Melanie L Bell, PhD

Professor,  College of Public Health, Epidemiology & Biostatistics
Professor, Statistics - GIDP
Phone Number: 
(520) 626-2795
Professional Bio: 

Melanie Bell, PhD, MS is a Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. Her research focus is methods for handling missing data in intervention and cluster randomized trials, patient reported outcomes, and on research methods evaluation. She is currently engaged in collaborative research in the fields of tobacco cessation, psycho-oncology, cardiovascular disease prevention, and medication adherence. Her past collaborations include the research in the fields of cancer, sexual health, physical activity and nutrition. Dr. Bell has most recently worked at the University of Sydney with a cancer trials group focusing on quality of life and other patient reported outcomes. She taught several workshops while in Australia, including Design and Analysis of Quality of Life Trials, Avoiding Common Statistical Errors, and Designing Intervention Studies. Before this she was a senior lecturer at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand.  Dr. Bell earned her PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 2002, an MS in Mathematics in 1992 from Northern Arizona University, and an AB in Mathematics from Occidental College in Los Angeles, in 1990.

Research Information

Research Program: 
Cancer Prevention and Control
Member Status: 
Associate Research Member
Year of Membership Acceptance: 
Selected Publications: 
  1. Ashbeck, E. L., & Bell, M. L. (2016). Single time point comparisons in longitudinal randomized controlled trials: power and bias in the presence of missing data. BMC medical research methodology, 16(1), 43.
  2. Bell, M. L., Fairclough, D. L., Fiero, M. H., & Butow, P. N. (2016). Handling missing items in the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS): a simulation study. BMC research notes, 9(1), 479.
  3. Bray, V. J., Dhillon, H. M., Bell, M. L., Kabourakis, M., Fiero, M. H., Yip, D., Boyle, F., Price, M. A., & Vardy, J. L. (2016). Evaluation of a Web-Based Cognitive Rehabilitation Program in Cancer Survivors Reporting Cognitive Symptoms After Chemotherapy. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 35(2), 217-225.
  4. Fiero, M. H., Huang, S., Oren, E., & Bell, M. L. (2016). Statistical analysis and handling of missing data in cluster randomized trials: a systematic review. Trials, 17(1), 72.
  5. Huang, S., Fiero, M. H., & Bell, M. L. (2016). Generalized estimating equations in cluster randomized trials with a small number of clusters: Review of practice and simulation study. Clinical Trials, 13(4), 445-449.
  6. Johnson, S., Clayton, J., Butow, P. N., Silvester, W., Detering, K., Hall, J., Kiely, B. E., Cebon, J., Clarke, S., & Bell, M. L. (2016). Advance care planning in patients with incurable cancer: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial. BMJ open, 6(12), e012387.
  7. Mercieca‐Bebber, R. L., Price, M. A., Bell, M. L., King, M. T., Webb, P. M., & Butow, P. N. (2016). Ovarian cancer study dropouts had worse health‐related quality of life and psychosocial symptoms at baseline and over time. Asia‐Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology.
  8. Muramoto, M. L., Gordon, J. S., Bell, M. L., Nichter, M., Floden, L., Howerter, A., & Ritenbaugh, C. K. (2016). Tobacco cessation training for complementary and alternative medicine practitioners: Results of a practice-based trial. American journal of preventive medicine, 51(2), e35-e44.
  9. Olivier, J., May, W. L., & Bell, M. L. (2016). Relative Effect Sizes for Measures of Risk. Communications in Statistics-Theory and Methods, 00-00.
  10. Price, M. A., Butow, P. N., Bell, M. L., Friedlander, M., Fardell, J. E., Protani, M. M., & Webb, P. M. (2016). Helplessness/hopelessness, minimization and optimism predict survival in women with invasive ovarian cancer: a role for targeted support during initial treatment decision-making?. Supportive Care in Cancer, 24(6), 2627-2634.
  11. Valdez, L. A., Bell, M. L., & Garcia, D. O. (2016). Assessing the influence of living and working conditions on alcohol consumption on agricultural workers in Mexico: a cross sectional study using the Encuesta Nacional de Jornaleros 2010 survey. Californian Journal of Health Promotion, 14(3), 12-21.
  12. Denman, C. A., Bell, M. L., Cornejo, E., Zapien, J. G., Carvajal, S., & Rosales, C. (2015). Changes in health behaviors and self-rated health of participants in Meta Salud: a primary prevention intervention of NCD in Mexico. Global heart, 10(1), 55--61.
