My research focuses on chronic disease prevention and management globally. I am interested in applying causal inference methods to electronic health record data, to assess the effectiveness of clinical and behavioral interventions for chronic disease prevention and management.

Boards, Advisory Committees, Professional Organizations

  • Global Health Postdoctoral Affiliate, Center for Innovation in Global Health (CIGH) (2022 - Present)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, George Washington University (2022)
  • Master of Science, Johns Hopkins University (2017)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Johns Hopkins University (2013)

Stanford Advisors

All Publications

  • Predictors of electronic nicotine product quit attempts and cessation: Analysis of waves 3 and 4 of the PATH study ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS Krishnan, N., Berg, C. J., Elmi, A., Klemperer, E. M., Sherman, S. E., Abroms, L. C. 2022; 134: 107419


    Identifying theory-based predictors of electronic nicotine product (ENP) quit attempts and cessation can guide the development of effective vaping cessation interventions, which are currently limited. This study examined predictors of ENP quit attempts and cessation among adult ENP users.Using data from wave 3 (W3; 2015-2016) current established ENP users in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study, we used multivariable logistic regression to identify predictors of (i) wave 4 (W4; 2016-2018) quit attempts (unweighted n = 1,135); and (ii) W4 cessation among those who made a quit attempt (unweighted n = 610). Predictors included Social Cognitive Theory (SCT)-based cognitive (interest in quitting, self-efficacy to quit, outcome expectancies, risk perception), behavioral (smoking status, and use of combustibles, non-combustibles, cannabis, and alcohol), and socio-environmental (perceived disapproval, household rules, exposure to advertising) factors.Between W3 and W4, 51.7% of W3 ENP users made a quit attempt. Among those who tried quitting, 68.4% stopped using ENPs. SCT-based predictors of ENP quit attempts included higher interest in quitting ENPs (aOR = 1.18), greater self-efficacy to quit ENPs (aOR = 1.31), and currently using cigarettes (vs non-smoker; aOR = 1.71), non-combustibles (aOR = 2.25), and cannabis (aOR = 1.80). Predictors of ENP cessation included greater self-efficacy to quit ENPs (aOR = 1.33), greater perceived risk of ENPs (aOR = 1.35), and being a current smoker (vs non-smoker; aOR = 3.28).ENP cessation interventions should address cognitive factors, particularly self-efficacy, as it predicted quit attempts and cessation. Cigarette smoking among dual users should be monitored and addressed to ensure that those who quit using ENPs do not maintain cigarette use.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.addbeh.2022.107419

    View details for Web of Science ID 000829224200001

    View details for PubMedID 35810644

  • The Impact of Tobacco Use on COVID-19 Outcomes: A Systematic Review JOURNAL OF SMOKING CESSATION Baker, J., Krishnan, N., Abroms, L. C., Berg, C. J. 2022; 2022: 5474397


    Tobacco use increases risks for numerous diseases, including respiratory illnesses. We examined the literature to determine whether a history of tobacco use increases risks for adverse outcomes among COVID-19 patients.We conducted a systematic search of PubMed, LitCovid, Scopus, and Europe PMC (for preprints) using COVID-19 and tobacco-related terms. We included studies of human subjects with lab-confirmed COVID-19 infections that examined tobacco use history as an exposure and used multivariable analyses. The data was collected between March 31st, 2020, and February 20th, 2021. Outcomes included mortality, hospitalization, ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, and illness severity.Among the 39 studies (33 peer-reviewed, 6 preprints) included, the most common outcome assessed was mortality (n = 32). The majority of these studies (17/32) found that tobacco use increased risk, one found decreased risk, and 14 found no association. Tobacco use was associated with increased risk of hospitalization in 7 of 10 studies, ICU admission in 6 of 9 studies, mechanical ventilation in 2 of 6 studies, and illness severity in 3 of 9 studies. One study found that tobacco use history increased risk of pulmonary embolism in COVID-19 patients. Tobacco use was found to compound risks associated with diabetes (n = 1), cancer (n = 2), and chronic liver disease (n = 1).There is strong evidence that tobacco use increases risks of mortality and disease severity/progression among COVID-19 patients. Public health efforts during the pandemic should encourage tobacco users to quit use and seek care early and promote vaccination and other preventive behaviors among those with a history of tobacco use.

