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Susan D. Brown


Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
2000 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612

Kaiser Permanente Researcher Profiles

Current Position(s):

  • Research Scientist II, Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California
  • Assistant Director, Early Stage Investigator Training Program

Section Affiliations:

Primary Research Interests:

  • Behavior change
  • Chronic disease prevention
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Patient engagement
  • Ethnic minority health and health disparities
  • Women’s health

    Motivational Determinants of Postpartum Lifestyle Behaviors, Weight Retention, and Metabolic Syndrome

    The Pregnancy Environment and Lifestyle Study-2 (PETALS-2) aims to identify psychosocial influences on healthy lifestyle behaviors — such as healthy eating, self-weighing, and physical activity — and examine their relation to weight retention and cardiometabolic profile in the transition from pregnancy to postpartum. This longitudinal study leverages the original PETALS cohort of diverse pregnant women within a large health-care delivery system. The ultimate objectives of this research are to identify modifiable psychosocial factors that could be intervened upon to improve postpartum weight management and cardiometabolic outcomes during an important phase in the lifespan.
    Investigator: Brown, Susan
    Funder: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

    Optimizing a Scalable Intervention to Maximize Guideline-recommended Diabetes Testing after Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

    Guideline-recommended postpartum screening is a critical step toward diabetes prevention after a diagnosis of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). However, patient uptake of postpartum screening remains suboptimal and uneven across racial/ethnic groups. This creates a missed opportunity for diabetes prevention or early treatment, particularly among minority women at highest risk. The goals of this project are to identify, refine, and assess the acceptability of individual components of a theory-driven outreach intervention that is feasible to implement in health system settings and designed to motivate racially/ethnically diverse women with GDM to complete postpartum screening. The results will inform future research aimed at equitably increasing screening uptake among diverse women at high risk for diabetes.
    Investigator: Brown, Susan
    Funder: Northern California Community Benefit Programs

    Understanding Patient Engagement in Lifestyle Programs for Diabetes Prevention among Women with a Recent History of GDM

    While lifestyle programs to prevent type 2 diabetes are increasingly available, the drivers of patient engagement in them remain poorly understood. This study aims to identify characteristics of patient subgroups at risk for poor engagement, providing a basis for future targeted outreach efforts among women with a history of gestational diabetes.
    Investigator: Brown, Susan
    Funder: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

    Engaging At-Risk Minority Women in Health System Diabetes Prevention Programs

    The potential for efficacious lifestyle interventions to prevent type 2 diabetes hinges on patient engagement in real-world healthcare settings. Yet patient engagement strategies are suboptimal and attrition is often highparticularly concerning for ethnic minority women who bear disproportionate burdens of diabetes and diabetes risk factors and may be less likely to utilize evidence-based approaches to lifestyle change. The training objectives of this career development award are to strengthen expertise in diabetes, implementation science, health disparities, and biostatistics. The research objectives are to experimentally test feasible, theory-driven strategies to increase engagement in diabetes prevention programs among minority women at high risk for diabetes. These strategies will incorporate tailored diabetes risk information and basic psychosocial science (e.g., self-affirmation theory) to promote translation of diabetes prevention programs in a practice setting.
    Investigator: Brown, Susan
    Funder: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

    A Randomized Study of Values Affirmation to Promote Interest in Diabetes Prevention Among Women With a History of Gestational Diabetes

    Author(s): Brown SD; Fotuhi O; Grijalva CS; Tsai AL; Quesenberry CP; Ritchie JL; Cohen GL; Ferrara A

    Med Care. 2019 07;57(7):528-535.

    PubMed abstract

    Reach, acceptability, and perceived success of a telehealth diabetes prevention program among racially and ethnically diverse patients with gestational diabetes: the GEM cluster-randomized trial

    Author(s): Brown, Susan D; Hedderson, Monique M; Gordon, Nancy; Albright, Cheryl L; Tsai, Ai-Lin; Quesenberry, Charles P; Ferrara, Assiamira

    Transl Behav Med. 2022 Jul 18;12(7):793-799.

