UW-CTRI has 7 active studies. These include:
- R35 Outstanding Investigator Award. This seven-year grant will empower UW-CTRI to identify and disseminate effective, innovative ways to help cancer patients quit smoking. Specifically, UW-CTRI researchers, led by Dr. Michael Fiore, will further evaluate innovative approaches to helping cancer patients who smoke to quit. They’ll advance knowledge regarding interventions and health-system changes that will help more patients living with cancer break free from tobacco dependence. Research studies supported by this grant will help to identify effective interventions that help people with cancer achieve lasting tobacco abstinence, as well as efficient and equitable ways to connect cancer patients with such treatments. UW-CTRI will work with diverse cancer-care programs across the nation to assist with implementing evidence-based smoking treatment for patients living with cancer. They’ll develop guides to disseminate the best strategies to cancer centers nationwide. In addition to Fiore, UW-CTRI Co-Director of Research Dr. Danielle McCarthy and UW-CTRI Associate Director Dr. Tim Baker will lead the science. UW-CTRI Researcher Mark Zehner will manage the project. December 2022-December 2029, $6.5 million. Funded by the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Michael Fiore, PI.
- Predicting Patient Outcomes in Wisconsin and Nationwide Using the University of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 EHR Cohort Database. The major goal of this study is to utilize the COVID EHR Cohort at the University of Wisconsin (CEC-UW) database to improve the health and well-being of the people of Wisconsin. This will be accomplished by examining predictors of patient outcomes at the UW Health site specifically and conducting focused contrasts of effects found at UW Health to those at other participating health systems. February 2022-January 2024, $300,000. Funded by Wisconsin Partnership Program. Michael Fiore and Tom Piasecki, PIs.
- Breaking Addiction to Tobacco for Health 2 (BREATHE 2). In a first, researchers at the University of Wisconsin are comparing the most effective treatments to help people quit smoking in real-world clinics, with a goal of tailoring and optimizing help to people who smoke. UW-CTRI is partnering with health systems to treat more than 4,000 clinic patients. They’re reaching out to patients listed as people who smoke in electronic health records to help those who are ready to quit and motivate those who aren’t. About 25 million people who smoke in America make a primary care visit each year, but only about five percent of people who smoke who try to quit use the cessation counseling and medication we know can help. In this study, the research team will reach out to them and offer these treatments. May 2019-May 2024, $12.5 million. Funded by NCI. Drs. Timothy Baker and Michael Fiore, PIs.
- VA Merit Grant. US Department of Veterans Affairs awarded a grant to UW-CTRI Researcher Dr. Jessica Cook and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital (VA) in Madison to be the first ever to evaluate a chronic care system designed to help Veterans who are both ready and not ready to quit smoking. Many Veterans become addicted to tobacco during their military service. The team is implementing the grant at the VA, offering telemedicine visits for all Veterans who smoke, including rural Veterans who cannot afford to drive into Madison for visits. It’s a way of giving back to Veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country by assisting those who need it most. The Enhanced Chronic Care system provides ongoing motivational interventions and interpersonal support to Veterans who use tobacco but are not ready to quit. The treatment is designed to encourage Veterans to use evidence-based tobacco treatment and to ultimately help them quit. Cook works with UW-CTRI colleagues Elana Brubaker and Kirsten Webster to recruit 250 Veterans who smoke to receive the Enhanced Chronic Care intervention, and another 250 to receive the Standard Care (brief advice to quit once per year). The researchers hope this study will help identify an effective smoking treatment strategy for VA clinical practice. January 2019-December 2023, $1 million. Funded by the VA. Dr. Jess Cook, PI.
- Motivating Change in Aging People Who Smoke. This K23 award funds a research study to increase smoking cessation in adults age 50 and older. While these adults smoke at lower rates (8.2%) than the general population (13%), their cessation rates are also lower because they are less likely to be advised to quit or offered help by providers. A common misperception is that mature adults can’t or won’t quit and, if they do, they won’t benefit from it. But the research reflects the contrary. When they do try to quit, they’re generally more successful than younger people, especially when they use evidenced-based treatments (which double their success). The study will run qualitative interviews to look at what might motivate older adults to quit. One potential incentive is pointing out that quitting smoking can reduce risk for cognitive decline—commonly cited as the greatest fear among mature adults, but one yet to be used for motivation with smoking cessation. UW-CTRI will recruit participants via signs, posters, calls from each person’s clinic, and a letter to motivate and offer treatment. Researchers will compare that to a clinic with no message and a clinic with a standard motivational method. The group plans to run the study at three clinics in the same health system. They’ll be tuned into any behavioral health symptoms and the socioeconomic status of the participants to better analyze and interpret results. Drs. Megan Piper, Carey Gleason, Jane Mahoney, and Jessica Cook are serving as co-mentors to Principal Investigator Dr. Adrienne Johnson. May 2021-Feb 2026, $782,000. Funded by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Adrienne Johnson, PI.
- Improving Quitline Support Study (IQS). This project is evaluating promising strategies to enhance quit-smoking success among low-income people who smoke. Researchers are enrolling 1,408 Medicaid-eligible or uninsured people who smoke who continued smoking four months after engaging in standard services from the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line. These people who smoke have been invited to participate in an experiment to evaluate the value of augmenting standard Quit Line treatment with more intensive counseling, more intensive nicotine replacement, NCI’s SmokefreeTXT text support program, and/or financial incentives for using Quit Line and SmokefreeTXT support. Analyses will examine the main and interactive effects of these four treatment components at 26 weeks, as well as other quit-smoking outcomes in this at-risk population. August 2017-July 2023, $3 million. Funded by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Drs. Danielle McCarthy and Michael Fiore, PIs.
- Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) Developmental Grant. This project aims to develop a tailored intervention for African Americans age 50 and older to motivate them to quit smoking. African Americans are disproportionately more likely than white adults to develop dementia and suffer health effects of smoking. For this project, UW-CTRI Researcher Dr. Adrienne Johnson is collaborating with Lorraine Lathen, Director of the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network. April 2021-March 2023, $150,000. Funded by the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center with funds from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. Adrienne Johnson, PI.