    View details for DOI 10.1155/2022/5474397

    View details for Web of Science ID 000774870600001

    View details for PubMedID 35126740

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8777389

  • Electronic Nicotine Product Cessation and Cigarette Smoking: Analysis of Waves 3 and 4 From the PATH Study NICOTINE & TOBACCO RESEARCH Krishnan, N., Abroms, L. C., Berg, C. J. 2022; 24 (3): 324-332


    Identifying predictors of electronic nicotine product (ENP) cessation can inform ENP cessation interventions. High rates of cooccurring ENP and cigarette (dual) use and transitions between these products underscore the importance of considering cigarette smoking status when assessing and addressing ENP cessation.We analyzed waves 3 (W3) and 4 (W4) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study to identify (1) W3 socio-demographics, tobacco and ENP use characteristics, and psychosocial correlates of W3 cigarette smoking status (non-smoker, former, and current) among W3 adult ENP users, and (2) W3 predictors of W4 combined ENP and cigarette smoking abstinence relative to use of one or both products.At W3, 65.6% of ENP users concurrently smoked cigarettes. Adjusted multinomial regression results indicated that different W3 socio-demographics, tobacco and ENP use characteristics, and psychosocial correlates were significantly associated with distinct W3 cigarette use profiles. At W4, 9.9% of individuals were abstinent from both products. These individuals were less likely to: (1) be current smokers (vs. non-smokers) or be advised to quit using tobacco, compared with cigarette only or dual users, and (2) use ENPs daily or live in a household allowing ENP use, compared with ENP only or dual users (p < .05).ENP cessation approaches need to be tailored to the distinct cigarette use profiles of ENP users. Dual users and daily ENP users may require more intensive interventions to achieve the cessation of both products. Supportive physical environments, such as home vape-free policies, may facilitate ENP cessation.This analysis contributes to advancing the nascent literature on predictors of electronic nicotine product (ENP) cessation, which can guide the development of ENP cessation interventions by indicating which populations, psychosocial and environmental constructs, and cooccurring behaviors interventions should target. This research also highlights the importance of considering cigarette smoking status when designing ENP cessation interventions and defining intervention outcomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/ntr/ntab155

    View details for Web of Science ID 000754760900005

    View details for PubMedID 34313780

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8842438

  • Multidisciplinary team processes parallel natural disaster preparedness and response: A qualitative case study INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DISASTER RISK REDUCTION Lahiri, S., Snowden, B., Gu, J., Krishnan, N., Yellin, H., Ndiaye, K. 2021; 61
  • A synthesis of the literature to inform vaping cessation interventions for young adults ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS Berg, C. J., Krishnan, N., Graham, A. L., Abroms, L. C. 2021; 119: 106898


    There is an urgent need to address young adult (YA) vaping. However, there is limited vaping cessation intervention research, particularly studies tested via experimental designs. This manuscript focuses on YA vaping and critical needs for research to advance vaping cessation interventions for YAs. The smoking cessation literature, especially regarding YA smoking, provides evidence and theory from which to draw. However, the extent to which this literature has utility for vaping cessation warrants investigation. Research to inform the development and optimization of effective vaping cessation interventions for YAs requires attention to both potential targets for behavioral intervention (e.g., conceptual framework) and how to best reach YAs (i.e., delivery modality). Regarding the former, such interventions must consider the complexity of YA vaping (e.g., complex social influences, limited negative outcome expectancies, quit intentions). One particularly challenging aspect of YA cessation is co-use of other tobacco products and marijuana and ensuring that those who quit vaping do not continue or increase other product use. With regard to intervention modality, technology-based interventions (e.g., text messaging, apps) may prove promising, and individualized intervention (e.g., one-on-one counseling) may be needed to carefully intervene on the complexity of substance use, particularly cigarette and marijuana use, within this population.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.106898

    View details for Web of Science ID 000648870200014

    View details for PubMedID 33894483

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8113079

  • A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of Text Messaging to Increase Tobacco Treatment Reach in the Emergency Department NICOTINE & TOBACCO RESEARCH Abroms, L. C., Wu, K., Krishnan, N., Long, M., Belay, S., Sherman, S., McCarthy, M. 2021; 23 (9): 1597-1601


