Grantee: Patrick Calhoun
- Duke University
Dr. Calhoun's research focuses on reducing smoking in at-risk populations, including smokers with mental illness, rural smokers, and military veterans. Dr. Calhoun is particularly interested in identifying strategies that provide practical and cost-effective interventions that increase the reach of evidenced-based practices.
As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Calhoun was struck by the sheer number of his clinical patients who were diagnosed with smoking-related illnesses. He has taken a leading role in documenting the enormity of the problem that smoking and other health risk behaviors (such as alcohol misuse) cause for persons with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a series of both laboratory and naturalistic studies, his work has focused on understanding the physiological and psychological mechanisms underlying the comorbidity between smoking and mental illness.
Dr. Calhoun's current work focuses on the development of innovative smoking cessation treatment models that increase the reach of behavioral interventions. The majority of smokers receive no formal treatment for smoking cessation. Recognizing that emerging mHealth technologies hold great promise for increasing penetration of health behavior change interventions, Dr. Calhoun and his research team have developed several smart phone-based smoking-cessation applications. He is currently examining the effectiveness of a strategy that pairs cognitive-behavioral telephone counseling, a tele-health medicine clinic, and a smart phone-based app that has increased the portability of contingency management (CM)-based approaches for smoking cessation. If shown to be cost effective, the use of mobile phones as a platform to provide CM could significantly transform the delivery of smoking-cessation care.
We often spend too much of our time developing the next best possible treatment without spending enough time thinking about how we are going to reach the people who need it most. Mobile health technologies are exciting because they provide a platform to increase the reach of intensive behavioral interventions, and have great potential to increase the impact of smoking cessation treatment.”