 weeks (T2), and at 24 weeks (T3). The main effects and interaction effects at each time point were examined for all components. Results: Trial retention was high: 91.8% had valid accelerometer data at T2 or T3. Across all conditions, there were significant increases in MVPA (+53.6 min/wk; P <.001) and in the proportion of survivors meeting MVPA guidelines (+22.3%; P <.001) at T2 that were maintained but attenuated at T3 (MVPA, +24.6 min/wk; P <.001; meeting guidelines, +12.6%; P <.001). No individual components significantly improved MVPA, although increases were greater for the on level versus the off level for support calls, buddy, and text messages at T2 and T3. Conclusions: The Fit2Thrive core intervention (the self-monitoring app and Fitbit) is promising for increasing MVPA in breast cancer survivors, but the components provided no additional increases in MVPA. Future research should evaluate the core intervention in a randomized trial and determine what components optimize MVPA behaviors in breast cancer survivors.
Recruiting and retaining first-year college students in online health research: Implementation considerationsGuastaferro, K., Tanner, A. E., Rulison, K. L., Miller, A. M., Milroy, J. J., Wyrick, D. L., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of American College HealthAbstractObjective: Decreasing participation in intervention research among college students has implications for the external validity of behavioral intervention research. We describe recruitment and retention strategies used to promote participation in intervention research across a series of four randomized experiments. Method: We report the recruitment and retention rates by school for each experiment and qualitative feedback from students about recommendations for improving research participation. Results: There was considerable variation among schools’ recruitment (4.9% to 64.7%) and retention (12% to 67.8%) rates. Student feedback suggested study timing (e.g., early in the semester), communication strategies (e.g., social media), and incentive structure (e.g., guaranteed incentives) could improve research participation. The highest survey participation rate was observed at the university which mandated students to complete the intervention (but not the survey). Conclusions: Intervention scientists must consider the population and study context to make informed decisions related to recruitment and retention strategies.
The Microrandomized Trial for Developing Digital Interventions: Experimental Design and Data Analysis ConsiderationsQian, T., Walton, A. E., Collins, L. M., Klasnja, P., Lanza, S. T., Nahum-Shani, I., Rabbi, M., Russell, M. A., Walton, M. A., Yoo, H., & Murphy, S. A. (n.d.).
Journal titlePsychological Methods
Page(s)874-894AbstractJust-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs) are time-varying adaptive interventions that use frequent opportunities for the intervention to be adapted-weekly, daily, or even many times a day. The microrandomized trial (MRT) has emerged for use in informing the construction of JITAIs. MRTs can be used to address research questions about whether and under what circumstances JITAI components are effective, with the ultimate objective of developing effective and efficient JITAI. The purpose of this article is to clarify why, when, and how to use MRTs; to highlight elements that must be considered when designing and implementing an MRT; and to review primary and secondary analyses methods for MRTs. We briefly review key elements of JITAIs and discuss a variety of considerations that go into planning and designing an MRT. We provide a definition of causal excursion effects suitable for use in primary and secondary analyses of MRT data to inform JITAI development. We review the weighted and centered least-squares (WCLS) estimator which provides consistent causal excursion effect estimators from MRT data. We describe how the WCLS estimator along with associated test statistics can be obtained using standard statistical software such as R (R Core Team, 2019). Throughout we illustrate the MRT design and analyses using the HeartSteps MRT, for developing a JITAI to increase physical activity among sedentary individuals. We supplement the HeartSteps MRT with two other MRTs, SARA and BariFit, each of which highlights different research questions that can be addressed using the MRT and experimental design considerations that might arise. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
Using factorial mediation analysis to better understand the effects of interventionsStrayhorn, J. C., Collins, L. M., Brick, T. R., Marchese, S. H., Pfammatter, A. F., Pellegrini, C., & Spring, B. (n.d.).
