Clinical and Health Psychology
Co-morbidity and health disparity in the mentally ill
"We all think depression and obesity are linked, but we don't know for sure how. Some studies with adolescent depression indicate that depression predicts weight gain, but we don't know what the mechanisms are that link obesity and depression," says Bodenlos.
"We have found that, if you are depressed and try to lose weight, you're less likely than someone without depression to succeed."
Bodenlos is a clinical psychologist with particular expertise in obesity and co-morbidities, linkages between psychological disorders and physical disease. Among the co-morbidities she researches is that of depression and obesity. More recently, she is working on a series of studies using epidemiological data to understand the comorbidities among ethnic minorities. Specifically, she is looking at mood and anxiety disorders comorbid with obesity and diabetes among African Americans.
While a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, Bodenlos worked on a NIH funded randomized clinical trial called "Be Active," whereby they used behavioral activation therapy to treat depression in women before they began weight loss treatment.
"Weight loss trials usually exclude individuals with psychological disorders, and therefore exclude women with depression," says Bodenlos. "We were trying to use tailored interventions to meet the unique needs of these groups."
Bodenlos has also studied co-morbidity between depression and other chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome (risk factor for heart disease).
She also conducted NIH grant-funded research on obesity at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (Baton Rouge, LA). Bodenlos worked on a grant-funded weight-loss maintenance trial.
Disparities and income
In addition to co-morbidity, Bodenlos has conducted research examining psychological factors associated with disease among low-income and ethnically diverse populations. As a clinical researcher at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Earl K. Long Medical Center, she worked with low income and African American adults at a charity hospital. The adults she worked with had chronic medical conditions (e.g. HIV/AIDS, diabetes, heart disease) as well as psychological conditions. She discovered interventions developed for the general population (higher income, middle-class) did not work well with people with fewer resources. This led to her interest in examining psychological treatments for underserved and diverse medical populations.
Bodenlos has co-authored more than 28 peer-reviewed journal articles, the most recent of which are:
Pagoto, S. L., Schneider, K. L., Oleski, J., Bodenlos, J. S., & Ma, Y. (in press). "The sunless study: A beach randomized trial of a skin cancer prevention intervention promoting sunless tanning" Archives of Dermatology.
Bodenlos, J.S., Rosal, M.C., Blake, D., Lemay, C. & Elfenbein, D. (2010). "Obesity and weight-related beliefs and behaviors among low-income ethnically diverse national job corps students." Journal of Health Disparities Research and Practice, 3 (3), 106-114.
Pagoto, S. L., Curtin, C., Bandini, L. G., Anderson, S. E., Schneider, K. L., Bodenlos, J., & Ma, Y. (in press). "Weight loss following a clinic-based weight loss program among adults with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms" Eating and Weight Disorders.
Interview opportunities and additional background information may be requested through the Office of Communications, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York. Phone: (315) 781-3540. After business hours, Communications staff members are accessible through contact information on their answering machine at that number.
Jamie Bodenlos joined Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 2009 as an assistant professor of psychology. She earned her B.S. in psychology cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, and her M.A. in clinical psychology from Western Carolina University. With a dissertation titled, "Impact of a Stage-Matched Weight Loss Intervention on Stage of Change Progression in Predominantly African-American female Primary Care Patients," she earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Louisiana State University.
She served as an instructor in medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where she had previously completed a postdoctoral research fellowship. While at UMass Medical School, she also received the NIH Health Disparities loan repayment program for her work with low-income and ethnically diverse adults, as well as the Boston Obesity and Nutrition Center research grant to explore effects of acute vagal nerve stimulation on eating and appetite hormones in depressed adults.
While a clinical psychology intern at the Medical University of South Carolina, Bodenlos conducted several different clinical rotations including ones in: weight management, pain management, childhood obesity program, substance abuse, counseling center, and in-patient psychiatric health promotion program.