Research

Our intervention research program is focused on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)-based and technologically diverse interventions to achieve healthy behavior change, using chatbots, smartphone apps, telehealth, and websites.

By offering many different innovative tech choices, we hope to enable different people to find the program that works best for them, whether it is to quit smoking or lose weight. Our research designs programs that help people recognize and alter behavior patterns associated with addiction, increase willingness to experience physical cravings, emotions, and thoughts, and make values-guided committed behavior changes.  

We have also been known as the Tobacco & Health Behavior Science Research Group (THBSRG) or Behavioral Health Studies, but have chosen Health And Behavioral Innovations in Technology (HABIT) to show our focus on using technology to help people break addictions and change behaviors.

Connect with HABIT Research on Facebook

Current Research Projects
 

Principal Investigator: Jonathan Bricker, PhD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Aim
: Comparing two telephone counseling programs for helping adults lose weight and exercise
Description:

  • Compares two 2-year-long telehealth counseling programs for weight loss and exercise.
  • Participants get personalized telephone coaching from trained counselors for 2-years, and a Fitbit Aria Air scale and Inspire activity tracker to help them monitor weight and physical activity.
  • Now recruiting 398 participants at www.WeLNES.org

Recruitment Website: www.WeLNES.org

Principal Investigator: Jonathan Bricker, PhD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Aim
: Testing a new smartphone application program to help cancer patients quit smoking
Description:

  • Compares two quit-smoking smartphone apps: newly designed Quit2Heal app vs standard US Clinical Practice Guidelines QuitGuide app.
  • In the earlier pilot trial, Quit2Heal participants had higher engagement and satisfaction, and higher quit rates than QuitGuide. Results are published in JMIR.
  • Soon to begin recruiting 422 participants at www.Quit2Heal.org.

Funding: National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI) 5-year R01
Recruitment website: www.Quit2Heal.org

Principal Investigator: Jonathan Bricker, PhD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Aim: Testing a chatbot to help adults quit smoking

Description:

  • Compares a newly designed conversational agent, the QuitBot chatbot, versus text messaging.
  • In the earlier pilot trial, QuitBot participants had higher engagement and satisfaction than SmokefreeTXT.
  • Soon to begin recruiting 1520 participants at www.QuitBot.org.

FundingNational Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI) 5-year R01


iCanQuit logo

Principal Investigator: Jonathan Bricker, PhD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Aim: Creating better smartphone application programs for helping adults quit smoking

Description:

  • Compared two quit-smoking smartphone apps: newly designed ACT-based iCanQuit app vs standard US Clinical Practice Guidelines QuitGuide app.
  • Completed recruitment of 2503 adult smokers.
  • Results showed that smokers who used the iCanQuit app were about 50% more likely to quit compared to those who used the QuitGuide app. Read all about it in the JAMA Internal Medicine article.

Funding: National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI) 5-year R01

webquit

Principal Investigator: Jonathan Bricker, PhD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Aim: Validating and improving online smoking cessation programs
Description:

  • Tested two web-based programs to assess their efficacy and usability: Smokefree.gov site (most-visited quit smoking website in the US) or to our ACT-based WebQuit.org site.
  • Results show that quit rates for WebQuit and Smoke-free.gov were more than twice as high as quit rates for other cessation website or telephone counseling interventions.

FundingNIH NCI 5-year R01

talk

Principal Investigator: Jonathan Bricker, PhD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)
Aim: Improving the effectiveness of smoking cessation telephone quitlines programs
Description:

  • Determine whether phone-delivered ACT has promise to improve quit rates compared to the current phone-delivered standard of care in smoking cessation quitlines.
  • Working with quitlines in South Carolina and Louisiana, the study enrolled 1275 participants to examine quit rates, meditational processes, and implementation outcomes.

FundingNIH National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) 5-year R01

welnes graphic

Principal Investigator: Jonathan Bricker, PhD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Aim: Pilot study to create an innovative and effective new telephone weight loss program
Description:

  • Determined that phone-delivered ACT has promise to improve weight loss compared to a phone-delivered standard intervention.
  • The pilot study enrolled 105 participants to examine feasibility, adherence, and weight loss outcomes.

Funding: Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Hutch Award Luncheon


Collaboration Projects
 

WebQuit Plus

Principal Investigator: Jaimee Heffner, PhD; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Description: The aim of this study is to determine whether individual ACT counseling has promise to improve quit rates among smokers with bipolar disorder. The study examines feasibility, quit rates, and implementation outcomes.
Funding
NIH NIDA

Brief ACT for HIV-infected At-Risk Drinkers

Principal Investigator: Sarah Woolf-King, PhD; Syracuse University
Description
: The overall objective of this study is to develop and pilot test a brief ACT intervention for HIV-infected at-risk drinkers. We believe that skills learned in the resulting intervention will decrease alcohol use, improve ART adherence, and increase acceptance—the active process of fully experiencing emotions, thoughts and/or memories while still behaving effectively—a known mechanism of change.
FundingNIH National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Couple Communication in Cancer

Principal Investigator: Shelby Langer, PhD; Arizona State University
Description: This project aims to identify how communicative processes are linked to cancer patient and partner outcomes. The study is testing two separate models (the social-cognitive processing and relationship intimacy models) to see which better explains the psychological and relationship adjustment of couples during cancer treatment. The multi-method approach includes laboratory verbal and non-verbal communication scoring of interactions and daily mobile app-based ecological momentary assessment of couples’ dyadic communication. Assessments will delineate mediators (how they work), moderators (for whom they work), and for which outcomes they are most predictive. The goal is to create a new integrated model combining key components of both models to identify the optimal integrated model for how communication between couples in cancer relates to cancer outcomes. We will use this model to design evidenced-based couples’ interventions.
Funding
NIH NCI

       A Web-Based Tobacco Cessation Treatment for Veterans with Mental Health Disorders

            Principal Investigator: Megan Kelly, PhD; Bedford Veteran's Association (VA)
            Description: This project will adapt an existing, effective, and targeted web-based tobacco cessation intervention for Veterans with mental health disorders and optimize this intervention            via iterative usability testing. Results from this pilot project will inform the development of a Merit application to conduct a randomized clinical trial of Vet WebQuit vs. Smokefree.gov.
            Funding
: VA-ORD


Collaborators
 

National Institutes of Health logo
University of Washington logo
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance logo
CVSHealth Foundation logo
ACS logo
msk logo
Arizona State University logo
Drexel university logo
Tsinghua university logo
Indiana unviersity
Syracuse University logo

    

va logo
olympic medical cancer center
kadlec
Skagit Regional Health logo
tri-cities logo
confluence health logo
uw medicine
summit logo
evergreen health logo
St. Joseph
Kaiser permanente
center for well being logo
microsoft ai logo
moby logo
blink logo
ayogo logo
halibut flats logo