Journal titleTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Page(s)84-89AbstractTo improve understanding of how interventions work or why they do not work, there is need for methods of testing hypotheses about the causal mechanisms underlying the individual and combined effects of the components that make up interventions. Factorial mediation analysis, i.e., mediation analysis applied to data from a factorial optimization trial, enables testing such hypotheses. In this commentary, we demonstrate how factorial mediation analysis can contribute detailed information about an intervention's causal mechanisms. We briefly review the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) and the factorial experiment. We use an empirical example from a 25 factorial optimization trial to demonstrate how factorial mediation analysis opens possibilities for better understanding the individual and combined effects of intervention components. Factorial mediation analysis has important potential to advance theory about interventions and to inform intervention improvements.
A Hybrid Evaluation-Optimization Trial to Evaluate an Intervention Targeting the Intersection of Alcohol and Sex in College Students and Simultaneously Test an Additional Component Aimed at Preventing Sexual ViolenceTanner, A. E., Guastaferro, K. M., Rulison, K. L., Wyrick, D. L., Milroy, J. J., Bhandari, S., Thorpe, S., Ware, S., Miller, A. M., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).
Journal titleAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Page(s)1184-1187AbstractBackground: Using the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST), we previously developed and optimized an online behavioral intervention, itMatters, aimed at reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STI) among first-year college students by targeting the intersection of alcohol use and sexual behaviors. Purpose: We had two goals: (a) to evaluate the optimized itMatters intervention and (b) to determine whether the candidate sexual violence prevention (SVP) component (included at the request of participating universities) had a detectable effect and therefore should be added to create a new version of itMatters. We also describe the hybrid evaluation-optimization trial we conducted to accomplish these two goals in a single experiment. Methods: First year college students (N = 3,098) at four universities in the USA were individually randomized in a hybrid evaluation-optimization 2 × 2 factorial trial. Data were analyzed using regression models, with pre-test outcome variables included as covariates in the models. Analyses were conducted separately with (a) immediate post-test scores and (b) 60-day follow-up scores as outcome variables. Results: Experimental results indicated a significant effect of itMatters on targeted proximal outcomes (norms) and on one distal behavioral outcome (binge drinking). There were no significant effects on other behavioral outcomes, including the intersection of alcohol and sexual behaviors. In addition, there were mixed results (positive short-term effect; no effect at 60-day follow-up) of the SVP component on targeted proximal outcomes (students' self-efficacy to reduce/prevent sexual violence and perceived effectiveness of protective behavioral strategies). Conclusions: The hybrid evaluation-optimization trial enabled us to evaluate the individual and combined effectiveness of the optimized itMatters intervention and the SVP component in a single experiment, conserving resources and providing greatly improved efficiency. Trial Registration: NCT04095065.
A Tribute to the Mind, Methodology and Mentoring of Wayne VelicerHarlow, L. L., Aiken, L., Blankson, A. N., Boodoo, G. M., Brick, L. A. D., Collins, L. M., Cumming, G., Fava, J. L., Goodwin, M. S., Hoeppner, B. B., MacKinnon, D. P., Molenaar, P. C., Rodgers, J. L., Rossi, J. S., Scott, A., Steiger, J. H., & West, S. G. (n.d.).
Journal titleMultivariate Behavioral Research
Page(s)377-389AbstractWayne Velicer is remembered for a mind where mathematical concepts and calculations intrigued him, behavioral science beckoned him, and people fascinated him. Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin on March 4, 1944, he was raised on a farm, although early influences extended far beyond that beginning. His Mathematics BS and Psychology minor at Wisconsin State University in Oshkosh, and his PhD in Quantitative Psychology from Purdue led him to a fruitful and far-reaching career. He was honored several times as a high-impact author, was a renowned scholar in quantitative and health psychology, and had more than 300 scholarly publications and 54,000+ citations of his work, advancing the arenas of quantitative methodology and behavioral health. In his methodological work, Velicer sought out ways to measure, synthesize, categorize, and assess people and constructs across behaviors and time, largely through principal components analysis, time series, and cluster analysis. Further, he and several colleagues developed a method called Testing Theory-based Quantitative Predictions, successfully applied to predicting outcomes and effect sizes in smoking cessation, diet behavior, and sun protection, with the potential for wider applications. With $60,000,000 in external funding, Velicer also helped engage a large cadre of students and other colleagues to study methodological models for a myriad of health behaviors in a widely applied Transtheoretical Model of Change. Unwittingly, he has engendered indelible memories and gratitude to all who crossed his path. Although Wayne Velicer left this world on October 15, 2017 after battling an aggressive cancer, he is still very present among us.
