Lorien Abroms, Sc.D., M.A.

Lorien Abroms, Sc.D., M.A.

Lorien Abroms is an Associate Professor of Prevention and Community Health at the School of Public Health and Health Services and Director of the Public Health Communication and Marketing Program.

  • Phone: 202-994-3518
  • Email: lorien@gwu.edu
  • Office Address:
    950 New Hampshire Avenue
    308 - Floor 3
    Washington, DC 20052

Dr. Abroms' research focuses on the application of communication technologies including emails, text messaging, and smartphone apps--for smoking cessation and other health behaviors. She has developed and evaluated a smoking cessation kit for young adult smokers called the X-Pack, which was awarded the Best Materials Award by the Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) Section of American Public Health Association. She has developed and is currently leading an evaluation of the Text2Quit Program, an interactive text messaging program for smoking cessation. Through a licensing agreement from GW, Text2Quit is currently offered to callers of 1-800-QUITNOW in selected states and to employees of various corporations. Prior to joining the faculty at GW in 2004, Dr. Abroms received her doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health and was a post-doc at the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development. In 2008, she was awarded the Early Career Award by the Public Health Education and Health Promotion (PHEHP) Section of the American Public Health Association.

Education

Bachelor of Science (Psychology), Brown University, 1993
Master of Arts (Sociology), Brown University, 1996
Doctor of Science, Harvard School of Public Health, 2002
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, National Institutes of Health, 2003

Teaching

PubH 6503-Introduction to Public Health Communication & Marketing, Department of Prevention and Community Health PubH 6570-Advanced Health Communication, Department of Prevention and Community Health

Research

Dr. Abroms' career focuses on the application of mobile phones and other communication technologies for smoking cessation and other health behaviors. Dr. Abroms has developed Text2Quit, a text-messaging program for adult smokers that is currently offered to quitline callers (1-800-QUIT-NOW) in selected States. She conducted a randomized trial on Text2Quit in a sample of adult smokers recruited on the Internet. Dr. Abroms has also developed a smoking cessation program geared toward pregnant smokers called Quit4Baby, which is currently being pilot-tested. Dr. Abroms is also researching the content of smartphone apps for smoking cessation and is involved with the development of a text messaging program for smoking cessation in Israel.

