Vani <span>Nath</span> Simmons, PhD
Researcher

Vani Nath Simmons, PhD

Academic Rank: Associate Member

Overview

Discipline

    • Health Outcomes and Behavior
    • Thoracic Oncology
    • Health Outcomes & Behavior Program
    • Tobacco Research & Intervention Program

Education & Training

    • University of South Florida, PhD - Clinical Psychology
    • H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, Postdoctoral Fellow - Behavioral Oncology
    • University of South Florida, MA - Clinical Psychology
Research

Dr. Simmons’ research interests include the development of smoking cessation and relapse-prevention interventions for special populations including cancer patients, college students, and ethnic minorities.  A resumption of smoking among cancer patients can result in numerous adverse health consequences.  Dr. Simmons received a funding from the NCI to study smoking relapse among lung cancer and head and neck cancer patients.  Study findings led to an NCI-funded grant to test the efficacy of the first targeted smoking relapse-prevention intervention for cancer patients.  Dr. Simmons has also developed a line of research focusing on the systematic development of interventions for college student smokers.  The primary aim of her current study in this area is to test the efficacy of an experiential, theory-based, web-intervention for college smokers.  Finally, Dr. Simmons has conducted research on the development of culturally appropriate smoking relapse-prevention intervention materials for Hispanic smokers.