    Automated text messaging programs have been studied as a treatment tool, but have not been studied as an outreach tool to increase the reach of smoking cessation treatment.Two distinct text messaging programs were developed. One was aimed at connecting smokers to quitline phone counseling via text message (Text4Coach [T4C]) and the other was aimed at connecting smokers to a smoking cessation text messaging program (Text&Quit [T&Q]). Adult daily smokers with Medicaid insurance (N = 80) were recruited from the Emergency Department at an urban hospital and randomized to T4C or T&Q. The primary outcome was program reach.Outreach text messages were found to have moderately high uptake, with the majority of participants (63.8%) opting into their assigned tobacco treatment program and younger and female participants more likely to opt in (p < .01). Receipt of the treatment portion of the program differed among the programs with 67.5% of T&Q receiving the treatment program and 27.5% of T4C receiving the program (p < .001). Most participants across both groups replied to at least one message (71.3%) and very few unsubscribed from the service over the 3-week trial. The majority of participants reported overall satisfaction with their program (63.8%), found it helpful for quitting smoking (60.0%) and would recommend the program to a friend (62.5%). Overall, 11 (13.8%) participants reported being abstinent from smoking for the past 7 days at follow-up, with no differences between groups.Outreach text messages were found to have moderately high reach among Medicaid smokers. Larger trials are needed to evaluate the impact of such programs on helping low-income smokers quit.Automated text messaging programs have been tested as a treatment tool, but have not been tested as an outreach tool to increase the reach of smoking cessation treatment. This study tests a new way of conducting outreach to smokers in a health system through text messages. It tests the effect of outreach on (1) rates of opting in and (2) successful treatment delivery. Results may inform new models of providing outreach for tobacco treatment in health systems.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/ntr/ntab036

    View details for Web of Science ID 000730596600012

    View details for PubMedID 33684207

  • Mobile phone-based messaging for tobacco cessation in low and middle-income countries: A systematic review ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS Krishnan, N., Gu, J., Abroms, L. C. 2021; 113: 106676


    Mobile phone-based tobacco cessation (mCessation) interventions are effective in high-income countries but their effectiveness in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) is unclear. We aimed to assess the evidence-base for mCessation interventions in LMICs by synthesizing study characteristics and to describe intervention characteristics and content.Studies were included in this review if they evaluated an intervention that targeted tobacco users, were conducted in an LMIC, measured tobacco cessation as a primary or secondary outcome, and were primarily delivered using mobile phone (text or app-based) messaging. Data were extracted on fields pertaining to study and intervention characteristics and study quality was assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project tool. Screening, extraction and quality assessment were conducted by two independent reviewers.Of 606 unique records, 12 articles were included. The majority of studies were methodologically weak. Methodological limitations included small sample sizes, short follow-up durations and use of self-reported outcomes. Most evaluations were conducted in upper middle-income countries with urban, adult smokers intending to quit smoking. Approximately half the interventions were bidirectional (enabled two-way messaging) and fully automated. Almost all interventions were delivered via SMS. Treatment offerings of the intervention and control groups varied widely.More rigorous large-scale randomized controlled trials are needed to conclusively establish the efficacy of mCessation interventions in LMICs. Interventions also need to be tested across more diverse populations and settings. Future studies should test the relative effectiveness of different intervention characteristics.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106676

    View details for Web of Science ID 000599684100012

    View details for PubMedID 33038676

  • Research note: Examining how various social media platforms have responded to COVID-19 misinformation Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Misinformation Review Krishnan, N., Gu, J., Tromble, R., Abroms, L. C. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.37016/mr-2020-85

  • Characteristics of incident liver cancer cases in the District of Columbia metropolitan area Cancer Health Disparities Krishnan, N., Abroms, L. C., Robien, K., Le, D., Yang, T. Y., Aduli, F. 2021

    View details for DOI 10.9777/chd.2021.1005

  • Young adults' vaping, readiness to quit, and recent quit attempts: The role of co-use with cigarettes and marijuana. Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Berg, C. J., Duan, X., Romm, K., Pulvers, K., Le, D., Ma, Y., Krishnan, N., Abroms, L. C., Getachew, B., Henriksen, L. 2020


