Archive for April, 2012
Intervention Mapping offers a step-by-step process using the best information from behavioral and social sciences to make theory practical and create effective interventions.
You’re invited to attend an Intervention Mapping workshop May 14-18, 2012, at the UT School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus in Austin, Texas.
The workshop will present Intervention Mapping steps (below) and tasks, as well as examples from actual projects:
1. Assessment of needs and capacity
2. Specification of program outcomes and change objectives
3. Selection of theory-based methods and practical applications
4. Designing the intervention program
5. Planning for program adoption and implementation
6. Planning for program evaluation.
Group work will enable participants to apply Intervention Mapping to their intervention projects, and all participants receive a copy of Planning Health Promotion: An Intervention Mapping Approach (2011).
With literally more than a million cancer cases a year in the U.S., the special emotional needs of children of adult cancer patients are sometimes overlooked.
The one-week camps give kids ages 6-13 a chance to have a fun-filled week and “just be kids” and get extra attention and support, according the group’s website.
Since 2001, Camp Kesem has grown from a single camp to 37 active chapters in 22 states.
Camp Kesem Berkeley (Calif.), for example, supports children in the Greater Bay Area and Tri-Valley area by putting on a completely free week-long overnight summer camp for children and teens (ages 6-16) who have a parent that either has or had cancer or has passed away from cancer. The group buses from Berkeley to the Santa Cruz mountains for activities such as kayaking, drama programs, arts and crafts, cooking and science, archery, rock-climbing, and more.
Salud America! pilot researcher Dr. Nelda Mier documented a lack of sidewalks, street lights and parks along the poverty-stricken Texas-Mexico border—an environment that she found contributes to obesity and sedentary behavior among Latino children.
But this story doesn’t end with just research results.
To change the local environment to make it easier to engage in physical activity, Dr. Mier—armed with lessons from Salud America! on how to promote research-based policy change—brought her project research results to community leader and policy advocate Anne Williams Cass.
The research helped guide advocacy efforts of local organizations dedicated to affordable housing, including Cass’ Proyecto Azteca, which plans to communicate with Texas legislators about the need for sidewalks, street lights and garbage collection along the Mexico-Texas border.
Dr. Mier’s research also prompted changes in the design of an affordable-housing neighborhood, where Proyecto Azteca is working with planners to add trails for hiking and biking, a recreation center and outdoor exercise areas.
“These are things that we more than likely would have neglected in our planning had it not been for the research Dr. Mier shared with us,” Cass said.
This is just one example of how the 20 Salud America! pilot investigators are using their research to stimulate policy changes to reverse Latino childhood obesity. Other Salud America! researchers are using their research to change policies in communities across the country.
Read more about Dr. Mier’s and the other grantees’ achievements in policy change here.
Salud America!, which is dedicated to preventing Latino childhood obesity, is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and is headquartered at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has published “The Science of Research on Racial/Ethnic Discrimination and Health,” a supplement to the American Journal of Public Health, to highlight the need for and state of empirical research on racial/ethnic discrimination and its association with the health and health care received by minorities.
The issue opens with an article that reviews current measures, research approaches, data resources, and results of research on race/ethnicity-based health care discrimination, and goes on to focus on measurement, implicit bias, perception of discrimination and institutional racism, while also suggesting areas for future research.
The issue can serve as a valuable resource for researchers in this topic area and will help position researchers, policymakers, and professionals at all levels of health care to address the effects of discrimination in the evolving health care environment.
Access free full texts of the issue’s article here.
About 80% of American voters favor national standards that would limit calories, fat and sodium in snack and à la carte foods sold in U.S. schools and encourage the consumption of fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy items, according to a new poll.
The poll was commissioned by the Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project, a joint project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Check out this brief video that explains the impact these foods and beverages can have on kids’ health and how policymakers are trying to make sure schools provide kids with healthy foods and drinks.
Liver cancer rates among South Texas Latinos are higher than in other U.S. Latinos, as are their rates of obesity and diabetes—and the relationships between these ailments are being mapped by researchers at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, the team behind SaludToday.
In a study published April 18, 2012, in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers looked at overall liver cancer rates among U.S. Latinos and compared this to a Texas sample and a South Texas subset from 1995-2006.
They also compared prevalence among Latinos of lifestyle-associated factors that contribute to liver cancer: heavy alcohol use, smoking, obesity and diabetes.