  13. Dodds, S. E., Pace, T. W., Bell, M. L., Fiero, M., Negi, L. T., Raison, C. L., & Weihs, K. L. (2015). Feasibility of Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) for breast cancer survivors: a randomized, wait list controlled pilot study. Supportive Care in Cancer, 23(12), 3599--3608.
  14. Fiero, M., Huang, S., & Bell, M. L. (2015). Statistical analysis and handling of missing data in cluster randomised trials: protocol for a systematic review. BMJ open, 5(5), e007378.
  15. McDonald, F. E., Patterson, P., White, K. J., Butow, P., & Bell, M. L. (2015). Predictors of unmet needs and psychological distress in adolescent and young adult siblings of people diagnosed with cancer. Psycho-Oncology, 24(3), 333--340.
  16. S, S., A, W., D, P., C, H., F, R., ML, B., & M., I. (2015). Community Health Worker Professional Advocacy: Voices of Action from the 2014 National Community Health Worker Advocacy Survey. Journal of Ambulatory Care Management, 38(3), 225--35.
  17. Smith, A., Thewes, B., Turner, J., Gilchrist, J., Fardell, J., Sharpe, L., Bell, M. L., Girgis, A., Grier, M., Byrne, D., & others, . (2015). Pilot of a theoretically grounded psychologist-delivered intervention for fear of cancer recurrence (Conquer Fear). Psycho-Oncology.
  18. Sze, M., Butow, P., Bell, M., Vaccaro, L., Dong, S., Eisenbruch, M., Jefford, M., Girgis, A., King, M., McGrane, J., & others, . (2015). Migrant Health in Cancer: Outcome Disparities and the Determinant Role of Migrant-Specific Variables. The oncologist, theoncologist--2014.
  19. Bell, M. L., Fiero, M., Horton, N. J., & Hsu, C. (2014). Handling missing data in RCTs; a review of the top medical journals. BMC medical research methodology, 14(1), 118.
  20. Bell, M. L., King, M. T., & Fairclough, D. L. (2014). Bias in Area Under the Curve for Longitudinal Clinical Trials With Missing Patient Reported Outcome Data Summary Measures Versus Summary Statistics. SAGE Open, 4(2), 2158244014534858.
  21. Bell, M. L., Teixeira-Pinto, A., McKenzie, J. E., & Olivier, J. (2014). A myriad of methods: Calculated sample size for two proportions was dependent on the choice of sample size formula and software. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 67(5), 601--605.
  22. Bell, M., & Fairclough, D. (2014). Practical and statistical issues in missing data for longitudinal patient reported outcomes. Statistical Methods in Medical Research, 23(5), 440-459.
  23. Butow, P. N., Price, M. A., Bell, M. L., Webb, P. M., deFazio, A., Friedlander, M., Group, A. O., Investigators, L. S., & others, . (2014). Caring for women with ovarian cancer in the last year of life: A longitudinal study of caregiver quality of life, distress and unmet needs. Gynecologic oncology, 132(3), 690--697.
  24. Denman, C. A., Rosales, C., Cornejo, E., Bell, M. L., Mungu\'\ia, D., Zepeda, T., Carvajal, S., & Zapien, J. G. (2014). Evaluation of the Community-Based Chronic Disease Prevention Program Meta Salud in Northern Mexico, 2011--2012. Preventing chronic disease, 11.
  25. Goldstein, D., Bell, M., Butow, P., Sze, M., Vaccaro, L., Dong, S., Liauw, W., Hui, R., Tattersall, M., Ng, W., & others, . (2014). Immigrants' perceptions of the quality of their cancer care--An Australian comparative study, identifying potentially modifiable factors. Annals of Oncology, mdu182.
  26. Hodson, L., Eyles, H. C., McLachlan, K. J., Bell, M. L., Green, T. J., & Skeaff, C. M. (2014). Plasma and Erythrocyte Fatty Acids Reflect Intakes of Saturated and n--6 PUFA within a Similar Time Frame. The Journal of nutrition, 144(1), 33--41.
  27. Juraskova, I., Butow, P., Bonner, C., Bell, M., Smith, A., Seccombe, M., Boyle, F., Reaby, L., Cuzick, J., & Forbes, J. (2014). Improving decision making about clinical trial participation--a randomised controlled trial of a decision aid for women considering participation in the IBIS-II breast cancer prevention trial. British Journal of Cancer.
  28. King, M. T., Bell, M. L., Costa, D., Butow, P., & Oh, B. (2014). The Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30) and Functional Assessment of Cancer-General (FACT-G) differ in responsiveness, relative efficiency, and therefore required sample size. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 67(1), 100--107.
  29. Macann, A., Fua, T., Milross, C. G., Porceddu, S. V., Penniment, M., Wratten, C., Krawitz, H., Poulsen, M., Tang, C. I., Morton, R. P., & others, . (2014). Phase 3 Trial of Domiciliary Humidification to Mitigate Acute Mucosal Toxicity During Radiation Therapy for Head-and-Neck Cancer: First Report of Trans Tasman Radiation Oncology Group (TROG) 07.03 RadioHUM Study. International Journal of Radiation Oncology* Biology* Physics, 88(3), 572--579.
