Mrs Melissa Jackson
Melissa Jackson (BPsyc (Hons)) is currently completing a research higher degree through the University of Newcastle and working as a clinical research officer for Hunter New England Health Drug and Alcohol Clinical Services. She has spent the past 9 years studying and working in research related to tobacco cessation and substance use treatments and is an ATTUD qualified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.
Her PhD research focuses on improving the health of women with tobacco and other substance use disorders, and their babies, through the implementation of a financial incentive-based smoking cessation intervention. The program is being piloted in three public antenatal clinics for women who use alcohol and other drugs across New South Wales and Victoria. Melissa was awarded a highly competitive NSW Health PhD scholarship to complete her studies.
At Hunter New England Health, Melissa has been involved in clinical trials of cannabinoid replacement therapy and pharmacological treatments for methamphetamine dependence. Her honours research captured the use of synthetic cannabinoids by people seeking treatment for cannabis use in public health drug and alcohol treatment services.
During her studies, Melissa assisted in a large smoking cessation intervention targeting people in impatient mental health settings. She was awarded a Faculty of Science undergraduate summer scholarship to investigate smoking cessation and the use of social support and social technologies to promote smoking cessation in those with serious mental illness.
Melissa currently has publications relating to smoking cessation and maternal substance use, cannabis and opiate treatment and synthetic cannabinoids. She has also presented her research at several Australasian and International conferences, including the Australasian Professional Society for Alcohol and Other Drugs (APSAD) in 2016, 2017 and 2019; the Oceania Tobacco Control conference in 2019 and the Society for Nicotine and Tobacco Research (SRNT) Conference in the USA in 2018 and 2020. She is a member of APSAD and SRNT and a current board member of the newly formed Oceania chapter of SRNT. Other memberships include the University of Newcastle Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research and the Hunter Cancer Research Alliance. She has also been an active committee member of the Newcastle branch of the Australian Psychological Society since 2014.
- Contingency management
- Harm reduction
- Maternal Health
- Smoking cessation
- Substance use treatment
- Tobacco use
- English (Mother)
Fields of Research
|111799||Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified||100|
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Journal article (5 outputs)
Jackson MA, Brown AL, Baker AL, Dunlop AJ, Dunford A, Gould GS, 'Intensive behavioural and pharmacological treatment for tobacco dependence in pregnant women with complex psychosocial challenges: A case report', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 1-8 (2020)
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Up to 95% of women who use other substances also smoke tobacco during pregnancy. Challenging psychosocial circumstances a... [more]
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Up to 95% of women who use other substances also smoke tobacco during pregnancy. Challenging psychosocial circumstances and other barriers that contribute to high levels of tobacco dependence result in few quitting successfully. This case report describes the treatment of a highly tobacco dependent 34-year-old pregnant woman with a history of recent substance use, mental illness and trauma, enrolled in the Incentives to Quit Tobacco in Pregnancy program. Heavy smoking, both during the day and overnight, was reported. An extensive history of quit attempts, as well as a strong desire to cease tobacco use during pregnancy, was also noted. Treatment utilising extensive behavioural supports, including financial incentives for carbon monoxide verified abstinence and telephone-based counselling, in combination with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), was offered to assist cessation. Excellent uptake and adherence to all aspects of treatment saw tobacco cessation achieved and maintained for 24 weeks while on the program. NRT used at doses well above those recommended for pregnancy was required to alleviate strong withdrawal symptoms and maintain abstinence. Daily monitoring of carbon monoxide, financial incentives for continued abstinence and regular phone support were critical to maintaining motivation and preventing relapse to smoking. Post-program relapse to smoking did occur, as is common, and highlights the need for longer-term intensive support for pregnant women with complex behavioural and social problems. Given the prevalence of tobacco smoking in such populations, long-term harm reduction treatment models using extensive behavioural support in combination with NRT should be considered for inclusion in current smoking cessation guidelines.