    PubMed abstract

    A Web-Based mHealth Intervention With Telephone Support to Increase Physical Activity Among Pregnant Patients With Overweight or Obesity: Feasibility Randomized Controlled Trial

    Author(s): Thomas, Tainayah; Xu, Fei; Sridhar, Sneha; Sedgwick, Tali; Nkemere, Linda; Badon, Sylvia E; Quesenberry, Charles; Ferrara, Assiamira; Mandel, Sarah; Brown, Susan D; Hedderson, Monique

    JMIR Form Res. 2022 Jun 22;6(6):e33929. Epub 2022-06-22.

    PubMed abstract

    Perspectives on Postpartum Diabetes Screening among Patients with Gestational Diabetes in an Integrated Healthcare System

    Author(s): Glaser, Katherine; Ferrara, Assiamira; Ritchie, Jenna L; Tsai, Ai-Lin; Greenberg, Mara; Quesenberry, Charles P; Brown, Susan D

    Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2022 06;226(6):857-859.e1. Epub 2022-02-12.

    PubMed abstract

    Uptake of guideline-recommended postpartum diabetes screening among diverse women with gestational diabetes: associations with patient factors in an integrated health system in USA

    Author(s): Brown, Susan D; Hedderson, Monique M; Zhu, Yeyi; Tsai, Ai-Lin; Feng, Juanran; Quesenberry, Charles P; Ferrara, Assiamira

    BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2022 06;10(3).

    PubMed abstract

    Behavioural and psychosocial factors associated with 5-year weight trajectories within the PORTAL Overweight/Obesity Cohort

    Author(s): Fitzpatrick SL; Rosales AG; Brown SD; Arterburn DE; Daley MF; Horberg M; Koebnick C; Oshiro C; Young DR

    Obes Sci Pract. 2020 Jun;6(3):272-281. Epub 2020-02-27.

    PubMed abstract

    A Seat at the Table: Strategic Engagement in Service Activities for Early Career Faculty From Underrepresented Groups in the Academy

    Author(s): Carson TL; Aguilera A; Brown SD; Peña J; Butler A; Dulin A; Jonassaint CR; Riley I; Vanderbom K; Molina KM; Cené CW

    Acad Med. 2019 08;94(8):1089-1093.

    PubMed abstract

    A Randomized Study of Values Affirmation to Promote Interest in Diabetes Prevention Among Women With a History of Gestational Diabetes

    Author(s): Brown SD; Fotuhi O; Grijalva CS; Tsai AL; Quesenberry CP; Ritchie JL; Cohen GL; Ferrara A

    Med Care. 2019 07;57(7):528-535.

    PubMed abstract

    Opportunities to encourage mail order pharmacy delivery service use for diabetes prescriptions: a qualitative study

    Author(s): Schmittdiel JA; Marshall CJ; Wiley D; Chau CV; Trinacty CM; Wharam JF; Duru OK; Karter AJ; Brown SD

    BMC Health Serv Res. 2019 Jun 25;19(1):422. Epub 2019-06-25.

    PubMed abstract

    Gestational weight gain and optimal wellness (GLOW): rationale and methods for a randomized controlled trial of a lifestyle intervention among pregnant women with overweight or obesity

    Author(s): Brown SD; Hedderson MM; Ehrlich SF; Galarce MN; Tsai AL; Quesenberry CP; Ferrara A

    BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2019 Apr 30;19(1):145. Epub 2019-04-30.

    PubMed abstract

    Dietary Quality and Glycemic Control Among Women with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

    Author(s): Gadgil MD; Ehrlich SF; Zhu Y; Brown SD; Hedderson MM; Crites Y; Ferrara A

    J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2019 02;28(2):178-184. Epub 2018-10-30.

    PubMed abstract

    A Tailored Letter Based on Electronic Health Record Data Improves Gestational Weight Gain Among Women With Gestational Diabetes: The Gestational Diabetes' Effects on Moms (GEM) Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

    Author(s): Hedderson MM; Brown SD; Ehrlich SF; Tsai AL; Zhu Y; Quesenberry CP; Crites Y; Ferrara A

    Diabetes Care. 2018 07;41(7):1370-1377. Epub 2018-04-18.