Publications

  • Brandon TH, Unrod M, Drobes DJ, Sutton SK, Hawk LW, Simmons VN, Brandon KO, Roetzheim RG, Meltzer LR, Miller RR, Cahill SP. Facilitated Extinction Training to Improve Pharmacotherapy for Smoking Cessation: A Pilot Feasibility Trial. Nicotine Tob Res. 2017 Sep. Pubmedid: 29059409.
  • Meltzer LR, Simmons VN, Sutton SK, Drobes DJ, Quinn GP, Meade CD, Unrod M, Brandon KO, Harrell PT, Eissenberg T, Bullen CR, Brandon TH. A randomized controlled trial of a smoking cessation self-help intervention for dual users of tobacco cigarettes and E-cigarettes: Intervention development and research design. Contemp Clin Trials. 2017 Sep;60:56-62. Pubmedid: 28648969. Pmcid: PMC5559662.
  • Hudson J, Schabath MB, Sanchez J, Sutton S, Simmons VN, Vadaparampil ST, Kanetsky PA, Quinn GP. Sexual and Gender Minority Issues Across NCCN Guidelines: Results From a National Survey. J Natl Compr Canc Ne. 2017 Nov;15(11):1379-1382. Pubmedid: 29118229.
  • Hudson JN, Quinn GP, Wilson LE, Simmons VN. Evaluation of Promotional Materials To Promote Low-Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT) Screening to High-Risk Consumers and Health Care Providers. J Cancer Educ. 2017 Mar. Pubmedid: 28285419.
  • Merrill JK, Alberg AJ, Goffin JR, Ramalingam SS, Simmons VN, Warren GW. American Society of Clinical Oncology Policy Brief: FDA's Regulation of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Tobacco Products. J Oncol Pract. 2017 Jan;13(1):58-60. Pubmedid: 28084879.
  • Schabath MB, Curci MB, Kanetsky PA, Vadaparampil ST, Simmons VN, Sanchez JA, Sutton SK, Wheldon C, Quinn GP. Ask and Tell: The Importance of the Collection of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data to Improve the Quality of Cancer Care for Sexual and Gender Minorities. J Oncol Pract. 2017 Aug;13(8):542-546. Pubmedid: 28719237.
  • Davis SN, Christy SM, Chavarria EA, Abdulla R, Sutton SK, Schmidt AR, Vadaparampil ST, Quinn GP, Simmons VN, Ufondu CB, Ravindra C, Schultz I, Roetzheim RG, Shibata D, Meade CD, Gwede CK. A randomized controlled trial of a multicomponent, targeted, low-literacy educational intervention compared with a nontargeted intervention to boost colorectal cancer screening with fecal immunochemical testing in community clinics. Cancer. 2017 Apr;123(8):1390-1400. Pubmedid: 27906448. Pmcid: PMC5384866.
  • McIntyre J, Jiménez J, Rivera YM, Sutton SK, Asencio G, Castro-Figueroa EM, Gwede CK, Brandon TH, Vadaparampil ST, Simmons VN, Corchado J, Moreno L, Wells KJ, Quinn GP. Comparison of Health Communication Channels for Reaching Hispanics About Biobanking: a Pilot Trial. J Cancer Educ. 2017 Apr. Pubmedid: 28378199. Pmcid: PMC5628139.
  • Simmons VN, Gray JE, Schabath MB, Wilson LE, Quinn GP. High-risk community and primary care providers knowledge about and barriers to low-dose computed topography lung cancer screening. Lung Cancer. 2017 Apr;106:42-49. Pubmedid: 28285693.
  • Díaz DB, Brandon TH, Sutton SK, Meltzer LR, Hoehn HJ, Meade CD, Jacobsen PB, McCaffrey JC, Haura EB, Lin HY, Simmons VN. Smoking relapse-prevention intervention for cancer patients: Study design and baseline data from the surviving SmokeFree randomized controlled trial. Contemp Clin Trials. 2016 Sep;50:84-89. Pubmedid: 27468664. Pmcid: PMC5564185.
  • Jiménez J, Ramos A, Ramos-Rivera FE, Gwede C, Quinn GP, Vadaparampil S, Brandon T, Simmons V, Castro E. Community Engagement for Identifying Cancer Education Needs in Puerto Rico. J Cancer Educ. 2016 Oct. Pubmedid: 27722911. Pmcid: PMC5386827.
  • Simmons VN, Quinn GP, Harrell PT, Meltzer LR, Correa JB, Unrod M, Brandon TH. E-cigarette use in adults: a qualitative study of users' perceptions and future use intentions. Addict Res Theory. 2016 Oct;24(4):313-321. Pubmedid: 27725794. Pmcid: PMC5055066.
