The activities proposed in this NCI K07 application are designed to advance the career development of Dr. Jessica Burris, whose long-term career goal is to sustain an independent, innovative, and meaningful clinical research program that focuses on tobacco use and cessation in cancer patients. Most clinicians view cancer diagnosis as a teachable moment, and thus urge immediate smoking cessation after delivery of cancer diagnosis. However, most quit attempts end in relapse and extant interventions for smoking cessation in cancer patients have limited success. A cancer diagnosis brings about many intra- and inter-personal changes (e.g., increase in emotional distress, greater need for social support, increase in saliency of personal risk), but there is very little understanding as to how such changes influence smoking cessation. With an eye toward intervention development, the independent research proposed in this application will examine the naturalistic course of smoking cessation after cancer diagnosis as well as the dynamics that underlie changes in smoking behavior.
Specific aims are 1) to describe key events in the process of smoking cessation and 2) to uncover cognitive and affective variables that promote or undermine the occurrence of a quit attempt, lapse, and relapse among newly diagnosed cancer patients. After a baseline assessment (N=120 head and neck cancer patients), participants will initiate a 30-day period of daily assessment via interactive voice response technology, with a final assessment to occur three months after the baseline assessment. Biochemical verification of abstinence at the end of the 30-day daily IVR assessment and final assessment will be achieved through use of saliva cotinine samples. Statistical analysis will allow novel tests of how, and to what extent, day-to-day changes in cognitive and affective variables influence smoking cessation outcomes in newly diagnosed cancer patients. Innovation is achieved by: 1) a focus on the process of smoking cessation as opposed to the treatment of abstinence as a discrete outcome, 2) equal attention given to cognitive and affective predictors of smoking cessation outcomes, 3) use of mobile technology as the primary means of data collection among cancer patients, and 4) proper application of longitudinal data analysis techniques to rich within-subjects data. A training plan that complements the independent research includes coursework, seminars, workshops, mentored research, journal clubs, and conferences, the combination of which will cover these topics: nicotine dependence;individual-level and public health approaches to tobacco control;longitudinal research design, coordination, and execution;advanced statistical techniques;research dissemination;grantsmanship;and ethical conduct of research. The strong support of an excellent team of mentors, and the vast resources and outstanding scientific environment of the Medical University of South Carolina, create an optimal training environment. Collectively, the integrated research and training plan proposed in this NCI K07 application are an ideal mechanism to promote the career development of Dr. Burris.

Public Health Relevance

Cigarette smoking after head and neck cancer diagnosis can lead to a number of significant health problems, including a high risk of cancer recurrence and second primary cancer. The goal of this research is to uncover the process of smoking cessation in newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients and to identify the dynamics of cognitive and affective variables that underlie quit attempts, lapses, and relapses. The results will inform the design of more effective smoking cessation treatments, which has clear implications for the prevention of future threats to the health of cancer patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Academic/Teacher Award (ATA) (K07)
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Subcommittee B - Comprehensiveness (NCI)
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Perkins, Susan N
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University of Kentucky
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Burris, Jessica L; Rivera-Rivera, Jessica N; Armeson, Kent et al. (2018) Causal attributions and their impact on psychosocial functioning in head and neck cancer patient-caregiver dyads: a preliminary, longitudinal study. Qual Life Res :
Davis, Heather A; Riley, Elizabeth N; Smith, Gregory T et al. (2017) Alcohol use and strenuous physical activity in college students: A longitudinal test of 2 explanatory models of health behavior. J Am Coll Health 65:112-121
Burris, Jessica L; Riley, Elizabeth; Puleo, Gabriella E et al. (2017) A longitudinal study of the reciprocal relationship between ever smoking and urgency in early adolescence. Drug Alcohol Depend 178:519-526
Heckman, Bryan W; Cummings, K Michael; Kasza, Karin A et al. (2017) Effectiveness of Switching Smoking-Cessation Medications Following Relapse. Am J Prev Med 53:e63-e70
Meier, Ellen; Burris, Jessica L; Wahlquist, Amy et al. (2017) Perceptions of Snus Among US Adult Smokers Given Free Product. Nicotine Tob Res 20:22-29
Carpenter, Matthew J; Wahlquist, Amy E; Burris, Jessica L et al. (2017) Snus undermines quit attempts but not abstinence: a randomised clinical trial among US smokers. Tob Control 26:202-209
Burris, Jessica L; Wahlquist, Amy E; Alberg, Anthony J et al. (2016) A longitudinal, naturalistic study of U.S. smokers' trial and adoption of snus. Addict Behav 63:82-8
Burris, Jessica L; Studts, Jamie L; DeRosa, Antonio P et al. (2015) Systematic Review of Tobacco Use after Lung or Head/Neck Cancer Diagnosis: Results and Recommendations for Future Research. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 24:1450-61