Section of Decision Sciences

The Section of Decision Sciences brings together faculty from the Division of General Internal Medicine and their collaborators who are devoted to medical decision making research. Medical decision making encompasses a variety of research disciplines. This division is interested in both normative theory and descriptive theory. Normative theory, or “decision analysis,” is concerned with identifying the most rational decision. Descriptive theory, or “judgment and decision making psychology,” is concerned with describing the decisions that people actually make.

The mission of the Section of Decision Sciences is to:

  • Provide an intellectual home for Division of General Internal Medicine faculty with shared interests
  • Support multidisciplinary collaboration across departments, schools, and universities
  • Advance the science of medical decision making research
  • Provide education and mentoring to trainees interested in medical decision making

Research conducted by SDS faculty members involves observational cohort studies, qualitative and mixed-methods research, behavioral experimentation, clinical trials, and modeling such as agent-based modeling, equation-based dynamic modeling, and Markov cohort decision analysis.

Search NIH RePORTER by faculty name for up-to-date information about our NIH-funded projects.


Chung-Chou H. (Joyce) Chang, PhD

  • Research interests: modeling longitudinal and survival data, competing risks, causal effect modeling, statistical issues in drug development
  • Teaching interests: biostatistics, survival analysis, design and analysis of observational studies
  • Collaborators: Amber Barnato, MD, MPH, MS; Cindy Bryce, PhD; Hiroko Dodge, PhD (OHSU; University of Michigan); Julie Donohue, PhD; Matthew Freiberg, MD, MS (Vanderbilt); Mary Ganguli, MD, MPH; Rachel Hess, MD, MS (Utah); David Huang, MD, MPH; Amy Justice, MD, MSc, PhD (Yale); Doug Landsittel, PhD; Larissa Myaskovsky, PhD; Mark Roberts, MD, MPP; Beth Snitz; Sachin Yende, MD, MS; Robert Squire, MD
  • Mentees: Bruce Jacobs, MD, MPH; Ching-Wen Lee, PhD; Jonathan Yabes, PhD
  • Former PhD Dissertation Advisees: Fiona Callaghan, PhD (NIH); Bo Fu, PhD (AbbVie); Brent McHenry (BMS), PhD; Nilesh Shah, PhD (UPCI); Jonathan Yabes, PhD; Yongyun Zhao, PhD (Novella Clinical).
  • Cardiovascular disease mechanisms in HIV infected and uninfected veterans
  • Improve outcomes in HIV/AIDS, alcohol, aging, and multi-substance use
  • A prospective study on mild cognitive impairment
  • Understand race and culture in living donor kidney
  • Pediatric acute liver failure studies
  • Temporally oriented subjective well-being across transitions—resources and outcomes
  • Role of physician networks in the adoption on new prescription drugs
  • Modeling strategies for observational CER
  • Procalcitonin antibiotic consensus trial
  • Late cardiovascular consequences of septic shock

Janel Hanmer, MD, PhD

  • Research interests: health-related quality of life measurement, health utility measurement, population health, patient reported outcomes for clinical monitoring
  • Teaching interests: measuring health outcomes, secondary analysis of population health datasets
  • Collaborators: David Feeny, PhD (McMaster University); Baruch Fischhoff, PhD (Carnegie Mellon University); Ron D. Hays, PhD (UCLA, RAND); Rachel Hess, MD, MS (University of Utah); Paul Pilkonis, PhD; Dennis Revicki, PhD (Evidera); Mark Roberts MD, MPP; Joel Tsevat, MD, MPH (University of Cincinnati); Jennifer Yeh (Boston Childrens); Lan Yu, PhD
  • Mentees: Jonathan Arnold, MD; Barry Dewitt, MSc ; Hannah Chang
  • Creation of a health utility score for PROMIS
  • Validation of health utility scores for population health management using social determinants of health
  • Quality adjusted life expectancy estimates for the US general population
  • Crosswalks between health utility scores
  • Estimating the impact of chronic health conditions in the US general population