  • Simmons VN, Pineiro B, Hooper MW, Gray JE, Brandon TH. Tobacco-Related Health Disparities Across the Cancer Care Continuum. Cancer Control. 2016 Oct;23(4):434-441. Pubmedid: 27842333.
  • Palmer AM, Correa JB, Heckman BW, Brandon TH, Simmons VN. Health, Stigma, and the Burden of Smoking in College: A Thematic Analysis. Am J Health Behav. 2016 May;40(3):381-388. Pubmedid: 27103417.
  • Unrod M, Simmons VN, Sutton SK, Cummings KM, Celestino P, Craig BM, Lee JH, Meltzer LR, Brandon TH. Relapse-Prevention Booklets as an Adjunct to a Tobacco Quitline: A Randomized Controlled Effectiveness Trial. Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 Mar;18(3):298-305. Pubmedid: 25847293. Pmcid: PMC4757931.
  • Brandon TH, Simmons VN, Sutton SK, Unrod M, Harrell PT, Meade CD, Craig BM, Lee JH, Meltzer LR. Extended Self-Help for Smoking Cessation: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Am J Prev Med. 2016 Jul;51(1):54-62. Pubmedid: 26868284. Pmcid: PMC4914420.
  • Piñeiro B, Correa JB, Simmons VN, Harrell PT, Menzie NS, Unrod M, Meltzer LR, Brandon TH. Gender differences in use and expectancies of e-cigarettes: Online survey results. Addictive Behaviors. 2016 Jan;52:91-97. Pubmedid: 26406973. Pmcid: PMC4644488.
  • Meltzer LR, Meade CD, Diaz DB, Carrington MS, Brandon TH, Jacobsen PB, McCaffrey JC, Haura EB, Simmons VN. Development of a Targeted Smoking Relapse-Prevention Intervention for Cancer Patients. J Cancer Educ. 2016 Aug. Pubmedid: 27476432. Pmcid: PMC5288399.
  • Piñeiro B, Simmons VN, Palmer AM, Correa JB, Brandon TH. Smoking cessation interventions within the context of Low-Dose Computed Tomography lung cancer screening: A systematic review. Lung Cancer. 2016 Aug;98:91-98. Pubmedid: 27393513.
  • Menzie NS, Simmons VN, Quinn GP, Diaz DB, Piñeiro B, Jimenez J, Castro E, Brandon TH. Acceptability and Cultural Appropriateness of Self-Help Booklets for Relapse Prevention in Puerto Rico. J Cancer Educ. 2015 Sep;30(3):585-592. Pubmedid: 25219544. Pmcid: PMC4384999.
  • Bloom EL, Oliver JA, Sutton SK, Brandon TH, Jacobsen PB, Simmons VN. Post-operative smoking status in lung and head and neck cancer patients: association with depressive symptomatology, pain, and fatigue. Psychooncology. 2015 Sep;24(9):1012-1019. Pubmedid: 25257853. Pmcid: PMC4374041.
  • Simmons VN, Klasko LB, Fleming K, Koskan AM, Jackson NT, Noel-Thomas S, Luque JS, Vadaparampil ST, Lee JH, Quinn GP, Britt L, Waddell R, Meade CD, Gwede CK. Participatory evaluation of a community-academic partnership to inform capacity-building and sustainability. Eval Program Plann. 2015 Oct;52:19-26. Pubmedid: 25863014. Pmcid: PMC4509815.
  • Harrell PT, Simmons VN, Piñeiro B, Correa JB, Menzie NS, Meltzer LR, Unrod M, Brandon TH. E-cigarettes and expectancies: why do some users keep smoking?. Addiction. 2015 Nov;110(11):1833-1843. Pubmedid: 26173651. Pmcid: PMC4609252.
  • Correa JB, Simmons VN, Sutton SK, Meltzer LR, Brandon TH. A content analysis of attributions for resuming smoking or maintaining abstinence in the post-partum period. Matern Child Health J. 2015 Mar;19(3):664-674. Pubmedid: 24996953. Pmcid: PMC4284152.
  • Harrell PT, Marquinez NS, Correa JB, Meltzer LR, Unrod M, Sutton SK, Simmons VN, Brandon TH. Expectancies for cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and nicotine replacement therapies among e-cigarette users (aka vapers). Nicotine Tob Res. 2015 Feb;17(2):193-200. Pubmedid: 25168035. Pmcid: PMC4438353.
  • Castro EM, Jiménez JC, Quinn G, García M, Colón Y, Ramos A, Brandon T, Simmons V, Gwede C, Vadaparampil S, Nazario CM. Identifying clinical and support service resources and network practices for cancer patients and survivors in southern Puerto Rico. Support Care Cancer. 2015 Apr;23(4):967-975. Pubmedid: 25249352. Pmcid: PMC4346447.