  30. McDonald, F., Patterson, P., White, K., Butow, P., & Bell, M. (2014). Predictors of unmet needs and psychological distress in adolescent and young adult siblings of people diagnosed with cancer. Psycho-Oncology.
  31. Patterson, P., McDonald, F., Butow, P., White, K., Costa, D., Millar, B., Bell, M., Wakefield, C., & Cohn, R. (2014). Psychometric evaluation of the Sibling Cancer Needs Instrument (SCNI): an instrument to assess the psychosocial unmet needs of young people who are siblings of cancer patients. Supportive Care in Cancer, 22(3), 653--665.
  32. Ralph, A. F., Ager, B., Bell, M. L., Collins, I. M., Andrews, L., Tucker, K., Nicole, O., Phillips, K., Butow, P., & others, . (2014). Women's preferences for selective estrogen reuptake modulators: an investigation using the time trade off technique. SpringerPlus, 3(1), 264.
  33. Ralph, A. F., Ager, B., Bell, M. L., Collins, I. M., Andrews, L., Tucker, K., Phillips, K., & Butow, P. (2014). Women's preferences for selective estrogen reuptake modulators: An investigation using protection motivation theory. Patient education and counseling.
  34. Bell, M. L., Butow, P. N., & Goldstein, D. (2013). Informatively missing quality of life and unmet needs sex data for immigrant and Anglo-Australian cancer patients and survivors. Quality of Life Research, 1-4.
  35. Bell, M. L., Kenward, H. G., Fairclough, D. L., & Horton, N. J. (2013). Differential dropout and bias in randomised controlled trials: when it matters and when it may not. BMJ, 346:e8668.
  36. Butow, P. N., Aldridge, L., Bell, M. L., Sze, M., Eisenbruch, M., Jefford, M., Schofield, P., Girgis, A., King, M., & Duggal-Beri, P. (2013). Inferior health-related quality of life and psychological well-being in immigrant cancer survivors: A population-based study. European Journal of Cancer.
  37. Butow, P. N., Bell, M. L., Smith, A. B., Fardell, J. E., Thewes, B., Turner, J., Gilchrist, J., Beith, J., Girgis, A., & Sharpe, L. (2013). Conquer fear: protocol of a randomised controlled trial of a psychological intervention to reduce fear of cancer recurrence. Psycho-Oncology, 13, 201.
  38. Butow, P. N., Sze, M., Eisenbruch, M., Bell, M. L., Aldridge, L. J., Abdo, S., Tanious, M., Dong, S., Iedema, R., & Vardy, J. (2013). Should culture affect practice? A comparison of prognostic discussions in consultations with immigrant versus native-born cancer patients. Patient Education and Counseling.
  39. Butow, P., Bell, M., Aldridge, L., Sze, M., Eisenbruch, M., Jefford, M., Schofield, P., Girgis, A., King, M., & Duggal, P. (2013). Unmet needs in immigrant cancer survivors: a cross-sectional population-based study. Supportive Care in Cancer, 1-12.
  40. Olivier, J., & Bell, M. L. (2013). Effect Sizes for 2× 2 Contingency Tables. PLOS One, 8, e58777.
  41. Olivier, J., & Bell, M. L. (2013). The Importance of Statistics in Cancer Research. World Journal of Cancer Research, 1, 78-81.
  42. Patterson, P., McDonald, F., Butow, P., White, K., Costa, D., Pearce, A., & Bell, M. (2013). Psychometric evaluation of the Offspring Cancer Needs Instrument (OCNI): an instrument to assess the psychosocial unmet needs of young people who have a parent with cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer, 1-12.
  43. Price, M., Bell, M., Sommeijer, D., Friedlander, M., Stockler, M., Defazio, A., Webb, P., & Butow, P. (2013). Physical symptoms, coping styles and quality of life in recurrent ovarian cancer: A prospective population-based study over the last year of life. Gynecological Oncology.
  44. Stein, R. A., Sharpe, L., Bell, M. L., Boyle, F. M., Dunn, S. M., & Clarke, S. J. (2013). Randomized controlled trial of a structured intervention to facilitate end-of-life decision making in patients with advanced cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 31, 3403-3410.
  45. Thewes, B., Bell, M., & Butow, P. (2013). Fear of cancer recurrence in young early‐stage breast cancer survivors: the role of metacognitive style and disease‐related factors. Psycho-Oncology.
  46. Thewes, B., Bell, M., Butow, P., Beith, J., Boyle, F., Friedlander, M., & McLachlan, S. (2013). Psychological morbidity and stress but not social factors influence level of fear of cancer recurrence in young women with early breast cancer: results of a cross‐sectional study. Psycho-Oncology.

Academic Information

Biostatistics, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Co
Master's Degree: 
MS, Mathematics, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Az
Undergraduate School: 
BS, Mathematics, Occidental College, Los Angeles, Ca