    PubMed abstract

    Leveraging EHRs for patient engagement: perspectives on tailored program outreach

    Author(s): Brown SD; Grijalva CS; Ferrara A

    Am J Manag Care. 2017 Jul 01;23(7):e223-e230. Epub 2017-07-01.

    PubMed abstract

    Telephone-Based Coaching: A Comparison of Tobacco Cessation Programs in an Integrated Health Care System

    Author(s): Boccio M; Sanna RS; Adams SR; Goler NC; Brown SD; Neugebauer RS; Ferrara A; Wiley DM; Bellamy DJ; Schmittdiel JA

    Am J Health Promot. 2017 Mar;31(2):136-142. Epub 2016-11-18.

    PubMed abstract

    Moderate intensity sports and exercise is associated with glycaemic control in women with gestational diabetes

    Author(s): Ehrlich SF; Hedderson MM; Brown SD; Sternfeld B; Chasan-Taber L; Feng J; Adams J; Ching J; Crites Y; Quesenberry CP; Ferrara A

    Diabetes Metab. 2017 Feb 23.

    PubMed abstract

    Perceived psychosocial stress and gestational weight gain among women with gestational diabetes

    Author(s): Kubo A; Ferrara A; Brown SD; Ehrlich SF; Tsai AL; Quesenberry CP; Crites Y; Hedderson MM

    PLoS ONE. 2017;12(3):e0174290. Epub 2017-03-28.

    PubMed abstract

    Lifestyle behaviors and ethnic identity among diverse women at high risk for type 2 diabetes

    Author(s): Brown SD; Ehrlich SF; Kubo A; Tsai AL; Hedderson MM; Quesenberry CP; Ferrara A

    Soc Sci Med. 2016 07;160:87-93. Epub 2016-05-14.

    PubMed abstract

    Moderate and Vigorous Intensity Exercise During Pregnancy and Gestational Weight Gain in Women with Gestational Diabetes

    Author(s): Ehrlich SF; Sternfeld B; Krefman AE; Hedderson MM; Brown SD; Mevi A; Chasan-Taber L; Quesenberry CP; Ferrara A

    Matern Child Health J. 2016 Jun;20(6):1247-57.

    PubMed abstract

    The Comparative Effectiveness of Diabetes Prevention Strategies to Reduce Postpartum Weight Retention in Women With Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: The Gestational Diabetes' Effects on Moms (GEM) Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

    Author(s): Ferrara A; Brown SD; Albright CL; Tsai AL; Sternfeld B; Gordon NP; Schmittdiel JA; Gunderson EP; Mevi AA; Quesenberry CP; et al.

    Diabetes Care. 2016 Jan;39(1):65-74. Epub 2015-12-09.

    PubMed abstract

    Outreach to diversify clinical trial participation: A randomized recruitment study

    Author(s): Brown SD; Partee PN; Feng J; Quesenberry CP; Hedderson MM; Ehrlich SF; Kiernan M; Ferrara A

    Clin Trials. 2015 Jun;12(3):205-11. Epub 2015-02-02.

    PubMed abstract

    Wellness Coaching for People With Prediabetes: A Randomized Encouragement Trial to Evaluate Outreach Methods at Kaiser Permanente, Northern California, 2013

    Author(s): Xiao H; Adams SR; Goler N; Sanna RS; Boccio M; Bellamy DJ; Brown SD; Neugebauer RS; Ferrara A; Schmittdiel JA

    Prev Chronic Dis. 2015;12:E207. Epub 2015-11-25.

    PubMed abstract

    Post-partum weight loss and glucose metabolism in women with gestational diabetes: the DEBI Study

    Author(s): Ehrlich SF; Hedderson MM; Quesenberry CP; Feng J; Brown SD; Crites Y; Ferrara A

    Diabet Med. 2014 Jul;31(7):862-7. Epub 2014-03-25.