African American/Black and Latino Adults with Detectable HIV Viral Load Evidence Substantial Risk for Polysubstance Substance Use and Co-occurring Problems: A Latent Class AnalysisCleland, C. M., Gwadz, M., Collins, L. M., Wilton, L., Sherpa, D., Dorsen, C., Leonard, N. R., Cluesman, S. R., Martinez, B. Y., Ritchie, A. S., & Ayvazyan, M. (n.d.).
Journal titleAIDS and Behavior
Page(s)2501-2516AbstractSubstance use problems are highly prevalent among persons living with (PLWH) in the United States and serve as serious barriers to engagement in HIV care. Yet, in contrast to studies of single substances, little is known about patterns of polysubstance use in this population. Moreover, other risk factors (e.g., financial hardship, incarceration, homelessness, and mental health distress) are also prevalent and complicate HIV management. The present study drew on a cross-sectional survey with African American/Black and Latino (AABL) adult PLWH from low socioeconomic status backgrounds in New York City who were insufficiently engaged in HIV care and evidenced detectable HIV viral load (N = 512). We used latent class analysis (LCA) to explore patterns of polysubstance use and their relationships to financial hardship, incarceration, homelessness, and mental health. LCA yielded three substance use classes: Class 1, a high polysubstance use/high-risk substance use class (9%); Class 2, a polysubstance use/moderate substance use risk class (18%); and Class 3, a moderate polysubstance use/moderate-to-low-risk substance use class (74%). Mental health symptoms were prevalent in all classes, but Class 1 had greater mental health distress than the other two classes. Current homelessness was more prevalent in Classes 1 and 2. We cannot end the HIV epidemic without engaging and treating AABL PLWH who have serious barriers to engagement along the HIV care continuum, and who evidence polysubstance use along with co-occurring risk factors. Clinical settings can develop outreach and engagement approaches to bring this subpopulation of PLWH into care settings, and further, specialized services are needed to successfully screen, treat, and retain them.
Black and Latino Persons Living with HIV Evidence Risk and Resilience in the Context of COVID-19: A Mixed-Methods Study of the Early Phase of the Pandemic
Evaluating four motivation-phase intervention components for use with primary care patients unwilling to quit smoking: a randomized factorial experimentCook, J. W., Baker, T. B., Fiore, M. C., Collins, L. M., Piper, M. E., Schlam, T. R., Bolt, D. M., Smith, S. S., Zwaga, D., Jorenby, D. E., & Mermelstein, R. (n.d.).
Page(s)3167-3179AbstractAims: To assess the effectiveness of intervention components designed to increase quit attempts and promote abstinence in patients initially unwilling to quit smoking. Design: A four-factor, randomized factorial experiment. Setting: Sixteen primary care clinics in southern Wisconsin. Participants: A total of 577 adults who smoke (60% women, 80% White) recruited during primary care visits who were currently willing to reduce their smoking but unwilling to try to quit. Interventions. Four factors contrasted intervention components administered over a 1-year period: (i) nicotine mini-lozenge versus none; (ii) reduction counseling versus none; (iii) behavioral activation (BA) counseling versus none; and (iv) motivational 5Rs counseling versus none. Participants could request cessation treatment at any time. Measurements: The primary outcome was 7-day point-prevalence abstinence at 52 weeks post enrollment; secondary outcomes were point-prevalence abstinence at 26 weeks and making a quit attempt by weeks 26 and 52. Findings: No abstinence main effects were found but a mini-lozenge × reduction counseling × BA interaction was found at 52 weeks; P = 0.03. Unpacking this interaction showed that the mini-lozenge alone produced the highest abstinence rate (16.7%); combining it with reduction counseling produced an especially low abstinence rate (4.1%). Reduction counseling decreased the likelihood of making a quit attempt by 52 weeks relative to no reduction counseling (P = 0.01). Conclusions: Nicotine mini-lozenges may increase smoking abstinence in people initially unwilling to quit smoking, but their effectiveness declines when used with smoking reduction counseling or other behavioral interventions. Reduction counseling decreases the likelihood of making a quit attempt in people initially unwilling to quit smoking.
