301 Pharmacy Lane, , , Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, , Beard Hall, , , Chapel Hill, NC, 27599
Scott A. Davis, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. His research focuses on pragmatic clinical trials testing interventions to improve patients’ use of medications to achieve optimal real-world outcomes, as well as implementation and dissemination of these interventions. Following graduation from the DPOP Ph.D. program in 2018 as a Royster Fellow, he completed an NC TraCS TL1 MOTRD UP postdoctoral fellowship to gain more intensive training in implementation science and dissemination of successful interventions. This training will allow him to work with providers and health systems to improve the quality of patient education about their medications in clinics and pharmacies, in ways that minimize unnecessary cost and time burden to providers and staff. He also works with faculty at MAHEC to design and evaluate innovative programs for improving patient and caregiver activation and engagement with the healthcare system, particularly in relation to the underserved in rural areas.
Davis has authored more than 100 publications, mainly centered on interventions to improve patients’ medication adherence and communication with their providers in everyday clinical settings. His work has been funded by the Glaucoma Research Foundation and the PhRMA Foundation.
Dr. Davis’s lab is focused on the following areas:
- Improving patients’ ability to take their medications correctly to improve their outcomes
Dr. Davis focuses on pragmatic clinical trials testing interventions to improve patients’ use of medications to achieve optimal real-world outcomes, as well as implementation and dissemination of these interventions. He works with providers and health systems to improve the quality of patient education about their medications in clinics and pharmacies, in ways that minimize unnecessary cost and time burden to providers and staff. By providing important educational material online, it may be possible to significantly improve patients’ ability to correctly use medications that are not as straightforward to use as oral medications, including eye drops, topical medications, or injected medications. These types of medications can easily be misapplied to the wrong location, in the wrong amount, or in ways that cause unexpected adverse effects such as eye infections. Therefore, it is critical to have easily understandable educational materials, written at appropriate health literacy levels, that are practical for busy clinicians to provide to every patient. It is also important to know how these educational tools can best be disseminated in a wide variety of settings that each face their own challenges.
- Implementing and evaluating the impact of quality improvement initiatives led by MAHEC, particularly in the area of maternal and child health
Dr. Davis works closely with Dr. Dan Frayne, President of Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), to implement and evaluate new innovations in primary care practice. These include new screening practices to ensure that all women who might become pregnant are getting the care they need, including tobacco cessation counseling, depression treatment, initiation of prenatal vitamins, and education about family planning. By screening and providing needed services to mothers at 12- and 24-month well-child visits, there is potential to reduce adverse birth outcomes, especially in vulnerable Appalachian rural populations. Recent work has aimed to assess the benefits of telehealth visits to review women’s reproductive health needs in the time of COVID, in which pregnancy intention is assessed and counseling is provided. New tools for depression screening are also being tested in collaboration with MAHEC and researchers at Western Carolina University.
- Improving mental health services in North Carolina and reducing health disparities by reducing barriers to mental health care access and utilization
Dr. Davis works with Dr. Kathleen Thomas on mental health services research to understand and overcome barriers to receiving appropriate mental health care in North Carolina, including in African American and Latino communities. This work includes addressing patient-provider communication through patient and parent activation interventions, which teach patients and parents to voice their concerns more effectively during visits to reap the benefits of greater shared decision making. Other work focuses on creating activation interventions for autistic adults and for parents of youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This work may help address disparities that contribute to adverse health outcomes in populations with disabilities.