    PubMed abstract

    The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure-Revised: Measurement Invariance Across Racial and Ethnic Groups

    Author(s): Brown SD; Unger Hu KA; Mevi AA; Hedderson MM; Shan J; Quesenberry CP; Ferrara A

    J Couns Psychol. 2014 Jan;61(1):154-61. Epub 2013-11-04.

    PubMed abstract

    A pragmatic cluster randomized clinical trial of diabetes prevention strategies for women with gestational diabetes: design and rationale of the Gestational Diabetes' Effects on Moms (GEM) study

    Author(s): Ferrara A; Hedderson MM; Brown SD; Ehrlich SF; Caan BJ; Sternfeld B; Gordon NP; Schmittdiel JA; Gunderson EP; Quesenberry CP; et al.

    BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2014;14:21. Epub 2014-01-15.

    PubMed abstract

    The Stanford Leisure-Time Activity Categorical Item (L-Cat): a single categorical item sensitive to physical activity changes in overweight/obese women

    Author(s): Kiernan M; Schoffman DE; Lee K; Brown SD; Fair JM; Perri MG; Haskell WL

    Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Dec;37(12):1597-602. Epub 2013-04-16.

    PubMed abstract

    Risk of Large-for-Gestational-Age Newborns in Women With Gestational Diabetes by Race and Ethnicity and Body Mass Index Categories

    Author(s): Sridhar SB; Ferrara A; Ehrlich SF; Brown SD; Hedderson MM

    Obstet Gynecol. 2013 Jun;121(6):1255-62.

    PubMed abstract

    Promoting healthy weight with 'stability skills first': A randomized trial

    Author(s): Kiernan M; Brown SD; Schoffman DE; Lee K; King AC; Taylor CB; Schleicher NC; Perri MG

    J Consult Clin Psychol. 2013 Apr;81(2):336-46. Epub 2012-10-29.

    PubMed abstract

    Patient Satisfaction and Perceived Success with a Telephonic Health Coaching Program: The Natural Experiments for Translation in Diabetes (NEXT-D) Study, Northern California, 2011

    Author(s): Adams SR; Goler NC; Sanna RS; Boccio M; Bellamy DJ; Brown SD; Neugebauer RS; Ferrara A; Wiley DM; Schmittdiel JA

    Prev Chronic Dis. 2013;10:E179. Epub 2013-10-31.

    PubMed abstract

    Health-Plan and Employer-Based Wellness Programs to Reduce Diabetes Risk: The Kaiser Permanente Northern California NEXT-D Study

    Author(s): Schmittdiel JA; Brown SD; Neugebauer R; Adams SR; Adams AS; Wiley D; Ferrara A

    Prev Chronic Dis. 2013 Jan;10:E15.

    PubMed abstract

    Minority recruitment into clinical trials: experimental findings and practical implications

    Author(s): Brown SD; Lee K; Schoffman DE; King AC; Crawley LM; Kiernan M

    Contemp Clin Trials. 2012 Jul;33(4):620-3. Epub 2012 Mar 16.

    PubMed abstract

    Social support for healthy behaviors: scale psychometrics and prediction of weight loss among women in a behavioral program

    Author(s): Kiernan M; Moore SD; Schoffman DE; Lee K; King AC; Taylor CB; Kiernan NE; Perri MG

    ​Obesity (Silver Spring). 2012 Apr;20(4):756-64. doi: 10.1038/oby.2011.293. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

    PubMed abstract

    Outcome expectations and realizations as predictors of weight regain among dieters

    Author(s): Moore SD; King AC; Kiernan M; Gardner CD

    ​Eat Behav. 2011 Jan;12(1):60-3. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2010.08.007. Epub 2010 Sep 21.

    PubMed abstract

    Mindfulness and experiential avoidance as predictors and outcomes of the narrative emotional disclosure task

    Author(s): Moore SD; Brody LR; Dierberger AE

    ​J Clin Psychol. 2009 Sep;65(9):971-88. doi: 10.1002/jclp.20600.

    PubMed abstract