Inside the Clockwork of the ECHO Factorial Trial: A Conceptual Model With Proposed Mediators for Prevention of Emotional Problems in ChildrenIngul, J. M., Martinsen, K., Adolfsen, F., Sund, A. M., Ytreland, K., Bania, E. V., Lisøy, C., Rasmussen, L. M. P., Haug, I. M., Patras, J., Collins, L. M., Kendall, P. C., & Neumer, S. P. (n.d.).
Journal titleFrontiers in Psychology
Volume12AbstractHaving interventions that are not only evidence-based and effective but also cost-effective and efficient is important for the prevention and treatment of child and adolescent emotional problems. A randomized clinical trial (RCT) tests the total interventions effect but does not address specific components of the intervention. In this article the hypothesis and a conceptual model of the ECHO study are presented and discussed. The ECHO intervention consists of three different components each containing two levels of intervention. By using a cluster randomized factorial design, children aged 8–12 at 40 schools across Norway will be randomized to eight different experimental conditions investigating the optimal balance between effect, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency. The article presents the design and the different components being tested and discusses how optimalization can be reached through this innovative design. The article also discusses how interventions can be improved by investigating and understanding the mechanisms of change within psychological interventions. For each of the three components in the study we consider the mediators that could be active within the intervention and how the study investigates such mediation. The results will contribute to a better understanding of how psychological interventions work and how we intend to optimize the EMOTION intervention.
One view of the next decade of research on behavioral and biobehavioral approaches to cancer prevention and control: Intervention optimizationCollins, L. M., Strayhorn, J. C., & Vanness, D. J. (n.d.).
Journal titleTranslational Behavioral Medicine
Stopping, starting, and sustaining HIV antiretroviral therapy: a mixed-methods exploration among African American/Black and Latino long-term survivors of HIV in an urban contextGwadz, M., Cleland, C. M., Freeman, R., Wilton, L., Collins, L. M., L. Hawkins, R., Ritchie, A. S., Leonard, N. R., Jonas, D. F., Korman, A., Cluesman, S., He, N., & Sherpa, D. (n.d.).
Journal titleBMC public health
Issue1AbstractBackground: Although periods of HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) discontinuation have deleterious health effects, ART is not always sustained. Yet, little is known about factors that contribute to such ART non-persistence among long-term HIV survivors. The present study applied a convergent parallel mixed-methods design to explore the phenomena of stopping/starting and sustaining ART, focusing on low-socioeconomic status African American or Black and Latino persons living with HIV (PLWH) who face the greatest challenges. Methods: Participants (N = 512) had poor engagement in HIV care and detectable HIV viral load. All received structured assessments and N = 48 were randomly selected for in-depth interviews. Quantitative analysis using negative binomial regression uncovered associations among multi-level factors and the number of times ART was stopped/started and the longest duration of sustained ART. Qualitative data were analyzed using a directed content analysis approach and results were integrated. Results: Participants were diagnosed 18.2 years ago on average (SD = 8.6), started ART a median five times (Q1 = 3, Q3 = 10), and the median longest duration of sustained ART was 18 months (Q1 = 6, Q3 = 36). Factors associated with higher rates of stops/starts were male sex, transgender identity, cannabis use at moderate-to-high-risk levels, and ART- and care-related stigma. Factors associated with lower rates of stops/starts were older age, more years since diagnosis, motivation for care, and lifetime injection drug use (IDU). Factors associated with longer durations of sustained ART were Latino/Hispanic ethnicity, motivation for ART and care, and recent IDU. Factors associated with a shorter duration were African American/Black race, alcohol use at moderate-to-high-risk levels, and social support. Qualitative results uncovered a convergence of intersecting risk factors for stopping/starting ART and challenges inherent in managing HIV over decades in the context of poverty. These included unstable housing, which contributed to social isolation, mental health distress, and substance use concerns, the latter prompting selling (“diverting”) ART. Primarily complementary quantitative and qualitative findings described mechanisms by which risk/protective factors operated and ways PLWH successfully restart and/or sustain ART. Conclusions: The field focuses substantially on ART adherence, but greater attention to reducing the frequency of ART non-persistence is needed, along with creating social/structural conditions favorable for sustained ART.
The Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) in Child Maltreatment Prevention ResearchGuastaferro, K., Strayhorn, J. C., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of Child and Family Studies
Page(s)2481-2491AbstractEach year hundreds of thousands of children and families receive behavioral interventions designed to prevent child maltreatment; yet rates of maltreatment have not declined in over a decade. To reduce the prevalence and prevent the life-long negative consequences of child maltreatment, behavioral interventions must not only be effective, but also affordable, scalable, and efficient to meet the demand for these services. An innovative approach to intervention science is needed. The purpose of this article is to introduce the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) to the field of child maltreatment prevention. MOST is an engineering-inspired framework for developing, optimizing, and evaluating multicomponent behavioral interventions. MOST enables intervention scientists to empirically examine the performance of each intervention component, independently and in combination. Using a hypothetical example of a home visiting intervention and artificial data, this article demonstrates how MOST may be used to optimize the content of a parent-focused in-home intervention and the engagement strategies of an intervention to increase completion rate to identify an intervention that is effective, efficient, economical, and scalable. We suggest that MOST will ultimately improve prevention science and hasten the progress of translational science to prevent child maltreatment.
Understanding Medical Distrust Among African American/Black and Latino Persons Living With HIV With Sub-Optimal Engagement Along the HIV Care Continuum: A Machine Learning ApproachHe, N., Cleland, C. M., Gwadz, M., Sherpa, D., Ritchie, A. S., Martinez, B. Y., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).
Journal titleSAGE Open
Issue4AbstractMedical distrust is a potent barrier to participation in HIV care and medication use among African American/Black and Latino (AABL) persons living with HIV (PLWH). However, little is known about sociodemographic and risk factors associated with distrust. We recruited adult AABL PLWH from low socio-economic status backgrounds with insufficient engagement in HIV care (N = 512). Participants completed structured assessments on three types of distrust (of health care providers, health care systems, and counter-narratives), HIV history, and mental health. We used a type of machine learning called random forest to explore predictors of trust. On average, participants were 47 years old (SD = 11 years), diagnosed with HIV 18 years prior (SD = 9 years), and mainly male (64%) and African American/Black (69%). Depression and age were the most important predictors of trust. Among those with elevated depressive symptoms, younger participants had less trust than older, while among those without depression, trust was greater across all ages. The present study adds nuance to the literature on medical distrust among AABL PLWH and identifies junctures where interventions to build trust are needed most.
A Factorial Experiment to Optimize Remotely Delivered Behavioral Treatment for Obesity: Results of the Opt-IN StudySpring, B., Pfammatter, A. F., Marchese, S. H., Stump, T., Pellegrini, C., McFadden, H. G., Hedeker, D., Siddique, J., Jordan, N., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).
Page(s)1652-1662AbstractObjective: Intensive behavioral obesity treatments face scalability challenges, but evidence is lacking about which treatment components could be cut back without reducing weight loss. The Optimization of Remotely Delivered Intensive Lifestyle Treatment for Obesity (Opt-IN) study applied the Multiphase Optimization Strategy to develop an entirely remotely delivered, technology-supported weight-loss package to maximize the amount of weight loss attainable for ≤$500. Methods: Six-month weight loss was examined among adults (N = 562) with BMI ≥ 25 who were randomly assigned to conditions in a factorial experiment crossing five dichotomous treatment components set to either low/high (12 vs. 24 coaching calls) or off/on (primary care provider reports, text messaging, meal replacements, and buddy training). Results: About 84.3% of participants completed the final assessment. The treatment package yielding maximum weight loss for ≤$500 included 12 coaching calls, buddy training, and primary care provider progress reports; produced average weight loss of 6.1 kg, with 57.1% losing ≥5% and 51.8% losing ≥7%; and cost $427 per person. The most expensive candidate-treatment component (24 vs. 12 coaching calls) was screened out of the optimized treatment package because it did not increase weight loss. Conclusions: Systematically testing each treatment component’s effect on weight loss made it possible to eliminate more expensive but less impactful components, yielding an optimized, resource-efficient obesity treatment for evaluation in a randomized controlled trial.