They found that from 1995 to 2006, annual age-adjusted liver cancer incidence increased among all populations – but was highest in South Texas Latinos over the entire period. The increase among South Texas Latinos was also significantly greater than all Texas Latinos, who in turn had significantly higher levels of liver cancer than the U.S. national sample.
While obesity and diabetes increased among all three groups, obesity rates were higher in Texas Latinos and highest in South Texas Latinos. Neither heavy alcohol consumption nor cigarette smoking increased.
“Regarding risk factors, we found remarkably similar and significantly increasing rates of obesity and diabetes in our study groups, with higher obesity prevalence in Texas and particularly South Texas Latinos,” said Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, the study’s lead author and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the Health Science Center.
The study warrants further exploration if there is a relationship between diabetes, obesity and liver cancer so that researchers can look at the problem from the standpoint of prevention, said Ramirez, who also is a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics in the Health Science Center’s School of Medicine and associate director of health disparities at the Health Science Center’s Cancer Therapy & Research Center.
“Both obesity and diabetes are preventable and/or treatable,” she said, “so reducing obesity and diabetes may be an important for lowering Latinos’ risk for liver cancer, too.”
A new National Institutes of Health website, NIH Clinical Research Trials and You, is designed to help people learn about clinical trials and how they can participate.
The resource, offered in English and Spanish, answers basic questions such as What are clinical trials and why do people participate? and What do I need to know if I am thinking about participating?
In addition, the website offers volunteer stories, researcher stories and educational resources.
You can also get help finding a clinical trial.
Forty years ago, nearly half of all students walked or biked to school. Now, only 14 percent do.
Why the change?
One major factor is school siting, the decisions school leaders make about where to build or rehabilitate schools. Over the past several decades, schools have increasingly been built on the outskirts of communities, too far from children’s homes for walking or biking to be practical. Meanwhile, obesity rates in children and adolescents have more than tripled, and a third of children are overweight or obese.
Locating schools closer to where families live can make it easier for kids to walk and bike to school—and more convenient for families to use school fields and other facilities after hours, when school is closed. When it comes to ethnicity and socioeconomic status, however, few neighborhoods are well integrated, which means students in neighborhood-based schools can be highly segregated, too.
But there are lots of ways to support both walkable and diverse schools. To help districts nationwide make school siting decisions that support their students’ health and educational success, Changelab Solutions has released a set of model school siting policies and other materials.
Check out these various training opportunities:
Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program
This graduate fellowship program of the National Academies is an early-career educational and training opportunity designed to engage fellows in the analytical process that informs U.S. science and technology policy. Fellows develop basic skills essential to working or participating in science policy at the federal, state, or local levels. The program takes place in Washington, D.C., from Aug. 27-Nov. 16, 2012.
Application Deadline: May 1, 2012 (references due April 27, 2012)
XSEDE (Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment) is a collection of integrated digital resources and services. You can apply for a year-long program for U.S. students from underrepresented groups in the area of computational sciences to learn more about high performance computing and XSEDE resources, network with cutting-edge researchers and professional leaders, etc. XSEDE scholars will receive a travel grant to attend the XSEDE12 conference in Chicago (July 15-19, 2012) and participate in at least six online sessions.
Application Deadline: April 30, 2012 (references due April 27, 2012)
Psychology Summer Institute
The American Psychological Association is accepting applications for the 2012 Minority Fellowship Program Psychology Summer Institute, which will take place July 8-14, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The summer institute provides educational, professional development and mentoring experiences to advanced doctoral students of psychology and psychologists who are in the early stage of their careers. Participants are guided toward developing a grant proposal, postdoctoral fellowship, dissertation, treatment program, publication or program evaluation project.
Application deadline: May 1, 2012
Mentoring Researchers in Latino Health Disparities
The Graduate School of Public Health and the Institute for Behavioral and Community Health Services at San Diego State University are accepting applications for a nationwide mentoring program, Investing in America’s Future: Mentoring Researchers in Latino Health Disparities. The purpose of the program, which is scheduled July 20-August 3, 2012 in San Diego, California, is to mentor junior faculty and researchers pursuing research interests in cardiovascular disease in Latino populations and other chronic diseases specific to Latino subgroups.
Application deadline: Submit pre-application online as soon as possible