Jackson MA, Baker AL, McCarter KL, Brown AL, Gould GS, Dunlop AJ, 'Interventions for pregnant women who use tobacco and other substances: a systematic review protocol', BMJ OPEN, 9 (2019)
Jackson MA, Brown AL, Baker AL, Gould GS, Dunlop AJ, 'The Incentives to Quit tobacco in Pregnancy (IQuiP) protocol: Piloting a financial incentive-based smoking treatment for women attending substance use in pregnancy antenatal services', BMJ Open, 9 (2019)
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. Introduction While tobacco smoking pr... [more]
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. Introduction While tobacco smoking prevalence is falling in many western societies, it remains elevated among high-priority cohorts. Rates up to 95% have been reported in women whose pregnancy is complicated by other substance use. In this group, the potential for poor pregnancy outcomes and adverse physical and neurobiological fetal development are elevated by tobacco smoking. Unfortunately, few targeted and effective tobacco dependence treatments exist to assist cessation in this population. The study will trial an evidence-based, multicomponent tobacco smoking treatment tailored to pregnant women who use other substances. The intervention comprises financial incentives for biochemically verified abstinence, psychotherapy delivered by drug and alcohol counsellors, and nicotine replacement therapy. It will be piloted at three government-based, primary healthcare facilities in New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, Australia. The study will assess the feasibility and acceptability of the treatment when integrated into routine antenatal care offered by substance use in pregnancy antenatal services. Methods and analysis The study will use a single-arm design with pre-post comparisons. One hundred clients will be recruited from antenatal clinics with a substance use in pregnancy service. Women must be <33 weeks' gestation, =16 years old and a current tobacco smoker. The primary outcomes are feasibility, assessed by recruitment and retention and the acceptability of addressing smoking among this population. Secondary outcomes include changes in smoking behaviours, the comparison of adverse maternal outcomes and neonatal characteristics to those of a historical control group, and a cost-consequence analysis of the intervention implementation. Ethics and dissemination Protocol approval was granted by Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee (Reference 17/04/12/4.05), with additional ethical approval sought from the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW (Reference 1249/17). Findings will be disseminated via academic conferences, peer-reviewed publications and social media. Trial registration number Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (Ref: ACTRN12618000576224).
Dunlop AJ, Brown AL, Oldmeadow C, Harris A, Gill A, Sadler C, et al., 'Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of unsupervised buprenorphine-naloxone for the treatment of heroin dependence in a randomized waitlist controlled trial', Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 174 181-191 (2017) [C1]
© 2017 Background Access to opioid agonist treatment can be associated with extensive waiting periods with significant health and financial burdens. This study aimed to determine ... [more]
© 2017 Background Access to opioid agonist treatment can be associated with extensive waiting periods with significant health and financial burdens. This study aimed to determine whether patients with heroin dependence dispensed buprenorphine-naloxone weekly have greater reductions in heroin use and related adverse health effects 12-weeks after commencing treatment, compared to waitlist controls and to examine the cost-effectiveness of this strategy. Methods An open-label waitlist RCT was conducted in an opioid treatment clinic in Newcastle, Australia. Fifty patients with DSM-IV-TR heroin dependence (and no other substance dependence) were recruited. The intervention group (n = 25) received take-home self-administered sublingual buprenorphine-naloxone weekly (mean dose, 22.7 ± 5.7 mg) and weekly clinical review. Waitlist controls (n = 25) received no clinical intervention. The primary outcome was heroin use (self-report, urine toxicology verified) at weeks four, eight and 12. The primary cost-effectiveness outcome was incremental cost per additional heroin-free-day. Results Outcome data were available for 80% of all randomized participants. Across the 12-weeks, treatment group heroin use was on average 19.02 days less/month (95% CI -22.98, -15.06, p < 0.0001). A total 12-week reduction in adjusted costs including crime of $A5,722 (95% CI 3299, 8154) in favor of treatment was observed. Excluding crime, incremental cost per heroin-free-day gained from treatment was $A18.24 (95% CI 4.50, 28.49). Conclusion When compared to remaining on a waitlist, take-home self-administered buprenorphine-naloxone treatment is associated with significant reductions in heroin use for people with DSM-IV-TR heroin dependence. This cost-effective approach may be an efficient strategy to enhance treatment capacity.
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Conference (7 outputs)
Jackson MA, Gould G, Brown AL, Baker AL, Perry N, Bonevski B, et al., 'PREGNANCY AND BIRTH OUTCOMES OF WOMEN WITH TOBACCO AND OTHER SUBSTANCE USE PROBLEMS', DRUG AND ALCOHOL REVIEW (2017)
Jackson MA, Gould G, Brown AL, Baker AL, Perry N, Bonevski B, et al., 'TARGETED ANTENATAL SMOKING CESSATION INTERVENTION IN HIGH-RISK SUBSTANCE DEPENDENT PREGNANCY', DRUG AND ALCOHOL REVIEW (2017)
Jackson M, Gould G, Brown A, Baker A, Perry N, Bonevski B, et al., 'Pregnancy and birth outcomes of women with tobacco and other substance use problems', Melbourne, Vic, Australia (2017)
Jackson M, Bowman J, Holland R, Lintzeris N, Clancy R, Bruno R, et al., 'SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS: PREVALENCE, PATTERNS OF USE, MOTIVES AND EFFECTS IN TREATMENT SEEKING CANNABIS USERS', DRUG AND ALCOHOL REVIEW (2015) [E3]
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