ResearchOur PeopleCarmit McMullen

Carmit K. McMullen, PhD

Meet Carmit McMullen

Carmit McMullen studies how background and culture influence personal health care decisions. It was a natural fit for this medical anthropologist who grew up in a multicultural home, moving between Israel and New York.

Carmit McMullen, PhD, is a medical anthropologist who studies health informatics, cancer survivorship, and health care delivery. She provides expertise in qualitative and ethnographic research methods, such as focus groups, interviews, and fieldwork (participant observation), for studies in diverse subject areas. She also facilitates stakeholder engagement in research by leading advisory boards and by training patient advocates and integrating them into the research process.

Dr. McMullen has used ethnography to study how health care providers across the country communicate in hospital and outpatient settings, ensure patient safety during surgery and critical care, and implement electronic medical records systems. She has developed rapid assessment processes for conducting team-based ethnographic evaluations of clinical trials and implementations of other interventions including health-information technology and organizational change in health care settings. She has also applied user-centered design to needs assessment and intervention development for a range of clinical contexts, from post-operative recovery to provider-patient communication regarding vaccination.

Dr. McMullen has an established research program on treatment-related disability, quality of life, and cancer survivorship among patients with a history of bladder or colorectal cancer. Her cancer research also explores personalized, preference-based treatment options for cancer survivors, including a comparative effectiveness study of urinary diversion options after cystectomy, several large-scale surveys of colorectal cancer survivors, and a series of projects on tailoring treatment and surveillance for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

Dr. McMullen received her MA and PhD in medical anthropology from Case Western Reserve University. Her earlier research examined self-appraised health status, African American culture and health, and urban health issues in three community-based, anthropological studies of health and aging in Philadelphia.

Selected Current Studies

  • System-Level Capture of Family History Data to Assess Risk of Cancer and Provide Longitudinal Care Coordination (PCORI)
  • Remote Patient Monitoring of Chronic Disease in Community Health Centers—REDUCE (NINR)
  • Connect for Cancer Prevention Study: Participant Advisory Board—Connect PAB (NCI)
  • Tailored Non-Pharmacotherapy Services for Chronic Pain: Testing Scalable and Pragmatic Approaches—RESOLVE (NIA)

