Jeff Huffman

Jeff Huffman
Massachusetts General Hospital | MGH · Department of Psychiatry

About

241
Publications
38,959
Reads
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6,990
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2000 - present
Harvard Medical School
Position
  • Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Publications

Publications (241)
Article
Full-text available
Background: Physical activity during midlife (ages 45-64) plays a major role in the prevention of chronic and serious medical conditions. Unfortunately, many midlife adults struggle to be physically active in the setting of low levels of psychological well-being and the management of multiple confluent sources of stress. Effective, scalable, midli...
Article
Full-text available
Peer support, a distinctive form of social support in which patients share emotional, social, and practical help based on their own lived experience of illness and treatment, positively impacts patient-reported outcomes in cancer populations. However, data on peer support experiences among hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients are li...
Article
Objective: To examine the prevalence of awareness of PA (physical activity) benefits among those with mental disorders and explore how this is related to actual PA levels in this population. Methods: We queried data from the Health Information National Trends Survey 2019. A sample of 1,139 adults with self-reported depression and anxiety (61% femal...
Article
Tailoring text message interventions (TMIs) can help individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) to adhere to health behaviors. This study is part of the development of an adaptive TMI that uses participant characteristics and ongoing feedback to send text messages to participants. As a first step, 100 adults with T2D were surveyed to assess their prefe...
Article
Background: Peer support has been utilized and associated with clinical outcomes (e.g., improved mood) in patients with solid malignancies. However, to date, there is minimal literature examining peer support among patients with hematologic malignancies and/or patients who have undergone hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Methods: I...
Article
Background: Health behaviour adherence is associated with improved survival in kidney failure (KF); however, most patients with KF do not adhere to one or more health behaviours. Existing health behaviour interventions have significant limitations and do not focus on psychological factors that are associated with adherence and health. Objectives:...
Article
This column describes the implementation of a multidisciplinary, team-based model of care within an outpatient psychiatry practice at a large urban academic medical center. The authors outline the process by which the innovative team-based care model was selected, funded, and implemented to address long patient wait times, lack of clinical supports...
Article
Objective: Noncardiac chest pain is common and can cause distress, impair quality of life, and lead to recurrent evaluation. It is often multifactorial in etiology and influenced by psychological factors. The objective of this study was to describe the development, implementation, and preliminary feasibility of an 8-week multicomponent care managem...
Article
Full-text available
PurposePhysical activity is critical for weight loss maintenance and cardiometabolic disease prevention after metabolic/bariatric surgery (MBS), but few patients meet recommended levels. While difficulties meeting physical activity recommendations are common in the general population, those who have undergone MBS may have unique psychological barri...
Article
Background Kidney Failure (KF) is associated with impaired physical function, reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL), increased healthcare costs, and high rates of cardiovascular complications and mortality. Among individuals with KF, well-being and related constructs, such as positive affect, optimism, self-efficacy, and resilience, may ha...
Article
Objective Both positive (e.g., optimism, well-being) and negative (e.g., stress, depressive symptoms) psychological constructs are associated with cardiovascular health. Positive psychology interventions (PPIs), which involve the cultivation of well-being through systematic activities, have the potential to enhance positive constructs and reduce ne...
Article
Full-text available
Positive Psychological (PP) constructs (e.g., optimism and gratitude) may impact the adherence to healthy behaviors, including diet, though prior studies have shown mixed findings. This qualitative study explored the relationships between PP constructs and dietary behaviors among 21 adults with metabolic syndrome through semi-structured interviews....
Article
Background Most individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) struggle to adhere to one or more health behaviors. Text message interventions (TMIs) have the potential to improve adherence but have had mixed effects on diet and activity in T2D. We developed an eight-week, adaptive, algorithm-driven TMI to promote physical activity, diet, self-care, and wel...
Article
Full-text available
Background: While the challenges for psychological well-being for Australian healthcare workers have been documented, there has been a dearth of qualitative research on the sources of resilience that sustained workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study identified sources of resilience that clinicians used to cope with frontline challenges du...