Kevin L. Kraemer, MD, MSc

  • Research interests: cost-effectiveness analysis of alcohol and substance abuse interventions; quality of life measurement;
  • Teaching interests: cost-effectiveness analysis, clinical research methods, grant writing, medical writing, presentation skills, professional development
  • Collaborators: Judy Chang, MD, MPH; Robert Cook, MD, MPH (Florida); David Fiellin, MD, MPH (Yale); Matthew Freiberg, MD, MS (Vanderbilt); Adam Gordon, MD, MPH; Todd Korthuis, MD, MPH (OHSU); Mark Roberts, MD, MPP; Doris Rubio, PhD; Richard Saitz, MD, MPH (BU); Hilary Tindle, MD, MPH (Vanderbilt)
  • Mentees: Lauren Broyles, PhD, RN; Timothy Depp, MD; Alexandra Mieczkowski, MD; Tom Radomski, MD; Jonathan Robbins, MD; Ted Yuo, MD, MS
  • Cost-effectiveness of screening and brief intervention for unhealthy alcohol use in medical settings
  • Health utility ratings for alcohol- and drug-related health states
  • Cost-effectiveness of screening for unhealthy alcohol use with % carbohydrate deficient transferrin
  • Applying the payoff time framework to carotid artery disease management
  • Comparative effectiveness of alcohol and drug treatment in HIV-infected Veterans
  • Cost-effectiveness of oral vs. injection naltrexone in the hospital for alcoholism
  • Cost-effectiveness of connect-to-quit tobacco intervention among low-income veterans

Tamar Krishnamurti, PhD

  • Research interests: risk perception and communication, communication of scientific evidence, patient-physician communication, mHealth, and behavioral interventions for both domestic and international populations
  • Teaching interests: judgment and decision making, risk communication
  • Collaborators: Hyagriv Simhan, MD; Yoel Sadovsky, MD; Baruch Fischhoff, PhD (Carnegie Mellon University); Alex Davis, PhD (CMU); Parth Vaishnav, PhD (CMU); Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, PhD (CMU); Ines Azevedo, PhD (CMU); Kimberly Ling Murtaugh, PhD (UCLA); Steve Shoptaw, PhD (UCLA); Nils-Eric Sahlin (Lund University); Wändi Bruine de Bruin, PhD (Leeds University); Steve Woloshin, MD, MS (Dartmouth); Lisa Schwartz, MD, MS (Dartmouth); Mike Yu, PhD (McGill)
  • PhD Dissertation Advisees: Kristen Allen, Octavio Mesner, Kelly Matula
  • Minimizing adverse pregnancy outcomes using a smartphone app-based behavioral tool
  • Creating and evaluating patient-centered informed consent delivery for clinical trial participants
  • Synthesizing and communicating quality of scientific evidence
  • Motivators and obstacles for delivering pre-exposure prophylaxis to young African women
  • Spending choices of participants in a contingency management program in S. Africa

Kenneth J. Smith, MD, MS

  • Research interests: cost-effectiveness analysis, utility assessment
  • Teaching interests: cost-effectiveness analysis, decision analysis, evidence-based medicine
  • Collaborators: Derek Angus, MD, MPH; Drahomir Aujesky, MD, MS (Bern University); Sonya Borrero, MD, MS; Joyce Chang, PhD; Sunday Clark, ScD; Mitchell Creinin, MD; Coreen Farris, PhD; Kelley Fitzgerald, PT, PhD; Steven Handler, MD, PhD; Wishwa Kapoor, MD, MPH; Kevin Kraemer, MD, MPH; Roberta Ness, MD, MPH (University of Texas); Bruce Lee, MD, MBA (Johns Hopkins); Margaret Ragni, MD, MPH; Mark Roberts, MD, MPP; Charles Reynolds, MD; Bruce Rollman, MD, MPH; Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, MD, MS (UC Davis); Yuting Zhang, PhD; Richard Zimmerman, MD, MPH
  • Mentees: Sherrie Aspinall, PharmD, MS; Shelby Corman, PharmD, MS; Brian Feingold, MD, MS; Stanley Kuo, PhD; Brent Lampert, DO; Constantinos Michaelidis, MD, MS; Sarah O’Brien, MD, MS; Jonathan Shepherd, MD, MS
  • Future of influenza vaccine strategies given interference and choice
  • Analyzing adult pneumococcal vaccination implementation in the underserved
  • Pragmatic trial of behavioral interventions for insomnia in hypertensive patients
  • Mobility and Vitality Lifestyle Program (MOVE UP) for older adults with overweight and obesity
  • Cluster randomized trial of a primary palliative care intervention (CONNECT) in advanced cancer
  • Alternative strategies for adult pneumococcal vaccination
  • Virtual continuity and its impact on complex hospitalized patient care
  • Optimal strategies for pelvic inflammatory disease prevention and management
  • Enhancing the effectiveness of physical therapy for individuals with knee osteoarthritis
  • Diabetes cost-effectiveness core
  • Quality of life utility values for erectile dysfunction

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