    INTRODUCTION: E-cigarette cessation intervention research is limited. Young adult e-cigarette use and cessation is particularly nuanced, given various user profiles (i.e., polytobacco use, co-use with marijuana) warranting different intervention approaches.METHODS: The current study is an analysis of baseline survey data (collected September-December, 2018) among 1,133 young adult (ages 18-34) e-cigarette users in a 2-year longitudinal study. We examined: 1) e-cigarette user profiles (i.e., e-cigarette only; e-cigarette/other tobacco; e-cigarette/marijuana; e-cigarette/other tobacco/marijuana); and 2) correlates of readiness to quit e-cigarette use in the next 6 months and past-year e-cigarette quit attempts.RESULTS: In this sample (Mage=23.91, 47.3% male, 35.5% sexual minority, 75.2% White, 13.7% Hispanic), e-cigarette user profiles were: 16.8% e-cigarettes-only, 23.4% e-cigarette/other tobacco, 18.0% e-cigarette/marijuana, and 41.8% e-cigarette/other tobacco/marijuana. Multinomial logistic regression (referent: e-cigarette-only use) indicated that all polyuse groups were more likely to use high-nicotine e-liquids (containing ≥9mg of nicotine). Other predictors included: e-cigarettes/other tobacco users being older and male; e-cigarettes/marijuana users using closed systems; and e-cigarettes/other tobacco/marijuana users being sexual minority (p's<.01). Readiness to quit e-cigarettes and past-year quit attempts were reported by 20.8% and 32.3%, respectively. Per multilevel regression, readiness to quit and quit attempts correlated with using fewer days, high-nicotine e-liquids, and closed systems, but not marijuana, as well as being heterosexual and Black (vs. White); readiness to quit also correlated with being single; past-year quit attempts correlated with other tobacco use and being Hispanic.CONCLUSIONS: Young adult e-cigarette users demonstrate distinct user profiles and cessation-related experiences that should be considered in developing cessation interventions.IMPLICATIONS: The vast majority of young adult e-cigarette users use other tobacco products and marijuana. Unfortunately, few reported readiness to quit or attempting quit. Moreover, certain subgroups (e.g., sexual/racial/ethnic minorities) are more likely to be ready or attempt to quit, but may not be successful. Vaping cessation interventions must attend to these nuances.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/ntr/ntaa265

    View details for PubMedID 33331889

  • Text2Quit: an analysis of user experiences with a mobile smoking cessation program JOURNAL OF SMOKING CESSATION Abroms, L. C., Heminger, C. L., Boal, A. L., Van Alstyne, J. M., Krishnan, N. 2020; 15 (1): 23-28


    Studies have shown that Text2Quit and other mobile cessation programs increase quit rates in adult smokers, but the mechanism of effects and user experiences are not well understood.This study reports on participants' experiences with the program and explores aspects of the program that they liked and disliked.Self-reported experiences of the program were collected through a follow-up survey conducted one month after enrollment (n=185). Participant responses to open-ended items were dual coded by independent coders.Overall participants agreed that they liked the program (4.2/5), that the program was helpful (4.1/5) and that they would recommend the program to a friend (4.3/5). Top reasons for liking the program included that it served as a constant reminder of quitting (17.8%), the content (16.7%), the encouragement provided (13.3%), and the on-demand tools (12.2%). Top reasons for disliking the program were message frequency (20.5%), content (7.0%), and the lack of personal interaction (7.0%).The constancy of messaging was both liked as a reminder and disliked as an annoyance. Future programs might be improved by pre-testing and customizing the content based on user preferences, and by adding in human interactions, while keeping a supportive tone and offering on-demand tools.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/jsc.2019.22

    View details for Web of Science ID 000579295700004

    View details for PubMedID 33777241

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7994940

  • Applying the Three Delays Model to understand emergency care seeking and delivery in rural Bangladesh: a qualitative study BMJ OPEN Shah, B., Krishnan, N., Kodish, S. R., Yenokyan, G., Fatema, K., Burhan Uddin, K., Rahman, A., Razzak, J. 2020; 10 (12): e042690


    The Three Delays Model has been commonly used to understand and prevent maternal mortality but has not been systematically applied to emergency medical conditions more generally. The objective of this study was to identify delays in emergency medical care seeking and delivery in rural Bangladesh and factors contributing to these delays by using the Three Delays Model as a framework.A qualitative approach was used. Data were collected through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews using semistructured guides. Two analysts jointly developed a codebook iteratively and conducted a thematic analysis to triangulate results.Six unions in Raiganj subdistrict of Bangladesh.Eight focus group discussions with community members (n=59) and eight in-depth interviews with healthcare providers.Delays in the decision to seek care and timely receipt of care on reaching a health facility were most prominent. The main factors influencing care-seeking decisions included ability to recognise symptoms and decision-making power. Staff and resource shortages and lack of training contributed to delays in receiving care. Delay in reaching care was not perceived as a salient barrier. Both community members and healthcare providers expressed interest in receiving training to improve management of emergency conditions.The Three Delays Model is a practical framework that can be useful for understanding barriers to emergency care and developing more tailored interventions. In rural Bangladesh, training community members and healthcare providers to recognise symptoms and manage acute conditions can reduce delays in care seeking and receiving adequate care at health facilities.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042690