Article
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There has been growing interest in using wearable physiological monitors to passively detect the signals of distress (i.e., increases in autonomic arousal measured through increased electrodermal activity [EDA]) that may be imminently associated with suicidal thoughts. Before using these monitors in advanced applications such as creating suicide ri...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review Does optimism contribute to superior cardiovascular health? We examined prospective studies investigating the connections between optimism and cardiovascular health and examining the biological and behavioral mechanisms that may mediate such connections. Recent Findings Optimism, independent of sociodemographic, medical, and nega...
Article
Full-text available
We still have little understanding of short-term predictors of suicidal thoughts and behaviors (STBs). Prior research links increased negative affect to STBs, but the vast majority of earlier work is limited by measuring negative affect at one time point and aiming to predict STBs months or years in the future. Recently, intensive longitudinal stud...
Preprint
Full-text available
There has been growing interest in using wearable physiological monitors to passively detect the signals of distress (i.e., increases in autonomic arousal measured through increased electrodermal activity [EDA]) that may be imminently associated with suicidal thoughts. Before using these monitors in advanced applications such as creating suicide ri...
Article
Background: Many midlife adults (aged 45-64 years) struggle to become physically active in the context of diminished psychological well-being and multiple concurrent stressors, despite the clear association of low physical activity with the development of chronic medical conditions. Objectives: To assess the feasibility (rates of session completio...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To assess whether CC is more effective at reducing suicidal ideation in people with depression compared with usual care, and whether study and patient factors moderate treatment effects. Method We searched Medline, Embase, PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, CENTRAL from inception to March 2020 for Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) that compared...
Article
Background Most individuals with heart disease struggle to adhere to cardiovascular health behaviors, despite their known health benefits. Text message interventions (TMIs) are a promising treatment modality for health behavior promotion, but existing TMIs typically deliver a fixed set of messages and do not target well-being constructs associated...
Article
Full-text available
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients often experience deficits in positive psychological well-being (PPWB) due to intensive treatment and follow-up care. Positive psychology interventions (PPIs) that promote PPWB via deliberate and systematic exercises (e.g., writing a gratitude letter) have consistently improved PPW...
Article
To assess whether CC is more effective at reducing suicidal ideation in people with depression compared with usual care, and whether study and patient factors moderate treatment effects. Method: We searched Medline, Embase, PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, CENTRAL from inception to March 2020 for Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) that compared the effe...
Article
Full-text available
Importance: The weeks following discharge from psychiatric hospitalization are the highest-risk period for suicide attempts. Real-time monitoring of suicidal thoughts via smartphone prompts may be more indicative of short-term risk than a single, cross-sectional assessment. Objective: To test whether modeling dynamic changes in real-time suicida...
Article
Background This pilot study aimed to test whether increase in daily steps and day-to-day consistency in daily steps during the first several weeks of a physical activity intervention predicted outcomes.Methods This was a secondary analysis from two concurrent studies testing a positive psychology-motivational interviewing intervention to increase p...
Article
As clinicians delivering health care, we are very good at treating disease but often not as good at treating the person. The focus of our attention has been on the specific physical condition rather than the patient as a whole. Less attention has been given to psychological health and how that can contribute to physical health and disease. However,...
Article
Objective Most individuals with heart failure (HF) struggle to adhere to one or more health behaviors, and interventions to promote adherence are time-intensive and costly. In this analysis, we examined the predictors of engagement and response related to a telephone-delivered health behavior intervention for individuals with HF. Method Using data...
Article
Objective New-onset depressive symptoms commonly arise among persons without a history of major depressive disorder (MDD) in the setting of acute medical illness. Although depressive symptoms in general are associated with alterations in prognostic biomarkers following acute coronary syndrome (ACS), the nature of specifically new-onset depressive s...
Article
Background The majority of persons with type 2 diabetes (T2D) do not meet recommended levels of physical activity, despite clear links between physical activity and superior medical outcomes in this population. The objective of this trial was to assess the feasibility and impact of a novel 16-week combined positive psychology-motivational interview...