itMatters: Optimization of an online intervention to prevent sexually transmitted infections in college studentsWyrick, D. L., Tanner, A. E., Milroy, J. J., Guastaferro, K., Bhandari, S., Kugler, K. C., Thorpe, S., Ware, S., Miller, A. M., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of American College Health
Page(s)1-11AbstractObjective: To describe an iterative approach to developing an online intervention targeting the intersection of alcohol use and sexual behaviors among first year college students. Methods and Participants: Using the multiphase optimization strategy (MOST), we conducted two iterative optimization trials to: (1) identify candidate intervention components (i.e., descriptive norms, injunctive norms, outcome expectancies, perceived benefits of protective behavioral strategies, and self-efficacy to use strategies); (2) revise components; and (3) identify the optimized intervention. Participants were first year college students at six geographically diverse universities (optimization trial 1 N = 5,880; optimization trial 2 N = 3,551) Results: For both optimization trials, the results indicated that only descriptive and injunctive norms produced a significant effect (p<.05). Conclusions: The iterative process of MOST allowed us to develop an optimized intervention which is an essential tool to maximize intervention effectiveness and efficiency to improve uptake, sustainability, and public health impact.
Predictors of smoking cessation attempts and success following motivation-phase interventions among people initially unwilling to quit smokingKlemperer, E. M., Mermelstein, R., Baker, T. B., Hughes, J. R., Fiore, M. C., Piper, M. E., Schlam, T. R., Jorenby, D. E., Collins, L. M., & Cook, J. W. (n.d.).
Journal titleNicotine and Tobacco Research
Page(s)1446-1452AbstractIntroduction: Most people who smoke cigarettes are not willing (ie, not ready) to make a quit attempt (QA) at any given time. Unfortunately, interventions intended to increase QAs and the success of QAs are only modestly effective. Identifying processes leading to QAs and quitting success could guide intervention development. Aims and Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a randomized factorial trial of 6 weeks of motivation-phase interventions among primary care patients (N = 517) who were initially unwilling to quit but were willing to reduce their smoking. Using logistic regression, we controlled for treatment condition and tested whether baseline or change in smoking-related constructs after 6 weeks of treatment predicted (1) making an at least 24 h QA between weeks 6 and 26 and (2) quitting success at week 26 (7-day point-prevalence abstinence among those who made a QA). Predictors included cigarettes/day, time to first cigarette, motivation to quit, quitting self-efficacy, anticipated urges to smoke if quit, positive affect, negative affect, and time spent around others who smoke. Results: In multivariable models that included all smoking-related constructs, changes in the following variables predicted initiating a QA above and beyond other variables: greater baseline time to first cigarette (odds ratio [OR] = 1.60), increases in time to first cigarette (OR = 1.27), and increases in quitting self-efficacy (OR = 1.14). Increased motivation to quit predicted conversion of a QA into quitting success at 26 weeks (OR = 1.36). Conclusion: Predictors of making a QA differed from predictors of quitting success. Predictors of QAs and success could each serve as important treatment targets of motivation-phase interventions. Implications: Motivation-phase interventions for people initially unwilling to quit smoking cigarettes may be improved by striving to increase their (1) time to first cigarette and quitting self-efficacy to promote QAs and (2) motivation to quit to promote quit success. Future experimental tests of such interventions are needed to identify causal determinants of QAs and quitting success.