    View details for Web of Science ID 000603631800010

    View details for PubMedID 33361169

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7759951

  • COach2Quit: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of a Personal Carbon Monoxide Monitor for Smoking Cessation NICOTINE & TOBACCO RESEARCH Krishnan, N., Elf, J. L., Chon, S., Golub, J. E. 2019; 21 (11): 1573-1577


    Mobile phone-based messaging support and biomarker feedback independently show evidence of increasing an individual's likelihood of quitting smoking. However, the combination of these two strategies to facilitate smoking cessation has not been adequately explored.We conducted a randomized controlled trial in Baltimore, Maryland, to assess the efficacy of COach2Quit, a smartphone application that provides exhaled carbon monoxide readings with message support. The primary outcome was self-reported and biochemically verified smoking cessation at 30-day follow-up. Secondary outcomes were reduction in smoking, motivation to quit, and engagement and satisfaction with COach2Quit. An intention-to-treat analysis was conducted.Adult smokers were randomized 1:1 to receive brief advice and COach2Quit (intervention, n = 50) or brief advice only (control, n = 52). Thirteen participants were lost to follow-up. At 30-day follow-up, one participant in each arm quit smoking. Median change in carbon monoxide levels (in parts per million (ppm)) (intervention: -3.0 [interquartile range (IQR) -12.0, 2.0]; control: -2.5 [IQR -9.0, 2.0]) and median change in number of cigarettes smoked per day (intervention: -5.5 [IQR -14.0, -1.0]; control: -6.0 [IQR -10.0, -2.0]) was similar between study arms. There was no significant difference in mean percent change in the Reasons for Quitting scale score (intervention: 6.3 [95% confidence interval = -2.2% to 14.8%]; control: -3.6 [95% confidence interval = -9.2% to 2.1%]). A majority (n = 32, 91%) of participants liked having COach2Quit to help them quit smoking.There were no significant differences in smoking cessation, smoking reduction, and motivation to quit between study arms. However, high satisfaction with the COach2Quit application indicates its feasibility and acceptability as a smoking cessation tool.Smoking is the leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Although counseling and pharmacotherapy are efficacious for smoking cessation, they are not easily accessible or desirable to all smokers, highlighting the need for identifying other interventions. There is evidence for the efficacy of mobile phone-based messaging support for smoking cessation. However, there is limited research on the efficacy of biomarker feedback, much less interventions that combine these two approaches. This research contributes to filling this gap and identifying novel interventions to facilitate smoking cessation.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/ntr/nty182

    View details for Web of Science ID 000504319400016

    View details for PubMedID 30169740

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6821366

  • E-cigarettes and smoking cessation: a prospective study of a national sample of pregnant smokers BMC PUBLIC HEALTH Chiang, S. C., Abroms, L. C., Cleary, S. D., Pant, I., Doherty, L., Krishnan, N. 2019; 19: 964


    Smoking during pregnancy has adverse health consequences for the mother and fetus. E-cigarettes could aid with smoking cessation but there is limited research on the prevalence and patterns of e-cigarette use, and their association with smoking cessation among pregnant smokers.We conducted a secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial of a text-messaging program for smoking cessation among a U.S. national cohort of pregnant smokers (n = 428). Outcomes assessed were trajectories of e-cigarettes use from baseline to one-month follow-up, and longitudinal association between e-cigarette use at baseline and smoking cessation at one-month follow-up.At baseline, 74 (17.29%) pregnant smokers used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days and 36 (8.41%) used e-cigarettes in the past 7 days. The primary reason stated for using e-cigarettes during pregnancy was for quitting. E-cigarette use between baseline and 1-month was inconsistent. Of 36 dual-users at baseline, 20 (55.56%) stopped using e-cigarettes by the 1-month follow-up and 14 initiated e-cigarette use. There was no evidence of an association between e-cigarette use at baseline and the primary smoking cessation outcome, 7-day point prevalence abstinence [adjusted odds ratio = 0.79, 95% confidence intervals = 0.33-1.92].A secondary analysis of a national sample of pregnant smokers indicates that use of e-cigarettes is inconsistent and is not associated with improved smoking cessation outcomes. There is an urgent need to further examine the risk and benefits of e-cigarette use, especially during pregnancy.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12889-019-7299-7

