People of the Injury Prevention Center


Maureen Walton headshot

Maureen Walton, MPH, PhD


Associate Director for Child Research, Addiction Center, University of Michigan

Professor, Psychiatry, U-M Medical School

Senior Associate Director, Injury Prevention Center, University of Michigan

Email: waltonma@umich.edu

Sites:
https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/psychiatry/maureen-walton-mph-phd
https://ihpi.umich.edu/our-experts/waltonma
http://chcr.umich.edu/person.php?id=544
https://opioids.umich.edu/person/maureen-walton-mph-phd/
https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/psychiatry/faculty/addiction-center/w
https://www.projectamaze.org/

Biography

Dr. Walton is a Professor and Associate Chair for Research and Research Faculty Development in the Department of Psychiatry. She is also the Associate Chair for Child Research at the Addiction Center and Senior Associate Director at the U-M Injury Prevention Center. Dr. Walton’s career goal is to conduct innovative research to maximize public health impact on prevention and intervention for youth violence and substance use (e.g., alcohol, cannabis, opioids). She has expertise in harnessing technology (e.g., web, text messaging, social media, telehealth, smartphone apps) for assessment and intervention delivery, including mobile health research and micro-randomized trials.

For example, Dr. Walton and colleagues have demonstrated the efficacy of a single session intervention (SafERteens) in reducing youth violence and alcohol misuse (published in JAMA), which uses technology to structure the therapy. Her team has ongoing work integrating the SafERteens intervention into routine clinical care in the emergency department and in primary care, which includes text messaging boosters. More recently, she is testing adaptive interventions (delivered by peer coaches or text messages) to reduce risky drinking and violence using a SMART design.

In addition, Dr. Walton and colleagues have developed evidenced-based single session interventions to reduce substance use (e.g., alcohol, cannabis, prescription drug misuse) among patients in medical settings. More recent lines of work in this area include testing remotely delivered interventions (i.e., telehealth session, messaging platform) to prevent opioid misuse among young people in the emergency department, as well as the efficacy of social media delivered interventions to reduce risky substance use among adolescents and emerging adults.

Research Interests

Dr. Walton has particular interest and expertise in developing e-health and m-health interventions (e.g., web, text messaging, social media, smartphone apps). Specifically, Dr. Walton and colleagues have demonstrated the efficacy of a brief intervention (SafERteens) in reducing youth violence and alcohol misuse (published in JAMA), which uses technology to structure the therapy. Her team is currently integrating the SafERteens intervention into routine clinical care in the emergency department and in primary care, which includes text messaging boosters. Her prior work also developed evidenced-based brief interventions for alcohol use and cannabis use among youth in medical settings.

More recently, Dr. Walton is testing the efficacy of social media (e.g., Facebook) as an innovative intervention delivery platform for reducing risky drinking among adolescents and emerging adults. Also, she is testing adaptive interventions for alcohol and violence delivered by remote peer coaches and text messages, which vary dose based on response using a SMART design. Finally, Dr. Walton is involved with research among adult samples, providing expertise with technology-based intervention delivery and preventing attrition with longitudinal follow-up.