Warren Scott Comulada

Dr. W. Scott Comulada, DrPH, is a professor-in-residence in the UCLA Departments of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Health Policy and Management, director of the Semel Institute Center for Community Health, statistician, and public health researcher. His work focuses on the development and evaluation of digital health interventions that incorporate chatbots and virtual reality. 

Semel Institute Center for Community Health


  • DrPH, Biostatistics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 2006
  • MS, Biostatistics, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 2000
  • MPH, Biostatistics, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA, 1998
  • BS, Biophysics, Pacific Union College, Angwin, CA, 1993

Areas of Interest

  • mHealth intervention design and analysis
  • Hierarchical and longitudinal data analysis

Selected Publications

  • van Heerden A, Harris DM, van Rooyen H, Barnabas R, Ramanathan N, Ngcobo N, Mpiyakhe Z, & Comulada WS (2017). Perceived mHealth barriers and benefits for home-based HIV testing and counseling and other care: Qualitative findings from health officials, community health workers, and persons living with HIV in South Africa. Social Science & Medicine. 183: 97-105.
  • Comulada WS, Swendeman D, Koussa MK, Mindry D, Medich M, Estrin D, Mercer N, & Ramanathan N (2017). Adherence to self-monitoring healthy lifestyle behaviors through mobile phone-based ecological momentary assessments and photographic food records over 6 months in mostly ethic minority mothers. Public Health Nutrition. 21(4): 679-688.
  • Comulada WS, Wynn A, van Rooyen H, Barnabas RV, Eashwari R, & van Heerden A (2018). Using mHealth to deliver a home-based testing and counseling program to improve linkage to care and ART adherence in rural South Africa. Prevention Science. 20(1): 126-136.
  • Comulada WS, Tang W, Swendeman D, Cooper A, Wacksman J, & Adolescent Medicine Trials Network (ATN) CARES Team (2018). Development of an electronic data collection system to support a large-scale HIV behavioral intervention trial: Protocol for an electronic data collection system. JMIR Research Protocols. 7(12): e10777.
  • Rezai R, SantaBarbara N, Almirol E, Shedd K, Terry E, Park M, Comulada WS (2020). Efficacy and costs of a workplace wellness programme. Occupational Medicine. 70(9): 649-655.
  • Comulada WS, Goldbeck C, Almirol E, Gunn HJ, Ocasio MA, Fernández MI, Arnold EM, Romero-Espinoza A, Urauchi S, Ramos W, Rotheram-Borus MJ, Klausner JD, Swendeman D, Adolescent Medicine Trials Network (ATN) Cares Team (2021). Using machine learning to predict young people’s Internet health and social service information seeking. Prevention Science. 22(8): 1173-1184.
  • Hayati Rezvan P, Comulada WS, Fernandez MI, Belin T (2022). Assessing alternative imputation strategies for infrequently missing items on multi-item scales. Communications in Statistics – Case Studies, Data Analysis and Applications. 8:4, 682-713.
  • Gunn HJ, Hayati Rezvan P, Fernández MI, Comulada WS (2022). How to apply variable selection machine learning algorithms with multiply imputed data: A missing discussion. Psychological Methods. Epub ahead of print.