Marcia A. Testa, MPH, PhD

Marcia Testa

Senior Lecturer on Biostatistics

Department of Biostatistics

665 Huntington Avenue
Building I Room 417
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
Phone: 617.432.2818


Ph.D., 1980, Yale University
M.Phil., 1977, Yale University
M.P.H., 1976, Yale University


Dr. Testa and colleagues are developing quantitative and health information technology methods and processes relating to the measurement and analysis of expanded patient outcomes (quality of life, cost-effectiveness and risk-benefit) for clinical, pharmacoeconomic, pharmacoepidemiologic, quality of care and comparative effectiveness research studies with particular application to primary care, cardiovascular disease, HIV, and diabetes.

Quality of Life, Patient Satisfaction, Clinical Decision Making and Comparative Effectiveness Research 

Dr. Testa is working on analytical, statistical and health information methods for conducting health outcomes and comparative effectivness research for pharmaceutical drug development, disease management, quality of care programs and primary care and physician subspecialty practice management.  As part of this methodologic work, she is analyzing a comprehensive database of patients who have participated in large-scale clinical trials of antihypertensive and diabetes therapies to evaluate differential treatment effects on quality-of-life outcomes including mood, vitality, sleep, cognitive functioning, sexual dysfunctioning, work/social role functioning and physical symptoms. Dr. Testa is exploring the relationships between treatment satisfaction, glycemic control, hypo and hyperglycemic symptomatology, quality of life and health care utilization during the treatment of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.  For the past five years she also has worked on designing Web 2.0 and Health 2.0 home health monitoring health information systems involving the use of telemedicine and telehealth (e-Health) strategies for diabetes management.

Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmacoepidemiology

As part of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group, Dr. Testa and colleagues have evaluated the quality-of-life impact of treatment for HIV in medication adherence models. Adherence to HIV therapy has implications for the cost-effectiveness of new treatments. Dr. Testa is also currently developing database systems and electronic reporting devices (e-diaries) for monitoring health outcomes, expanding observational databases for longitudinal research and surveying resource utilization and costs for inclusion into pharmacoeconomic, pharmacoepidemiological and cost-effectivness models. She has guided doctoral research in the areas of health outcomes research  and pharmacoepidemiology evaluating patient compliance, physician practice patterns and patient functional health status and quality of life using large patient information systems.

Statistical Methods for Quality-of-Life Outcomes Research

Dr. Testa and colleagues are developing more sophisticated methods for dealing with the analysis of expanded patient outcomes. The statistical and analytical issues involve applications of item response theory, causal modeling, latent variables and structural equation modeling to the analysis of quality-of-life and patient satisfaction data. Other topics of research interest include:

  1. measurement, involving the response structure of multi-dimensional constructs, intervention and non-intervention based validities, and respondent variability;
  2. hypothesis testing, including estimation of power, simultaneous test procedures, global hypothesis testing, longitudinal models, and the effects of missing data, early withdrawal, length bias and confounding; and
  3. overall effectiveness models, specifically quality-adjustment measures, and health state transition and utility models.

Curriculum Vitae:  To view Dr. Testa’s full CV Click Here


Most Recent and Selected from a total of over 100 peer-reviewed publications

Marc LG, Wang, MM, Testa MA. Psychometric evaluation of the HIV symptom distress scale. AIDS Care, 2012, Nov;24(11): 1432-41.

Nanda A, Khan IS, Goldman R, Testa M.Sports-related concussions and the Louisiana Youth Concussion Act. J La State Med Soc. 2012 Sep-Oct;164(5):246-50.

Testa MA, Gill J, Su M, Turner RR, Blonde L and SimonsonDC. Comparative effectiveness of basal-bolus versus premix analogue insulin on glycemic variability and patient-centered outcomes during insulin intensification in type 1 and type 2 diabetes: A randomized, controlled, cross-over trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab . 2012. Oct97(10):3504-14.

Savoia E, Testa MA, Viswanath V. Predictors of knowledge of H1N1 infection and transmission in the U.S. population. BMC Public Health 2012,12:328 doi:101.1186/1471-2458-12-328.

Bailey EE, Marghoob AA, Orengo IF, Testa MA, White VR, Geller AC.  Skin cancer knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in the salon: a survey of working hair professionals in Houston,  Texas. Arch Dermatol. 2011 Oct;147(10):1159-65.

Marc LG, Zerden M, Ferrando SJ, Testa MA. HIV+ caregivers and HIV+non-caregivers: differences in sociodemographics, immune Functioning and Quality-of-Life, AIDS Care,  2011 Jul;23(7):880-91.

Henderson E, Testa MA, Hartnick C. Prevalence of noise-induced hearing-threshold   shifts and hearing loss among US youths. Pediatrics 2011 127(1):e39-46.

Bode B, Testa MA, Magwire M, Hale PM, Hammer M, Blonde L, Garber A. Patient-reported outcomes following treatment with the human GLP-1 analogue liraglutide or
glimepiride in monotherapy: results from a randomized controlled trial in
patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2010 Jul;12(7):604-12

Savoia E, Testa MA, Biddinger PD, Cadigan RO, Koh H, Campbell P, Stoto MA. Assessing public health capabilities during emergency preparedness tabletop exercises: reliability and validity of a measurement tool. Public Health Rep. 2009 Jan-Feb;124(1):138-48.