  • Harrell PT, Simmons VN, Correa JB, Padhya TA, Brandon TH. Electronic nicotine delivery systems ("e-cigarettes"): review of safety and smoking cessation efficacy. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014 Sep;151(3):381-393. Pubmedid: 24898072. Pmcid: PMC4376316.
  • Vadaparampil ST, Simmons VN, Lee JH, Malo T, Klasko L, Rodriguez M, Waddell R, Gwede CK, Meade CD. Journal clubs: an educational approach to advance understanding among community partners and academic researchers about CBPR and cancer health disparities. J Cancer Educ. 2014 Mar;29(1):122-128. Pubmedid: 24078328. Pmcid: PMC4201936.
  • Unrod M, Simmons VN, Sutton SK, Meltzer LR, Harrell PT, Meade CD, Craig BM, Lee JH, Brandon TH. A randomized clinical trial of self-help intervention for smoking cessation: research design, interventions, and baseline data. Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 Jul;38(2):284-290. Pubmedid: 24865525. Pmcid: PMC4104245.
  • Unrod M, Gironda RJ, Clark ME, White KE, Simmons VN, Sutton SK, Brandon TH. Smoking behavior and motivation to quit among chronic pain patients initiating multidisciplinary pain treatment: a prospective study. Pain Med. 2014 Aug;15(8):1294-1303. Pubmedid: 24528473. Pmcid: PMC4374596.
  • Simmons VN, Sutton SK, Quinn GP, Meade CD, Brandon TH. Prepartum and postpartum predictors of smoking. Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 Apr;16(4):461-468. Pubmedid: 24203933. Pmcid: PMC3954426.
  • Simmons VN, Heckman BW, Fink AC, Small BJ, Brandon TH. Efficacy of an experiential, dissonance-based smoking intervention for college students delivered via the internet. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2013 Oct;81(5):810-820. Pubmedid: 23668667. Pmcid: PMC4640469.
  • Bejarano A, Litvin EB, Quinn GP, Brandon TH, Simmons VN. Distribution of smoking relapse prevention materials in the Hispanic community: lessons learned. J Cancer Educ. 2013 Mar;28(1):143-150. Pubmedid: 23055134. Pmcid: PMC4608428.
  • Simmons VN, Litvin EB, Jacobsen PB, Patel RD, McCaffrey JC, Oliver JA, Sutton SK, Brandon TH. Predictors of smoking relapse in patients with thoracic cancer or head and neck cancer. Cancer. 2013 Apr;119(7):1420-1427. Pubmedid: 23280005. Pmcid: PMC3604135.
  • Brandon TH, Simmons VN, Meade CD, Quinn GP, Lopez Khoury EN, Sutton SK, Lee JH. Self-help booklets for preventing postpartum smoking relapse: a randomized trial. Am J Public Health. 2012 Nov;102(11):2109-2115. Pubmedid: 22994170. Pmcid: PMC3477952.
  • Gwede CK, Castro E, Brandon TH, McIntyre J, Meade CD, Munoz-Antonia T, Simmons VN, Vadaparampil ST, Jimenez J, Quinn GP. Developing strategies for reducing cancer disparities via cross-institutional collaboration: outreach efforts for the partnership between the Ponce School of Medicine and the Moffitt Cancer Center. Health Promot Pract. 2012 Nov;13(6):807-815. Pubmedid: 22167362. Pmcid: PMC3708698.
  • Simmons VN, Litvin EB, Unrod M, Brandon TH. Oncology healthcare providers' implementation of the 5A's model of brief intervention for smoking cessation: patients' perceptions. Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Mar;86(3):414-419. Pubmedid: 21784598. Pmcid: PMC3222746.
  • Litvin EB, Rojas A, Brandon TH, Quinn G, Meade CD, Jimenez J, Castro E, Diaz Z, Simmons VN. Cultural Acceptability of a Smoking Relapse Prevention Intervention for Pregnant Women in Puerto Rico: Providers' Feedback. Hisp Health Care Int. 2011 Sep;9(3):117-126. Pubmedid: 26617474. Pmcid: PMC4662285.
