Jessica Breland, MS, PhD is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and at the Center for Innovation to Implementation in the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Dr. Breland received her PhD in psychology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and completed her clinical internship at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. Her research focuses on using the Common Sense Model to enhance self-management interventions for patients with chronic conditions, implementing evidenced-based treatments and integrating mental health services into primary care settings.

Honors & Awards

  • Excellence Fellowship, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Department of Psychology (2008; 2010)

Professional Education

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Pennsylvania (2005)
  • Predoctoral Clinical Internship, Baylor College of Medicine (2013)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Rutgers University (2013)

Stanford Advisors


Journal Articles

  • Challenges to healthy eating for people with diabetes in a low-income, minority neighborhood. Diabetes care Breland, J. Y., McAndrew, L. M., Gross, R. L., Leventhal, H., Horowitz, C. R. 2013; 36 (10): 2895-2901


    This study used qualitative interviews with black and Latino participants with diabetes to further understanding about types of foods eaten, food preparation, sources of foods and meals, communication with providers, and effects of race and ethnicity on eating in this population.Researchers recruited black and Latino adults from East Harlem, New York, to participate in four English and Spanish focus groups. Discussions were transcribed, coded, and analyzed to uncover prevalent themes, which were interpreted with the Common Sense Model of Self-Regulation.Thirty-seven adults with diabetes participated in four focus groups. The following four major themes emerged from the analyses: 1) The food environment limited participants' access to healthy foods; 2) understanding of diabetes and communication with clinicians about healthy eating was limited and abstract; 3) the short-term, negative consequences of healthy eating outweighed the benefits; and 4) stress, in large part from poverty and discrimination, was seen as a causal factor for both poor eating and diabetes.Participants' responses indicated that using healthy eating to control diabetes does not provide immediate, tangible results. Thus, these participants followed their own common sense to guide their diabetes management and improve their health. Clinicians may be better able to help patients eat healthfully if they consider these factors during medical visits.

    View details for DOI 10.2337/dc12-1632

    View details for PubMedID 23877980

  • Adherence to evidence-based guidelines among diabetes self-management apps. Translational behavioral medicine Breland, J. Y., Yeh, V. M., Yu, J. 2013; 3 (3): 277-286


    Smartphone apps can provide real-time, interactive self-management aid to individuals with diabetes. It is currently unclear whether existing diabetes self-management apps follow evidence-based guidelines. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent to which existing diabetes self-management apps address the seven self-management behaviors recommended by the American Association of Diabetes Educators (the AADE7™). The term "diabetes" identified relevant self-management apps via the Apple App Store search engine in March 2012. Ratings were based on app descriptions and downloads. Chi-square analyses assessed differences in apps based on developer type. Apps promoted a median of two AADE7™ skills. Overall reliability between description and download ratings was good (kappa = .66). Reliability of individual skills was variable (kappa = .25 to .91). Most diabetes apps do not conform to evidence-based recommendations, and future app reviews would benefit from testing app performance. Future apps may also benefit from theory-based designs.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s13142-013-0205-4

    View details for PubMedID 24073179

  • Using the Common Sense Model of Self-regulation to review the effects of self-monitoring of blood glucose on glycemic control for non-insulin-treated adults with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes educator Breland, J. Y., McAndrew, L. M., Burns, E., Leventhal, E. A., Leventhal, H. 2013; 39 (4): 541-559


    This systematic review examined the relationship between self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) and glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes. The Common Sense Model of Self-Regulation (CSM) served as a theoretical framework for examining how, when (mediators), and for whom (moderators) SMBG improved glycemic control.Five databases were searched: Medline, PsychInfo, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature.Included studies had cross-sectional, longitudinal, or randomized controlled trial designs; were published between 2007 and 2011; and included patients with type 2 diabetes at least some of whom were not taking insulin; 1318 studies were screened, 119 were reviewed in detail, and 26 were included.Data were collected on the relationship between SMBG and glycemic control, study design, mediators, moderators, participant characteristics, the CSM, and limitations.Twenty-six studies met criteria for inclusion: 11 cross-sectional, 4 longitudinal, and 11 randomized controlled trials. The results of the cross-sectional studies were inconclusive. Results from the longitudinal studies and randomized control trials suggested that SMBG may improve glycemic control. The few studies investigating mediators or moderators reported mixed results. Few studies effectively measured the CSM.Data suggested that SMBG may help improve glycemic control. Future trials must be designed to test hypotheses and improve our understanding of when, how, and for whom SMBG can enhance glycemic control. Rigorously controlled repetitions of current 2-arm trials will yield little new knowledge of theoretical or practical value.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/0145721713490079

    View details for PubMedID 23749773

  • Applying a common-sense approach to fighting obesity. Journal of obesity Breland, J. Y., Fox, A. M., Horowitz, C. R., Leventhal, H. 2012; 2012: 710427-?


    The obesity epidemic is a threat to the health of millions and to the economic viability of healthcare systems, governments, businesses, and nations. A range of answers come to mind if and when we ask, "What can we, health professionals (physicians, nurses, nutritionists, behavioral psychologists), do about this epidemic?" In this paper, we describe the Common-Sense Model of Self-Regulation as a framework for organizing existent tools and creating new tools to improve control of the obesity epidemic. Further, we explain how the Common-Sense Model can augment existing behavior-change models, with particular attention to the strength of the Common-Sense Model in addressing assessment and weight maintenance beyond initial weight loss.

    View details for DOI 10.1155/2012/710427

    View details for PubMedID 22811889

  • Cognitive Science Speaks to the "Common-Sense" of Chronic Illness Management ANNALS OF BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE Leventhal, H., Leventhal, E. A., Breland, J. Y. 2011; 41 (2): 152-163


    We describe the parallels between findings from cognitive science and neuroscience and Common-Sense Models in four areas: (1) Activation of illness representations by the automatic linkage of symptoms and functional changes with concepts (an integration of declarative and perceptual and procedural knowledge); (2) Action plans for the management of symptoms and disease; (3) Cognitive and behavioral heuristics (executive functions parallel to recent findings in cognitive science) involved in monitoring and modifying automatic control processes; (4) Perceiving and communicating to "other minds" during medical visits to address the declarative and non-declarative (perceptual and procedural) knowledge that comprise a patient's representations of illness and treatment (the transparency of other minds).

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s12160-010-9246-9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000290802000003

    View details for PubMedID 21136224

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