    View details for Web of Science ID 000476502000007

    View details for PubMedID 31319846

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6637539

  • Formative research for an mHealth program to improve the HIV care continuum in South Africa AIDS CARE-PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIO-MEDICAL ASPECTS OF AIDS/HIV DiAndreth, L., Krishnan, N., Elf, J. L., Cox, S., Tilchin, C., Nthulana, M., Jarrett, B., Kronis, N., Dupuis, E., Motlhaoleng, K., Chon, S., Martinson, N., Golub, J. E. 2020; 32 (6): 744-748


    In South Africa, high attrition rates throughout the care continuum present major barriers to controlling the HIV epidemic. Mobile health (mHealth) interventions may provide innovative opportunities for efficient healthcare delivery and improving retention in care. In this formative research, we interviewed 11 patients and 28 healthcare providers in North West Province, South Africa, to identify perceived benefits, concerns and suggestions for a future mHealth program to deliver HIV Viral Load and CD4 Count test results directly to patients via mobile phone. Thematic analysis found that reduced workload for providers, reduced wait times for patients, potential expanded uses and patient empowerment were the main perceived benefits of an mHealth program. Perceived concerns included privacy, disseminating distressing results through text messages and patients' inability to interpret results. Participants felt that an mHealth program should complement face-to-face interactions and educational information to interpret results is needed. Providers identified logistical considerations and suggested protocols be developed. An mHealth program to deliver HIV test results directly to patients could mitigate multiple barriers to care but needs to be tested for efficacy. Concerns identified by patients and providers must be addressed in designing the program to successfully integrate with health facility workflow and ensure its sustainability.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/09540121.2019.1640850

    View details for Web of Science ID 000476255000001

    View details for PubMedID 31298566

  • The Association Between Disclosure of Same Sex Behavior to Healthcare Providers and PrEP Awareness Among BMSM in Baltimore AIDS AND BEHAVIOR Yang, C., Krishnan, N., Painter, J. E., Latkin, C. 2019; 23 (7): 1888-1892


    The goal of this study was to explore the association between disclosure of same sex behavior to a healthcare provider and PrEP awareness in a sample of 192 Black MSM in Baltimore. After adjusting for age, education, sexual identity and employment status, we observed a trend of greater PrEP awareness among Black MSM who disclosed same sex behaviors to healthcare providers (adjusted odds ratio = 2.24, p = 0.08). This study provides new evidence of potential benefit of disclosure of same sex behavior to healthcare providers for awareness of new HIV biomedical interventions. Findings highlight the need to support patient-provider communication on sexual behaviors and PrEP with key populations at risk of HIV.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10461-019-02401-2

    View details for Web of Science ID 000471709800021

    View details for PubMedID 30666521

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6571044

  • Beyond HIV prevention: a qualitative study of patient-reported outcomes of PrEP among MSM patients in two public STD clinics in Baltimore AIDS CARE-PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIO-MEDICAL ASPECTS OF AIDS/HIV Yang, C., Krishnan, N., Kelley, E., Dawkins, J., Akolo, O., Redd, R., Olawale, A., Max-Browne, C., Johnsen, L., Latkin, C., Page, K. R., Davey-Rothwell, M. 2020; 32 (2): 238-241


    Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) could have a substantial impact on the HIV epidemic within the US. However, the implementation of PrEP interventions outside of clinical trials has been slow and faces considerable barriers. The aim of the current study was to qualitatively explore PrEP-related patient-reported outcomes (PRO) among MSM patients who enrolled in a PrEP program at two public STD clinics in Baltimore. We conducted in-depth interviews with 18 PrEP patients who self-identified as MSM at two Baltimore City Health Department STD clinics between March and November, 2017. A codebook was developed using an iterative process. During analysis, the study team identified various biomedical and psychosocial PrEP-related PRO among MSM PrEP patients. In addition to HIV prevention, PrEP-related PRO included greater peace of mind, better continuity in care and awareness about health and well-being, relationship solidarity with serodiscordant partners, and access to social services. These findings on PrEP-related PRO can potentially contribute to improving patient-provider communication, leading to increased engagement in care and uptake of PrEP by MSM.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/09540121.2019.1622639

