Kathryn Pollak

Overview:

Dr. Pollak is a social psychologist who designs and tests behavioral interventions to promote smoking cessation, reduce health disparities, and improve clinician-patient communication. She also is one of the heads of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative that supports multi-site palliative care trials. Finally, Dr. Pollak serves as a Communication Coach where she teaches clinicians effective communication techniques.

Area of expertise: Health Behavior

Positions:

Professor in Population Health Sciences

Population Health Sciences
School of Medicine

Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Family Medicine and Community Health
School of Medicine

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute
School of Medicine

Education:

Ph.D. 1996

University of Houston

Grants:

Optimizing a standalone text messaging-based weight loss intervention

Administered By
Duke Global Health Institute
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Co Investigator
Start Date
End Date

SMS scheduled gradual reduction text messages to help pregnant smokers quit

Administered By
Duke Cancer Institute
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Addressing Tobacco Use Disparities through an Innovative Mobile Phone Intervention: The textto4gosmokelesstobacco

Administered By
School of Nursing
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Co Investigator
Start Date
End Date

En Pareja: A Latino couples intervention to help expectant fathers quit smoking

Administered By
Duke Cancer Institute
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Smoking Resumption-Prevention in Postpartum Women

Administered By
Duke Cancer Institute
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Publications:

Decision Making for Infants With Neurologic Conditions.

Parents and clinicians caring for infants with neurologic disease often make high-stakes decisions about infant care. To characterize how these decisions occur, we enrolled infants with neurologic conditions, their parents, and their clinicians in a longitudinal mixed methods study of decision making. We audio recorded family conferences as they occurred and analyzed conferences using a directed content analysis approach. We enrolled 40 infants and 61 parents who participated in 68 family conferences. Thirty-seven conferences contained a treatment decision. We identified 4 key domains of the decision-making process: medical information exchange, values-based exchange, therapeutic partnership, and integration of values into decision making. Discussion of values was typically parent initiated (n = 20, 83%); approximately one-third of conferences did not contain any discussion of parent values. Integration of family values and preferences into decision making occurred in approximately half of conferences. These findings highlight opportunities for interventions that promote values discussion and the integration of values into decision making.
Authors
Gerrity, C; Farley, S; Barks, MC; Ubel, PA; Brandon, D; Pollak, KI; Lemmon, ME
MLA Citation
Gerrity, Charlotte, et al. “Decision Making for Infants With Neurologic Conditions.J Child Neurol, vol. 37, no. 3, Mar. 2022, pp. 202–09. Pubmed, doi:10.1177/08830738211056779.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1509533
PMID
35133902
Source
pubmed
Published In
J Child Neurol
Volume
37
Published Date
Start Page
202
End Page
209
DOI
10.1177/08830738211056779

Weighing the pros and cons of clinicians talking to their patients about weight.

Authors
Pollak, KI; Finset, A
MLA Citation
Pollak, Kathryn I., and Arnstein Finset. “Weighing the pros and cons of clinicians talking to their patients about weight.Patient Educ Couns, vol. 105, no. 3, Mar. 2022, pp. 495–96. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.pec.2022.02.008.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1510758
PMID
35181178
Source
pubmed
Published In
Patient Educ Couns
Volume
105
Published Date
Start Page
495
End Page
496
DOI
10.1016/j.pec.2022.02.008

Utilization of Text Messages to Supplement Rounding Communication: a Randomized Feasibility Study.

BACKGROUND: Fragmented communication with patients and families during hospitalizations often leaves patients confused about the daily plan. OBJECTIVE: To pilot a supplemental text message-based platform for improving bidirectional communication about the clinical plan and patients' goals. DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial PARTICIPANTS: Thirty adult patients, thirty caregivers of pediatric patients, and the interns caring for them on inpatient general medicine and pediatric services. INTERVENTIONS: Patients and caregivers were texted or emailed daily to report their personal goal and assess their understanding of the team's clinical plan. Interns were texted daily to report the team's clinical plan and to assess their understanding of the patient's personal goal. MAIN MEASURES: Primary outcomes were feasibility, defined as survey response rates, and acceptability. Secondary outcomes were patient comprehension of the clinical plan, trainee comprehension of the patient's goal, patient-centered communication scores, and educational satisfaction scores. KEY RESULTS: Thirty adult patients, thirty caregivers of pediatric patients, fourteen general medicine interns, and six general pediatric interns enrolled. Intervention feasibility was met, with survey response rates of 80% for general medicine trainees, 67% for general pediatric trainees, 58% for adult patients, and 70% for caregivers. Patients and caregivers in the intervention arm had higher understanding of medication changes (76% vs 50%, p = 0.02) and new consultations (90% vs 61%, p = 0.002). Interns had higher understanding of patients' goals in the intervention arm (93% vs 40%, p < 0.001), particularly for adult patients (97% vs 17%, p < 0.001). Caregivers rated communication higher regarding information to help make decisions (p = 0.04). Interviews demonstrated high acceptability. CONCLUSIONS: Our text message-based communication intervention was feasible and acceptable to all involved participants, with preliminary signals of efficacy. The intervention may contribute to improved understanding of medication changes and new consultations, as well as help in making decisions. A large, randomized efficacy trial of this intervention is warranted. Graphical abstract.
Authors
Wesevich, A; Key-Solle, M; Kandakatla, A; Feeney, C; Pollak, KI; LeBlanc, TW
MLA Citation
Wesevich, Austin, et al. “Utilization of Text Messages to Supplement Rounding Communication: a Randomized Feasibility Study.J Gen Intern Med, Feb. 2022. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s11606-021-07285-4.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1511672
PMID
35212877
Source
pubmed
Published In
J Gen Intern Med
Published Date
DOI
10.1007/s11606-021-07285-4