Selected Publications

  • Bulkley JE, McMullen CK, Rawlings AM, Krouse RS, Francisco MC, Sterrett AT, Burnett-Hartman AN, Pawloski PA, Corley DA, Colwell JC, Feigelson HS. The association of bowel function, participation in life activities, and quality of life in rectal cancer survivors. Qual Life Res. 2022 Feb;31(2):487-495. doi: 10.1007/s11136-021-02930-1. Epub 2021 Jul 12. PMID: 34251589.
  • Garg T, McMullen CK, Leo MC, O'Keeffe-Rosetti MC, Weinmann S, Nielsen ME. Predicting risk of multiple levels of recurrence and progression after initial diagnosis of nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer in a multisite, community-based cohort. Cancer. 2021 Feb 15;127(4):520-527. doi: 10.1002/cncr.33300. Epub 2020 Nov 4. PMID: 33146913.
  • Gruß I, Firemark A, McMullen CK, Mayhew M, DeBar LL. Satisfaction with Primary Care Providers and Health Care Services Among Patients with Chronic Pain: a Mixed-Methods Study. J Gen Intern Med. 2020 Jan;35(1):190-197. doi: 10.1007/s11606-019-05339-2. Epub 2019 Oct 21. PMID: 31637639; PMCID: PMC6957630.
  • McMullen CK, Rosetti MO, Weinmann S, Leo MC, Nielsen ME. Clinical Use Cases for a Tool to Assess Risk in Superficial Bladder Cancer. Perm J. 2019;23:18-276. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18.276. Epub 2019 Aug 19. PMID: 31496500; PMCID: PMC6730961.
  • Gruß I, McMullen CK. Barriers to eliciting patient goals and values in shared decision-making breast cancer surgery consultations: An ethnographic and interview study. Psychooncology. 2019 Nov;28(11):2233-2239. doi: 10.1002/pon.5212. Epub 2019 Sep 2. PMID: 31461197.
  • Check DK, Leo MC, Banegas MP, Bulkley JE, Danforth KN, Gilbert SM, Kwan ML, Rosetti MO, McMullen CK. Decision Regret Related to Urinary Diversion Choice among Patients Treated with Cystectomy. J Urol. 2020 Jan;203(1):159-163. doi: 10.1097/JU.0000000000000512. Epub 2019 Aug 23. PMID: 31441673.
  • McMullen C, Bulkley J, Corley DA, Madrid S, Davis AQ, Hesselbrock R, Kurtilla F, Anderson CK, Arterburn D, Somkin CP, Pawloski PA, Ghai NR, Feigelson HS. Health care improvement and survivorship priorities of colorectal cancer survivors: findings from the PORTAL colorectal cancer cohort survey. Support Care Cancer. 2019 Jan;27(1):147-156. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4299-6. Epub 2018 Jun 12. PMID: 29948396; PMCID: PMC6682405.
  • McMullen CK, Kwan ML, Colwell JC, Munneke JR, Davis JV, Firemark A, Brooks N, Grant M, Gilbert SM, Altschuler A. Recovering from Cystectomy: Patient Perspectives. Bladder Cancer. 2019 Jan 31;5(1):51-61. doi: 10.3233/BLC-180202. PMID: 30854413; PMCID: PMC6401661.
  • Leo MC, Gilbert SM, Wendel CS, Krouse RS, Grant M, Danforth KN, Kwan ML, Harrison TN, Bulkley JE, McMullen CK. Development of a Goal Elicitation Measure to Support Choice about Urinary Diversion by Patients with Bladder Cancer. J Urol. 2019 Jul;202(1):83-89. doi: 10.1097/JU.0000000000000203. Epub 2019 Jun 7. PMID: 30835627.
  • McMullen CK, Bulkley JE, Altschuler A, Wendel CS, Grant M, Hornbrook MC, Sun V, Krouse RS. Greatest Challenges of Rectal Cancer Survivors: Results of a Population-Based Survey. Dis Colon Rectum. 2016 Nov;59(11):1019-1027. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000000695. PMID: 27749476; PMCID: PMC5226258.
  • Herrinton LJ, Altschuler A, McMullen CK, Bulkley JE, Hornbrook MC, Sun V, Wendel CS, Grant M, Baldwin CM, Demark-Wahnefried W, Temple LK, Krouse RS. Conversations for providers caring for patients with rectal cancer: Comparison of long-term patient-centered outcomes for patients with low rectal cancer facing ostomy or sphincter-sparing surgery. CA Cancer J Clin. 2016 Sep;66(5):387-97. doi: 10.3322/caac.21345. Epub 2016 Mar 21. PMID: 26999757; PMCID: PMC5618707.
  • McMullen CK, Macey TA, Pope J, Gugerty B, Slot M, Lundeen P, Ash J, Carlson N. Effect of computerized prescriber order entry on pharmacy: experience of one health system. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2015 Jan 15;72(2):133-42. doi: 10.2146/ajhp140106. PMID: 25550137.
  • McMullen CK, Schneider J, Altschuler A, Grant M, Hornbrook MC, Liljestrand P, Krouse RS. Caregivers as healthcare managers: health management activities, needs, and caregiving relationships for colorectal cancer survivors with ostomies. Support Care Cancer. 2014 Sep;22(9):2401-8. doi: 10.1007/s00520-014-2194-3. Epub 2014 Apr 3. PMID: 24691886; PMCID: PMC4372076.
  • McMullen CK, Schneider J, Firemark A, Davis J, Spofford M. Cultivating engaged leadership through a learning collaborative: lessons from primary care renewal in Oregon safety net clinics. Ann Fam Med. 2013 May-Jun;11 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S34-40. doi: 10.1370/afm.1489. PMID: 23690384; PMCID: PMC3707245.

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