    View details for Web of Science ID 000471414700001

    View details for PubMedID 31146549

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6884665

  • Formative Research for an Innovative Smartphone Application to Improve Distribution of Healthy Foods to Corner Stores in Baltimore City ECOLOGY OF FOOD AND NUTRITION Ross, A., Krishnan, N., Panchal, J., Brooks, J. K., Lloyd, E., Lee, T., Gittelsohn, J. 2019; 58 (1): 3-22


    We sought to collect information about the operations of wholesalers and store owner perceptions of smartphones to plan for and create a smartphone application that will facilitate the distribution of healthy foods to corner stores. In-depth interviews were conducted with wholesalers, corner store owners, distributors, and food environment experts in Baltimore City, Maryland, which included providing feedback for a mockup of the app. Store owners that were comfortable with smartphones liked the idea of the app because it was economically practical, culturally suitable, simple and easy to use, and provided a large variety of items at a fair or low price. We found that barriers to uptake among corner store owners would be high delivery costs, no foreign language capability, and a complicated user interface. This work will inform future projects that will utilize mHealth technology to improve distribution of healthier foods in food deserts.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/03670244.2018.1553778

    View details for Web of Science ID 000455516600002

    View details for PubMedID 30522356

  • Qualitative Exploration of a Smoking Cessation Trial for People Living With HIV in South Africa NICOTINE & TOBACCO RESEARCH Krishnan, N., Gittelsohn, J., Ross, A., Elf, J., Chon, S., Niaura, R., Martinson, N., Golub, J. E. 2018; 20 (9): 1117-1123


    In South Africa, people living with HIV have a high prevalence of smoking, which undermines the beneficial effects of antiretroviral therapy. However, little is known about barriers to smoking cessation and what interventions work for people living with HIV in this setting.A randomized trial comparing intensive anti-smoking counseling versus counseling and nicotine replacement therapy was recently concluded in Klerksdorp, South Africa. In a post-trial follow-up, 23 in-depth interviews with patients and one focus group discussion with counselors from the trial were conducted. A codebook was developed and codes were applied to the transcripts, which were analyzed using a thematic analysis.Barriers at the economic, social/interpersonal, and individual levels induced stress, which hindered smoking cessation. Economic stressors included unemployment and poverty. Social or interpersonal stressors were lack of social support for quitting smoking and lack of social support due to having HIV. Individual stressors were traumatic life events. Alcohol was used to cope with stress and frequently co-occurred with smoking. Managing cravings was a barrier unrelated to stress. Participants proposed income and employment opportunities, group counseling, and more frequent counseling as solutions to address stressors at different levels. Nicotine replacement therapy was helpful to mitigate cravings.Future smoking cessation interventions need to target barriers at multiple levels. Increasing the supply and duration of nicotine replacement therapy may increase its effectiveness. Other behavioral approaches such as group counseling or peer counseling could hold promise in this setting but need to be tested for efficacy through randomized controlled trials.To our knowledge, this is the first qualitative study examining barriers to smoking cessation for people living with HIV in South Africa. Smoking is highly prevalent among people with HIV in South Africa and cessation interventions are urgently needed. A better understanding of barriers to smoking cessation that people with HIV face will lead to the development of contextually appropriate interventions. This study also provides feedback on interventions from a recently concluded smoking cessation randomized trial and will help guide the design of future smoking cessation trials.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/ntr/ntx139

    View details for Web of Science ID 000442238600012

    View details for PubMedID 28637262

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6093431

  • A mixed methods assessment of the barriers and readiness for meeting the SNAP depth of stock requirements in Baltimore's small food stores ECOLOGY OF FOOD AND NUTRITION Ross, A., Krishnan, N., Ruggiero, C., Kerrigan, D., Gittelsohn, J. 2018; 57 (2): 94-108


    We sought to understand Baltimore corner store owners' awareness of and readiness for the then-approved Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program depth of stock requirements and assess potential barriers and solutions. In-depth interviews and stocking observations were conducted in 17 corner stores in low-income food deserts of Baltimore City. Corner store owners conveyed little to no awareness of the pending depth of stock changes. Only two stores were currently ready for the requirements. Low customer demand, high amounts of potential spoilage, and unfair pricing at the wholesaler were identified by store owners as barriers to stocking required foods.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/03670244.2017.1416362

    View details for Web of Science ID 000425388700003

    View details for PubMedID 29283673

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6233298