  • SmokefreeMOM: Reaching Pregnant Smokers with Health Information via Text Messaging
    Cigarette smoking in pregnancy poses serious health risks to both the woman and the fetus. It has been shown to cause adverse fetal outcomes, including stillbirths, spontaneous abortions, premature births, low birth-weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS); and has been linked to cognitive and behavioral problems in children. Mobile phones and text messaging have are widespread with 85% of all American adults have mobile phones. Seventy-two percent of mobile phone owners send and receive text messages (Pew Internet 2010). Automated text messaging for smoking cessation in adult populations is feasible on a large scale and effective in both the short and long-term. This project aims to develop, pilot test and conduct an RCT of a theory-based smoking cessation program for pregnant women who smoke. This text messaging intervention is designed based on the National Cancer Institute’s SmokefreeTXT program and uses automated text messaging, to aide pregnant smokers in their efforts to quit.
    Principal Investigator: Lorien C. Abroms ScD
    Other Collaborators: Margaret Montgomery, CNM (Co-I) (Medstar Health Research Institute)
    Funding Agency: NCI (1R15CA167586)
    Project Period: January 2013- December 2015
  • Developing and Scaling an Interactive Text Messaging Tool to Help Pregnant Smokers
    This fast track SBIR (Phases 1&2) aims to develop a commercially viable smoking cessation texting program for pregnant smokers who are enrolled in Text4Baby. The program in development, Quit4Baby, is an automated, interactive bi-directional text messaging program based on one previously designed and tested by Abroms (Text2Quit). While over half of the nearly 11% of pregnant women who report smoking in their last trimester quit while pregnant, over half of those temporary quitters are back to smoking within 6 months after giving birth. The Quit4Baby program offers tips, on-demand tools and social support for quitting smoking while pregnant and staying quit after baby is born.
    Principal Investigator: Lorien C. Abroms ScD
    GW Collaborators: Sean Cleary, PhD
    Other Collaborators: Pamela Johnson, PhD, Co-Investigator (Voxiva)
    Funding Agency: NIDA (R44 DA035017-01)
    Project Period: September 2013- April 2016
  • Using Text Messaging & Email to Enhance Counseling Services at NCI’s Smoking Cessation Quitline
    Email and text messages have the potential to improve the reach and efficacy of smoking cessation interventions. Text message and email offer low cost means of communicating with an audience in a format already highly integrated into their lives. Information delivered via text message or email can be easily tailored to the individual and data can be easily transmitted by the recipient to indicate smoking status and other relevant information. Studies indicate that text messaging programs delivered on mobile phones have shown some promise in delivering treatment for tobacco dependence. This project focused on developing piloting and trailing an automated, interactive smoking cessation program called Text2Quit. Text2Quit sends tailored text messages and emails to offer advice, support, and reminders about quitting smoking to the general adult population. Results from an RCT provide initial support for the relative efficacy of the Text2Quit program.
    Principal Investigator: Lorien C. Abroms ScD
    GW Collaborators: Sean Cleary, PhD
    Funding Agency: NCI (1K07CA124579 - 01A2)
    Project Period: October 2008- September 2014
  • Quit Smoking Smartphone Apps for Persons Living with HIV
    There are nearly one million persons living with confirmed HIV infection (PLWH) in the US, 60% of them smoke cigarettes, and 75% of them are interested in quitting. Almost none are currently accessing smoking cessation interventions designed to meet their specific needs and concerns. The epidemic of cigarette smoking is fueling an alarming rise in cardiovascular disease and tobacco-related cancers in persons living with HIV. Smokers living with HIV have few, if any, cessation resources available to them that address their particular needs, and HIV care providers have virtually no evidence-base to guide their approach to tobacco treatment. This research will attempt to address this major public health issue by using mobile-web and smartphone technology to expand the reach of a promising, tailored cessation intervention specifically for persons living with HIV.
    Principal Investigator: Lorien C. Abroms ScD
    Other Collaborators: Jonathan Shuter, M.D.(PI) (Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine); Lawrence C. An, M.D. (Co-I) (University of Michigan)
    Funding Agency: NIH (1 R34 DA037042-01)
    Project Period: September 2013- September 2016
  • Recovery Warrior: An X-box 360 game for adolescents in addiction recovery
    Opioid dependence is a particularly severe and dangerous type of addiction in youth, and is increasingly recognized as a national epidemic. Previous research has shown that youth who are dependent on opioids compared to other substances have higher rates of post-treatment substance use and worse functional outcomes. Adolescents often find treatment boring, and easily develop treatment fatigue. There has long been speculation that video games could have a role as an intervention for youth with substance abuse. This research aims to develop and evaluate the acceptability of a professionally-designed videogame for use with adolescents and emerging adults in opioid addiction recovery treatment programs.
    Principal Investigator: Lorien C. Abroms ScD
    Other Collaborators: Daniel Greenberg (Co-I) (Media Rez); Marc Fishman, MD (Co-I) (Mountain Manor Treatment Center)
    Funding Agency: Contract (HHSN271201300006C)
    Project Period: June 2013- December 2014

Community Service

Professor Abroms reviews manuscripts for a number of peer reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Public Health, Nicotine and Tobacco Research, the Journal of Health Communication, the Journal of Internet Medical Research, and the American Journal of Health Behavior. She is on the editorial board of Cases in Public Health Communication & Marketing and was the guest editor of a special volume focused on the application of new media in public health campaigns (Summer 2008). Professor Abroms is a member of the Society for Public Health Education and the American Public Health Association.

Expertise

  • Health Communication
  • Smoking Cessation
  • Social Marketing
  • mHealth

Departments

Institutes & Centers

Publications