Chapter
Clinical Case • Download : Download full-size image “Katie” is a 38-year-old married non-Hispanic white woman with a history of spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), who was referred for psychotherapy by her cardiologist for the treatment of anxiety and stress symptoms; these symptoms were negatively impacting her quality of life (QoL), r...
Article
Objective: Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a marker of autonomic nervous system function associated with both physical and mental health. Many studies have suggested that mindfulness and meditation-based interventions (MBIs) are associated with improvements in HRV, but findings are mixed and to date no comprehensive meta-analysis has synthesized r...
Article
Objective Most patients with heart failure (HF) struggle to adhere to health behaviors, and existing health behavior interventions have significant limitations. We developed a 12-week, phone-delivered, combined positive psychology (PP) and motivational interviewing (MI) intervention to promote well-being and adherence to physical activity, diet, an...
Article
Depression in patients with cardiovascular disease is independently associated with progression of heart disease, major adverse cardiac events, and mortality. A wide variety of depression treatment strategies have been studied in randomized controlled trials as the field works to identify optimal depression treatments in this population. A contempo...
Article
Background: Positive psychological constructs (eg, optimism, positive affect) may help people engage in physical activity, though the details of these relationships and their directionality have not been studied in depth in people with cardiovascular risk factors. The objectives of this study were to use qualitative research to explore the relatio...
Article
Full-text available
Psychological well-being may play an important role in health behavior adherence and cardiovascular health, but there has been limited study of well-being in patients with heart failure. In this descriptive qualitative research study, we interviewed thirty patients with heart failure to explore their psychological experiences with heart failure and...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Positive psychology (PP) uses targeted activities to increase the frequency and intensity of positive feelings and may improve overall well-being in medically ill populations. In this pilot study, we examined the feasibility, acceptability and potential impact of a five-week, telephone-delivered, PP intervention for individuals with mul...
Article
Accumulating evidence for the unique social, behavioral, and physical health benefits of positive emotion and related well-being constructs has led to the development and testing of positive psychological interventions (PPIs) to increase emotional well-being and enhance health promotion and disease prevention. PPIs are specifically aimed at improvi...
Article
Objective: Physical activity is associated with superior health outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D), but the majority of T2D patients do not follow physical activity recommendations. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility and impact of a novel combined positive psychology-motivational interviewing (PP-MI) interventio...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically transformed the U.S. healthcare landscape. Within psychiatry, a sudden relaxing of insurance and regulatory barriers during the month of March 2020 enabled clinicians practicing in a wide range of settings to quickly adopt virtual care in order to provide critical ongoing mental health supports to both existin...
Article
Full-text available
Background Community-based physical activity interventions can offset the burden of developing chronic diseases. Positive psychology (PP) interventions may improve health behaviors, but little is known about their effectiveness in community-based prevention settings. A multilevel PP-based intervention has never been studied in people at risk for ch...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Positive psychological constructs, such as optimism, are associated with cardiovascular health, and changes in biological measures associated with heart health have been proposed as potential mediators of these relationships. In this analysis of data from a randomized controlled trial, we examined the impact of an optimism training inte...
Article
Background Physical activity is strongly associated with lower risk of recurrent cardiac events in patients who experience an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), yet most patients do not meet recommended levels of physical activity. Psychological well-being is associated with higher levels of physical activity, but midlife adults experience a multitude...
Article
Objective Psychological distress impacts a variety of health outcomes in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Focused qualitative studies on a wider range of psychological distress in HSCT patients are lacking. However, understanding the subtleties of psychological distress (e.g. fear, guilt, loss of control) in HSCT patients is imperati...
Article
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Background Anhedonia, the loss of the capacity to experience pleasure, is subjectively and biologically distinct from depressed mood. Few studies have specifically examined the association of pre-transplant anhedonia with key functional outcomes (e.g., health-related quality of life; QOL) in patients with hematologic malignancies who have received...
Article
This study tested the hypothesis that internalized weight bias (WBI) is negatively associated with health‐related quality of life, weight loss and health behaviour adherence (eg, physical activity, diet, vitamin adherence) in patients who had weight loss surgery (WLS). It also tested whether self‐efficacy for exercise, barriers to being active and...