  • Simmons VN, Jiménez JC, Castro E, Litvin EB, Gwede CK, Vadaparampil ST, Mclntyre J, Meade CD, Brandon TH, Quinn GP. Initial efforts in community engagement with health care providers: perceptions of barriers to care for cancer patients in Puerto Rico. P R Health Sci J. 2011 Mar;30(1):28-34. Pubmedid: 21449495. Pmcid: PMC3685431.
  • Quinn GP, Jimenez J, Meade CD, Muñoz-Antonia T, Gwede CK, Castro E, Vadaparampil ST, Simmons VN, McIntyre J, Crocker TT, Brandon TH. Enhancing oncology health care provider's sensitivity to cultural communication to reduce cancer disparities: a pilot study. J Cancer Educ. 2011 Jun;26(2):322-325. Pubmedid: 21479572. Pmcid: PMC3673723.
  • Williams RJ, Herzog TA, Simmons VN. Risk perception and motivation to quit smoking: a partial test of the Health Action Process Approach. Addictive Behaviors. 2011 Jul;36(7):789-791. Pubmedid: 21463920. Pmcid: PMC3081897.
  • Ditre JW, Gonzalez BD, Simmons VN, Faul LA, Brandon TH, Jacobsen PB. Associations between pain and current smoking status among cancer patients. Pain. 2011 Jan;152(1):60-65. Pubmedid: 21168758. Pmcid: PMC3031140.
  • Simmons VN, Cruz LM, Brandon TH, Quinn GP. Translation and adaptation of smoking relapse-prevention materials for pregnant and postpartum Hispanic women. J Health Commun. 2011 Jan;16(1):90-107. Pubmedid: 21120739.
  • Simmons VN, Quinn G, Litvin EB, Rojas A, Jimenez J, Castro E, Meade CD, Brandon TH. Transcreation of validated smoking relapse-prevention booklets for use with Hispanic populations. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2011 Aug;22(3):886-893. Pubmedid: 21841285. Pmcid: PMC3804252.
  • Simmons VN, Heckman BW, Ditre JW, Brandon TH. A measure of smoking abstinence-related motivational engagement: development and initial validation. Nicotine Tob Res. 2010 Apr;12(4):432-437. Pubmedid: 20190004. Pmcid: PMC2847080.
  • Simmons VN, Litvin EB, Patel RD, Jacobsen PB, McCaffrey JC, Bepler G, Quinn GP, Brandon TH. Patient-provider communication and perspectives on smoking cessation and relapse in the oncology setting. Patient Educ Couns. 2009 Dec;77(3):398-403. Pubmedid: 19846270. Pmcid: PMC2787754.
  • Lopez EN, Simmons VN, Quinn G, Meade C, Chirikos T, Brandon T. Clinical trials and tribulations: lessons learned from recruiting pregnant ex-smokers for relapse prevention. Nicotine Tob Res. 2008 Jan;10(1):87-96. Pubmedid: 18188749. Pmcid: PMC4056986.
  • Simmons V, Brandon T. Secondary smoking prevention in a university setting: a randomized comparison of an experiential, theory-based intervention and a standard didactic intervention for increasing cessation motivation. Health Psychol. 2007 May;26(3):268-277. Pubmedid: 17500613.
  • Webb M, Simmons V, Brandon T. Tailored interventions for motivating smoking cessation: using placebo tailoring to examine the influence of expectancies and personalization. Health Psychol. 2005 Mar;24(2):179-188. Pubmedid: 15755232.
  • Simmons V, Webb M, Brandon T. College-student smoking: an initial test of an experiential dissonance-enhancing intervention. Addict Behav. 2004;29:1129-1136. Pubmedid: 15236813.
  • Brandon TH, Herzog TA, Juliano LM, Irvin JE, Lazev AB, Simmons VN. Pretreatment task persistence predicts smoking cessation outcome. J Abnorm Psychol. 2003 Aug;112(3):448-456. Pubmedid: 12943023.
  • Westmaas J, Nath V, Brandon T. Contemporary smoking cessation. Cancer Control. 7(1):56-62. Pubmedid: 10740661.
  • Unrod M, Oliver JA, Heckman BW, Simmons VN, Brandon TH. Outdoor smoking ban at a cancer center: attitudes and smoking behavior among employees and patients. J Public Health Manag Pract. 18(5):E24-E31. Pubmedid: 22836544.
  • Simmons V, Vidrine J, Brandon T. Smoking cessation counseling as a teachable moment for skin cancer prevention: pilot studies. Am J Health Behav. 32(2):137-145. Pubmedid: 18052854.