Dr. Gurka is a member of the Anita Zucker Center for Excellence in Early Childhood Studies and a professor in the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy. He is a biostatistician who has focused his collaborations on child health research. His area of statistical expertise is longitudinal data analysis, which has been especially useful in evaluating trajectories over time in children. He has extensive collaborative and independent research experience in pediatrics. He has obtained funding to study the impact of chronic illnesses such as asthma on development and behavior in children and adolescents.
Industry Expertise (2)
Health and Wellness
Areas of Expertise (1)
Early Childhood Education
Media Appearances (1)
UF study: Florida waistlines expanding even quicker than anyone thought
Florida Today online
Researchers say the main reason for the discrepancy is the simple fact that people tend to paint their physical attributes more favorably when taking surveys by phone. "The data make all the difference," said Matthew Gurka, the study's senior author, in a statement. "People responding to surveys tend to over-report their height and underreport their weight."
A feasibility trial of parent HPV vaccine reminders and phone-based motivational interviewingBMC Public Health
Stephanie AS Staras, Eric Richardson, Lisa J Merlo, Jiang Bian, Lindsay A Thompson, Janice L Krieger, Matthew J Gurka, Ashley H Sanders, Elizabeth A Shenkman
2021 We assessed the feasibility and acceptability of a sequential approach of parent-targeted HPV vaccine reminders and phone-based Motivation Interviewing (MI). In 2016, we selected all 11- to 12-year-old boys and girls seen in one clinic whose vaccine records did not include the HPV vaccine (n=286). By gender, we individually randomized parents of adolescents to an interactive text message (74 girls and 45 boys), postcard reminder (46 boys and no girls because of previously demonstrated efficacy), or standard care group (75 girls and 46 boys). Reminders were sent with medical director permission and a HIPAA waiver.
Using Mobile Health to Improve Asthma Self-Management in Early Adolescence: A Pilot Randomized Controlled TrialJournal of Adolescent Health
David A Fedele, J Graham Thomas, Andrew McConville, Elizabeth L McQuaid, Sara Voorhees, David M Janicke, Mutasim Abu-Hasan, Xiaofei Chi, Matthew J Gurka
2021 Early adolescence is an important developmental period where youth take primary responsibility for asthma self-management. Helpful caregiver support during this time is pivotal in determining whether early adolescents successfully develop asthma self-management behaviors. AIM2ACT is a dyadic mobile health intervention designed to increase helpful caregiver support as early adolescents engage in asthma self-management behaviors. We conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial to determine the feasibility and acceptability of AIM2ACT and conduct preliminary tests of efficacy.
Democratizing type 1 diabetes specialty care in the primary care setting to reduce health disparities: project extension for community healthcare outcomes (ECHO) T1DBMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care
Ashby F Walker, Nicolas Cuttriss, Michael J Haller, Korey K Hood, Matthew J Gurka, Stephanie L Filipp, Claudia Anez-Zabala, Katarina Yabut, Xanadu Roque, Jessie J Wong, Linda Baer, Lauren Figg, Angelina Bernier, Sarah Westen, Eugene Lewit, Eleni Sheehan, Marina Basina, Rayhan Lal, Jennifer Maizel, David M Maahs
2021 Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) is a tele-education outreach model that seeks to democratize specialty knowledge to reduce disparities and improve health outcomes. Limited utilization of endocrinologists forces many primary care providers (PCPs) to care for patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) without specialty support. Accordingly, an ECHO T1D program was developed and piloted in Florida and California. Our goal was to demonstrate the feasibility of an ECHO program focused on T1D and improve PCPs’ abilities to manage patients with T1D.
Cluster Randomized Trials in Pediatric ResearchThe Journal of Pediatrics
Matthew J Gurka
2021 In an article published in this volume of The Journal, Hymel et al described the findings of the effectiveness of the PediBIRN (Pediatric Brain Injury Research Network) 4-variable clinical decision rule (CDR), aimed at improving abuse evaluations and reducing rates of missed abusive head trauma in pediatric intensive care settings. 1 The CDR was assessed via a randomized trial, but a specific type of trial, referred to as a cluster randomized trial (CRT). Also known as group randomized trials, there is no shortage of articles that explain CRTs. 2 Here, I attempt to provide additional clarity to the motivations, advantages, and challenges of CRTs within the context of the report by Hymel et al while providing references for additional details on CRTs.
The influence of selection bias on identifying an association between allergy medication use and SARS-CoV-2 infectionEClinicalMedicine
Lindsay A Thompson, Matthew J Gurka, Stephanie L Filipp, Desmond A Schatz, Rebeccah E Mercado, David A Ostrov, Mark A Atkinson, Sonja A Rasmussen
2021 Medications to prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infection are needed to complement emerging vaccinations. Recent in vitro and electronic health record (EHR) studies suggested that certain allergy medications could prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. We sought to carefully examine the potential selection bias associated with utilizing EHRs in these settings. We analyzed associations of three allergy medications (cetirizine, diphenhydramine or hydroxyzine) with testing negative for SARS-CoV-2, measuring the potential effect of selection bias on these associations.