Caregiver Inclusivity and Empowerment During Family-Centered Rounds.

OBJECTIVE: Despite widespread adoption of family-centered rounds, few have investigated differences in the experience of family-centered rounds by family race and ethnicity. The purpose of this study was to explore racial and ethnic differences in caregiver perception of inclusion and empowerment during family-centered rounds. METHODS: We identified eligible caregivers of children admitted to the general pediatrics team through the electronic health record. Surveys were completed by 99 caregivers (47 non-Latinx White and 52 Black, Latinx, or other caregivers of color). To compare agreement with statements of inclusivity and empowerment, we used the Wilcoxon rank sum test in unadjusted analyses and linear regression for the adjusted analyses. RESULTS: Most (91%) caregivers were satisfied or extremely satisfied with family-centered rounds. We found no differences by race or ethnicity in statements of satisfaction or understanding family-centered rounds content. However, in both unadjusted and adjusted analyses, we found that White caregivers more strongly agreed with the statements "I felt comfortable participating in rounds," "I had adequate time to ask questions during rounds," and "I felt a valued member of the team during rounds" compared with Black, Latinx, and other caregivers of color. CONCLUSIONS: Congruent with studies of communication in other settings, caregivers of color may experience barriers to inclusion in family-centered rounds, such as medical team bias, less empathic communication, and shorter encounters. Future studies are needed to better understand family-centered rounds disparities and develop interventions that promote inclusive rounds.
Authors
Parente, V; Stark, A; Key-Solle, M; Olsen, M; Sanders, LL; Bartlett, KW; Pollak, KI
MLA Citation
Parente, Victoria, et al. “Caregiver Inclusivity and Empowerment During Family-Centered Rounds.Hosp Pediatr, vol. 12, no. 2, Feb. 2022, pp. e72–77. Pubmed, doi:10.1542/hpeds.2021-006034.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1507071
PMID
35079809
Source
pubmed
Published In
Hosp Pediatr
Volume
12
Published Date
Start Page
e72
End Page
e77
DOI
10.1542/hpeds.2021-006034

Trajectories of Situational Temptations in Pregnant Smokers participating in a Scheduled Gradual Reduction Cessation Trial.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper was to examine changes in situational temptations to smoke among women in early to late pregnancy enrolled in a texting trial to help them quit smoking. We compared changes between (1) intervention arms, (2) those who quit, (3) those who reduced by 50% or more, and (4) those who reduced by less than 50%. We also examined cravings overtime in the intervention arm and the relationship between real-time cravings assessed via text message and situational temptations. METHODS: This was a secondary analysis of the Baby Steps trial, a randomized controlled trial testing the efficacy of a text-based scheduled gradual reduction (SGR) intervention on cessation. We used t-tests to examine changes across intervention arms and repeated measured proc mixed to explore changes in situational temptations and cravings. RESULTS: Among all women, situational temptations decreased from early to late pregnancy for the positive, negative, and habitual subscales, (ps < 0.001). We found no difference in situational temptations across arms. We found a positive relationship between negative situational temptation and average craving during the Weeks 2 and Weeks 3 of the intervention. Negative ST increased by 0.11 for each unit increase of craving at Week 2. CONCLUSIONS: As women progress through pregnancy their temptation to smoke reduces. A different relationship might exist, however with negative affect situations in which women reported higher craving but not in response to other temptations. Future work might have a particular focus on the intersection of negative affect with cravings and temptations to promote cessation during pregnancy. CLINICAL TRIAL: NCT01995097.
Authors
Noonan, D; Lyna, P; Kennedy, DL; Gao, X; Bejarano Hernandez, S; Fish, LJ; Pollak, KI
MLA Citation
Noonan, Devon, et al. “Trajectories of Situational Temptations in Pregnant Smokers participating in a Scheduled Gradual Reduction Cessation Trial.Matern Child Health J, vol. 26, no. 1, Jan. 2022, pp. 24–30. Pubmed, doi:10.1007/s10995-021-03321-1.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1502808
PMID
34860350
Source
pubmed
Published In
Matern Child Health J
Volume
26
Published Date
Start Page
24
End Page
30
DOI
10.1007/s10995-021-03321-1