Testa M and Simonson D. The Use of Questionnaires and Surveys. In: Robertson D and Williams G Clinical and Translational Sciences. London: Elsevier. 2009 Chapter 9, pp 137-153.

Smitten AL,  Choi HK Hochberg MC, Suissa A, Simon TA, Testa MA, Chan KA. The risk of hospitalized infection in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2008 Mar;35(3):387-93

Reynolds NR, Testa MA, Su M, Chesney MA, Neidig JL, Frank I, Smith S, Ickovics J, Robbins GK; for the AIDS Clinical Trials Group 731 and 384 Teams. Telephone support to improve antiretroviral medication adherence: A multisite, randomized controlled trial. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2008 Jan 1;47(1):62-8.

Smitten AL, Choi HK Hochberg MC, Suissa A, Simon TA, Testa MA, Chan KA. The risk of herpes zoster in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the United States and the United Kingdom. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Dec 15;57(8):1431-8.

Marc LG, Testa MA, Walker AM, Robbins GK, Shafer RW, Anderson NB, Berkman LF; ACTG Data Analysis Concept Sheet Study Team. Educational attainment and response to HAART during initial therapy for HIV-1 infection. J Psychosom Res. 2007 Aug;63(2):207-16.

Testa MA, Simonson DC. Satisfaction and quality of life with premeal inhaled versus injected insulin in adolescents and adults with type 1 diabetes.  Diabetes Care. 2007;30: 1399 – 1405.

Dorn BC, Savoia E, Testa MA, Stoto MA, Marcus LJ. Development of a survey instrument to measure connectivity to evaluate national public health preparedness and response performance. Public Health Rep. 2007 May-Jun;122(3):329-38.

Meaney PA, Nadkarni VM, Cook EF, Testa M, Helfaer M, Kaye W, Larkin GL, Berg RA;American Heart Association National Registry of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Investigators. Higher survival rates among younger patients after pediatric intensive care unit cardiac arrests. Pediatrics. 2006;118:2424-33.

Straus DJ, Testa MA, Sarokhan BJ, Czuczman MS, Tulpule A, Turner RT, Riggs SA.Treatment of Mild Anemia: a randomized trial of epoetin alfa in patients receiving chemotherapy for hematologic malignancies, Cancer, 2006;107:1909-1917.

Beal AC, Chou SC, Palmer RH, Testa MA, Newman C, Ezhuthachan S. The changing face of race: risk factors for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. Pediatrics. 2006 May;117(5):1618-25.

Fletcher CV, Testa MA, Brundage RC, Chesney MA, Haubrich R, Acosta EP, Martinez A, Jiang H, Gulick RM. Four measures of antiretroviral medication adherence and virologic response in AIDS clinical trials group study 359. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2005 Nov 1;40(3):301-6.

Max S, Testa MA. Latent Variable Growth Model Approach to Analyzing Multiple HealthOutcomes from Clinical Trials, Book Chapter, 2005.

Reynolds NR, Testa MA, Marc L, Chesney MA Neidig JL, Smith SR, Vella S, Robbins GK for the Protocol Teams of ACTG 384, ACTG 731 and A5031s. Factors influencing medication adherence beliefs and self-efficacy in persons naïve to antiretroviral therapy: a multi-center, cross-sectional study. AIDS and Behavior, 2004; 8:141-150.

Chou SC, Heather Palmer R, Ezhuthachan S, Newman C, Pradell-Boyd, B, Maisels J, Testa MA . Management of Hyperbilirubinemia in Newborns: Measuring Performance by Using a Benchmarking Model. Pediatrics 2004; 112: 1264-1273.

Yang CC, Jick SS, Testa MA . Who receives lipid-lowering drugs: the effects of comorbidities and patient characteristics on treatment initiation. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2003; 55, 288-298.

Miles SA, Testa M , Huang J, Wade M, Carden J, Scadden DT. Lack of antitumor activity and intolerance of interleukin-4 in patients with advanced HIV disease and Kaposi’s sarcoma. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2002 ;22:1143-8.

Bacon CG, Giovannucci E, Testa M, Kawachi I. The impact of cancer treatment on quality of life outcomes for patients with localized prostate cancer. J Urol 2001;166(5):1804-10.

Testa MA. Methods and applications of quality-of-life measurement during antihypertensive therapy. Curr Hypertens Rep. 2000; (6):530-7.

Testa MA. Interpretation of quality of life outcomes: Issues that affect magnitude and meaning. Medical Care 2000; 38 [suppl II]:II-166-II-174.

Testa MA. Quality-of-life assessment in diabetes research: Interpreting the magnitude and meaning of treatment effects. Diabetes Spectrum, 2000; 13:36-41.

Testa MA and Lenderking WR. The impact of AIDS-associated wasting on quality of life: Qualitative issues of measurement and evaluation. Journal of Nutrition, 1999;129:282S-289S.

Testa MA, Simonson DC. Health economic benefits and quality of life during improved glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: A randomized controlled, double-blind trial. JAMA, 1998; 280:1490-1496.

Testa MA and Simonson DC. Assessing quality-of-life outcomes. N Engl J Med, 1996; 334:835-840.

Testa MA, Nackley JF. Methods for quality-of-life studies. Annu Rev Public Health 1994; 15:535-59.

Testa MA, Anderson RB, Nackley JF and Hollenberg NK: Quality of life and antihypertensive therapy in men: A comparison of captopril with enalapril N Eng J Med 1993; 328:907-13.