Article
Full-text available
Adherence to physical activity in patients with serious heart disease is critical to recovery and survival. In-person programs to promote activity in cardiac patients have been poorly attended, and increasingly patients are focused on mobile, self-management-based approaches to health. Accordingly, we completed a one-arm trial of a novel one-way 14...
Article
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Background: Despite advances in transplantation medicine, psychological distress, quality of life and functional deficits continue to compromise survivorship after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). With increasing numbers of HSCT survivors, supportive oncology interventions that target health-related outcomes in HSCT survivorship are...
Article
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Background: Physical activity among those with type 2 diabetes (T2D) is independently associated with superior medical outcomes, but existing behavioral interventions have not led to widespread increases in activity in this population. A remotely delivered intervention that targets well-being constructs associated with greater activity and assists...
Article
Context: Despite clear health benefits, many individuals fail to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity. Text message interventions to promote physical activity hold promise owing to the ubiquity of cell phones and the low expense of text message delivery. Evidence acquisition: A systematic review and meta-analysis were performed to...
Article
Background The Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) is an approach to systematically and efficiently developing a behavioral intervention using a sequence of experiments to prepare and optimize the intervention. Purpose Using a 6 year MOST-based behavioral intervention development project as an example, we outline the results—and resulting deci...
Article
Background: Self-compassion is a psychological skill associated with good mental health and adjustment to illness in the second half of life, but to date, few self-compassion-based interventions have been developed specifically for use in midlife and older adult cohorts. The purpose of this study was to develop and test the feasibility of a 4-week...
Article
Full-text available
Positive psychology interventions (PPIs) have been shown to promote wellbeing in individuals with medical illness, although it is still unknown whether certain patient characteristics make participants more likely to benefit from such interventions. The present study tested whether, using individual patient data across five published PPI studies (t...
Article
Full-text available
IntroductionHealth behaviors are critical for weight loss maintenance after weight loss surgery (WLS), and emotional factors often play a role in adherence. Positive psychological constructs (e.g., optimism, positive affect) have predicted health outcomes in other medical populations but have been infrequently examined in post-WLS patients.Methods...
Article
Objective: Adherence to health behaviors following an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is strongly associated with superior prognosis. Both optimism and positive affect may play important roles in such adherence. However, the relationship between changes in these constructs in the context of positive psychology interventions (PPIs) and adherence to h...
Article
Objective: Positive psychological well-being interventions have demonstrated promise in improving both psychological and physical health-related outcomes in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), but evidence of the efficacy of these interventions with individuals with CAD is limited. As such, we developed an eight-week group-based intervent...
Article
Objective: Positive psychology interventions, which involve systematic completion of activities designed to promote well-being, are being increasingly studied in medically ill patients. However, the extent to which these interventions ameliorate patient anxiety remains unclear. Therefore, our aim was to conduct a meta-analysis to determine the eff...
Article
Objective Positive psychological constructs (e.g., optimism, hope) have been associated with superior health outcomes in the recovery from hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) in prior work. However, such studies have not examined a broad range of positive psychological constructs, their sources or evolution over time, or their connection...
Article
Background: Optimism, or positive expectations about the future, is associated with better health. It is commonly assessed as a trait, but it may change over time and circumstance. Accordingly, we developed a measure of state optimism. Methods: An initial 29-item pool was generated based on literature reviews and expert consultations. It was adm...
Article
Full-text available
Growing evidence links psychological well-being (e.g., optimism) with superior cardiac health, but there remains a critical scientific gap as we do not know whether (or how) interventions to cultivate emotional well-being may reduce cardiac risk. Hispanics/Latinos in the U.S. have high cardiovascular disease risk and poorly controlled blood pressur...
Article
Most patients are not able to achieve recommended levels of physical activity following an acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Existing interventions to promote activity have not focused on promoting psychological well-being, which is independently linked to superior cardiac health. To address this gap, we developed and tested a combined positive psycho...