Understanding long-term HIV survivorship among African American/Black and Latinx persons living with HIV in the United States: A qualitative exploration through the lens of symbolic violenceFreeman, R., Gwadz, M., Wilton, L., Collins, L. M., Dorsen, C., Hawkins, R. L., Silverman, E., Martinez, B. Y., Leonard, N. R., Applegate, A., & Cluesman, S. (n.d.).
Journal titleInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Issue1AbstractBackground: Persons living with HIV (PLWH) are living longer, although racial/ethnic and socioeconomic status (SES) disparities persist. Yet, little is known about the experience of living with and managing HIV over decades. The present study took a qualitative approach and used the lens of symbolic violence, a type of internalized, non-physical violence manifested in the power differential between social groups. We focused on adult African American/Black and Latinx (AABL) PLWH from low-SES backgrounds. Methods: Data were drawn from two studies with AABL PLWH in New York City (N = 59). After providing signed informed consent, participants engaged in in-depth semi-structured interviews on aspects of HIV management. Interviews were audio-recorded and professionally transcribed verbatim, and data were analyzed using directed qualitative content analysis. Results: Participants in the two studies were comparable on sociodemographic and background characteristics. They had lived with HIV for 20 years, on average (range 3-33 years). All were from low-SES backgrounds and most were African American/Black and men. Participants experienced a convergence of multiple social exclusions, harms, and stigmas, consistent with symbolic violence, which contributed to disengagement from HIV care and discontinuation of HIV medications. We organized results into five sub-themes: (1) participants were "ground down"over time by material, social, and emotional challenges and this diminished self-worth and, at times, the will to live; (2) social isolation and self-isolation, based in part on feeling devalued and dehumanized, served as stigma-avoidance strategies and mechanisms of social exclusion; (3) stigmatizing aspects of patient-provider interactions, both experienced and anticipated, along with (4) restricted autonomy in HIV care and other settings (e.g., parole) reduced engagement; and (5) poor HIV management was internalized as a personal failure. Importantly, resilience was evident throughout the five sub-themes. Conclusions: Symbolic violence is a useful framework for understanding long-term HIV management and survivorship among AABL PLWH from low-SES backgrounds. Indeed, forms of symbolic violence are internalized over time (e.g., experiencing devaluation, dehumanization, loss of self-worth, and anticipated stigma), thereby impeding successful HIV management, in part because avoiding HIV care and discontinuing HIV medications are primary coping strategies. Results have implications for interventions in community and health care settings.
Achieving the goals of translational science in public health intervention research: The multiphase optimization strategy (MOST)Guastaferro, K., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).
Journal titleAmerican journal of public health
Developing a Psychological-Behavioral Intervention in Cardiac Patients Using the Multiphase Optimization Strategy: Lessons Learned from the FieldHuffman, J. C., Millstein, R. A., Celano, C. M., Healy, B. C., Park, E. R., & Collins, L. M. (n.d.).
Journal titleAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Page(s)151-163AbstractBackground: The Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) is an approach to systematically and efficiently developing a behavioral intervention using a sequence of experiments to prepare and optimize the intervention. Purpose: Using a 6 year MOST-based behavioral intervention development project as an example, we outline the results - and resulting decision-making process - related to experiments at each step to display the practical challenges present at each stage. Methods: To develop a positive psychology (PP) based intervention to promote physical activity after an acute coronary syndrome (N = 255 across four phases), we utilized qualitative, proof-of-concept, factorial design, and randomized pilot experiments, with iterative modification of intervention content and delivery. Results: Through this multiphase approach, we ultimately developed a 12 week, phone-delivered, combined PP-motivational interviewing intervention to promote physical activity. Across stages, we learned several important lessons: (a) participant and interventionist feedback is important, even in later optimization stages; (b) a thoughtful and systematic approach using all information sources is required when conflicting results in experiments make next steps unclear; and (3) new approaches in the field over a multiyear project should be integrated into the development process. Conclusions: A MOST-based behavioral intervention development program can be efficient and effective in developing optimized new interventions, and it may require complex and nuanced decision-making at each phase.