Kristen Davis-Lopez, MPH, PMP is the Research Project Manager at the S-SPIRE Center. She has a background in biology as well as public health. She supports multiple principal investigators with their current funded projects as project manager. She leads the Social Science Research Professionals in the S-SPIRE Center and also assists with the grant submission process within the Department of Surgery acting as a liaison with the Research Management Group.

Education & Certifications

  • MPH, University of San Francisco, Public Health (2016)
  • BS, Denison Unviersity, Biology (2011)

All Publications

  • Why may patients with spinal cord injury be overlooked for obesity screening in the Veterans Health Administration? Qualitative research of the perspectives of patients and healthcare providers. Disability and rehabilitation Nevedal, A. L., Wu, J., LaVela, S. L., Harris, A. H., Frayne, S. M., Arnow, K. D., Barreto, N. B., Davis, K., Eisenberg, D. 2023: 1-12


    PURPOSE: We sought to describe factors influencing reduced rates of obesity screening for patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the United States Veterans Health Administration (VA) and to foster potential solutions.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Semi-structured interviews with healthcare providers and patients with SCI who were recruited nationally from diverse VAs. We performed rapid qualitative analysis using content analysis of interview data.RESULTS: There were 36 providers and 37 patients. We identified provider, patient, and system level barriers to obesity screening for individuals with SCI. Overarching barriers involved provider and patient perceptions that obesity screening is a low priority compared to other health conditions, and body mass index is of low utility. Other obesity screening barriers were related to measuring weight (i.e., insufficient equipment, unknown wheelchair weight, staffing shortages, measurement errors, reduced access to annual screening, insufficient time, patient preference not to be weighed) and measuring height (i.e., insufficient guidance and equipment to this population, measurement errors).CONCLUSIONS: Barriers to obesity screenings exist for patients with SCI receiving care in VA. Healthcare provider and patient interviews suggest possible solutions, including standardizing height and weight measurement processes, ensuring equipment availability in clinics, clarifying guidelines, and offering support to providers and patients.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATIONIndividuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) have higher rates of obesity, but are often overlooked for annual obesity screening, even in clinic settings designed to care for individuals with SCI.Results may help tailor guidelines/education for healthcare and rehabilitation providers offering them guidance for improving obesity screening for individuals with SCI by standardizing weight and height measurement and documentation. To facilitate this, findings highlight the need for resources, such as ensuring clinics have necessary equipment, and increasing patient access to support and equipment.Improving the provision of obesity screening for individuals with SCI is necessary to improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction with care.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/09638288.2022.2159074

    View details for PubMedID 36591701

  • Physical and emotional consequences of excess weight as experienced by individuals with spinal cord injuries. The journal of spinal cord medicine LaVela, S. L., Wu, J., Harris, A. H., Frayne, S. M., Nevedal, A. L., Arnow, K. D., Barreto, N. B., Davis, K., Eisenberg, D. 2022: 1-11


    Excess weight has the potential to carry a substantial physical and emotional burden. A better understanding of perceived consequences of excess weight may facilitate the development of patient-centered programs and interventions to promote weight management efforts in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). The study objective was to describe consequences of excess weight from the personal perspectives of individuals with SCI.Descriptive qualitative design using in-depth semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis.Veterans Health Administration (VHA) SCI System of Care.Individuals with SCI (n-33).Key themes from thematic analysis.Participants were male (61%), ranged from 29 to 84 years of age, and about half had tetraplegia (55%). Five themes were identified that demonstrate negative consequences of excess weight experienced by individuals with SCI, including: (1) physical health conditions (including chronic conditions and SCI secondary conditions), (2) physical symptoms (such as pain, discomfort, and fatigue), (3) movement challenges, (4) appearance-related concerns, and (5) emotional impacts.Carrying excess weight is concerning to individuals with SCI and in terms of consequences such onset or exacerbation of chronic conditions, SCI secondary conditions, physical symptoms, e.g. pain, movement impairment (including hampered mobility, difficult transfers and self-care), image/appearance concerns (e.g. body image, clothing misfit), and negative emotions (e.g. unhappy, sad, depressed). Our findings may inform SCI healthcare providers about the consequences of excess weight as experienced by individuals with SCI, highlighting what matters most to persons with SCI and guiding a patient-centered approach to weight management in this population.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/10790268.2022.2097994

    View details for PubMedID 36448929

  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals living with spinal cord injury: A qualitative study. Rehabilitation psychology LaVela, S. L., Wu, J., Nevedal, A. L., Harris, A. H., Frayne, S. M., Arnow, K. D., Barreto, N. B., Davis, K., Eisenberg, D. 2022


    PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE: To explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic as experienced and reported by individuals living with a spinal cord injury (SCI).RESEARCH METHOD/DESIGN: Descriptive qualitative design using in-depth semistructured interviews with individuals with SCI (n = 33) followed by thematic analysis.RESULTS: Three main themes described impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. (a) Impact on health care use; subthemes elaborated that this was attributable to in-person health care facility restrictions or individual decisions to delay care. Individuals with SCI experienced lapses in primary and SCI-specialty care, rehabilitation/therapy services, and home care, but some made use of telehealth services. (b) Impact on weight and/or weight management lifestyle behaviors; subthemes discussed that engagement in physical activity declined because of fitness center closures, recreational activity cancellations, and safety precautions limiting community-based and outdoor activities. The pandemic disrupted participants' independence in purchasing and making preferred food selections which impacted healthy eating. Participants ate due to boredom, at nonmealtimes, and consumed unhealthy foods during the pandemic. (c) Impact on psychosocial factors; included subthemes noting reduced social interactions, social participation, and ability to pursue pastimes with family, friends, and groups they belonged to. The pandemic also triggered emotional reactions such as worry, fear, doubt, demotivation, and feelings of social isolation.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight the magnitude of consequences faced by individuals with SCI when restrictions to health care, healthy lifestyle endeavors, and social participation occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings may inform SCI health care providers on what is needed in response to future public health or natural disaster crises. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

    View details for DOI 10.1037/rep0000469

    View details for PubMedID 36395055

  • Interaction between increasing body mass index and spinal cord injury to the probability of developing a diagnosis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease OBESITY SCIENCE & PRACTICE Eisenberg, D., Arnow, K. D., Barreto, N. B., Davis, K., LaVela, S. L., Frayne, S. M., Nevedal, A. L., Wu, J., Harris, A. S. 2022

    View details for DOI 10.1002/osp4.643

    View details for Web of Science ID 000876898400001

  • Rates, Variability, and Predictors of Screening for Obesity: Are Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury Being Overlooked? Obesity facts Eisenberg, D., LaVela, S. L., Frayne, S. M., Chen, R., Barreto, N. B., Wu, J., Nevedal, A. L., Davis, K., Arnow, K. D., Harris, A. H. 2022; 15 (3): 451-457


    INTRODUCTION: Individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) are vulnerable to obesity. Annual obesity screening using body mass index (BMI) is the standard of care mandated by US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) guidelines. Our objective was to determine the rates, variability, and predictors of guideline-concordant annual screening for obesity, given potential challenges of height and weight measurements in individuals with SCI.METHODS: This is a cross-sectional retrospective study using US national VA databases. We identified all VHA patients with chronic SCI in the fiscal year (FY) 2019, their treating facility and frequency of recorded height and weight. We applied mixed-effects logistic regression models to assess associations between annual BMI screening and patient- and facility-level characteristics.RESULTS: Of 20,978 individuals with chronic SCI in VHA in FY19, guideline-concordant annual BMI screening was lacking in 37.9%. Accounting for facility-level factors (geographic region, SCI facility type, volume of patients with SCI treated at the facility), a mixed-effects logistic regression model demonstrated that lack of annual obesity screening was significantly associated with older patient age (p < 0.001) and fewer outpatient encounters (p < 0.001) but not other patient-level factors such as sex, race, level of injury, or rurality. The rate of obesity screening among different facilities within VHA varied widely from 11.1% to 75.7%.CONCLUSION: A large proportion of persons with SCI receiving care in VHA do not receive guideline-concordant annual obesity screening, an especially acute problem in some facilities. Older patients with fewer outpatient encounters are more likely to be missed. To inform the design of interventions to improve identification and documentation of obesity, further study is needed to assess potential barriers to obesity screening in the population with SCI.

    View details for DOI 10.1159/000523917

    View details for PubMedID 35263742

  • Intravenous lidocaine as a non-opioid adjunct analgesic for traumatic rib fractures. PloS one Choi, J. n., Zamary, K. n., Barreto, N. B., Tennakoon, L. n., Davis, K. M., Trickey, A. W., Spain, D. A. 2020; 15 (9): e0239896


    Pain management is the pillar of caring for patients with traumatic rib fractures. Intravenous lidocaine (IVL) is a well-established non-opioid analgesic for post-operative pain, yet its efficacy has yet to be investigated in trauma patients. We hypothesized that IVL is associated with decreased inpatient opioid requirements among patients with rib fractures.We retrospectively evaluated adult patients presenting to our Level 1 trauma center with isolated chest wall injuries. After 1:1 propensity score matching patients who received vs did not receive IVL, we compared the two groups' average daily opioid use, opioid use in the last 24 hours of admission, and pain scores during admissions hours 24-48. We performed multivariable linear regression for these outcomes (with sensitivity analysis for the opioid use outcomes), adjusting for age as a moderating factor and controlling for hospital length of stay and injury severity.We identified 534 patients, among whom 226 received IVL. Those who received IVL were older and had more serious injury. Compared to propensity-score matched patients who did not receive IVL, patients who received IVL had similar average daily opioid use and pain scores, but 40% lower opioid use during the last 24 hours of admission (p = 0.002). Multivariable regression-with and without sensitivity analysis-did not show an effect of IVL on any outcomes.IVL was crudely associated with decreased opioid requirements in the last 24 hours of admission, the time period associated with opioid use at 90 days post-discharge. However, we did not observe beneficial effects of IVL on multivariable adjusted analyses; we are conducting a randomized control trial to further evaluate IVL's opioid-sparing effects for patients with rib fractures.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0239896

    View details for PubMedID 32986770