Developing effective primary prevention initiatives may help recently arrived refugees retain some of their own healthy cultural habits and reduce the tendency to adopt detrimental ones. This research explores recent arrivals' knowledge regarding eating behaviors, physical activity and sleep habits. Working collaboratively with community members, a healthy living curriculum was adapted and pilot tested in focus groups. A community-engaged approach to revising and implementing a health promotion tool was effective in beginning dialogue about primary prevention among a group of recently arrived refugees from Burma. Seven themes were identified as particularly relevant: food choices, living environment, health information, financial stress, mobility/transportation, social interaction and recreation, and hopes and dreams. Refugees desire more specific information about nutrition and exercise, and they find community health workers an effective medium for delivering this information. The outcomes of this study may inform future targeted interventions for health promotion with refugees from Burma.
BACKGROUND: Heart failure (HF) is a prevalent chronic disease in older adults that requires extensive self-care to prevent decompensation and hospitalization. Cognitive impairment may impact the ability to perform HF self-care activities. We examined the association between cognitive impairment and adherence to self-care in patients hospitalized for acute HF.
DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 577 patients (mean age = 71 years, 44% female) hospitalized for HF at five medical centers in the United States and Canada.
MEASUREMENTS AND METHODS: Participants were interviewed for information on self-reported adherence to self-care using the European Heart Failure Self-care Behaviour Scale. We assessed cognitive impairment in three domains (memory, processing speed, and executive function) using standardized measures. Patients' demographic and clinical characteristics were obtained through medical record review. Multivariable linear regression was used to examine the association between cognitive impairment and self-care practices adjusting for demographic and clinical factors.
RESULTS: A total of 453 patients (79%) were impaired in at least one cognitive domain. Average adherence to self-care activities among patients with global cognitive impairment did not differ significantly from those without cognitive impairment (30.5 versus 29.6; 45-point scale). However, impaired memory was associated with lower self-care scores (P = 0.006) in multivariable models.
CONCLUSION: Cognitive impairment is highly prevalent among older patients hospitalized for HF. Memory impairment is associated with poorer adherence to self-care practices. Screening for memory impairment in patients with HF may help to identify patients at risk for poor self-care who may benefit from tailored disease management programs.
Second annual report of the UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center.
First annual report of the UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center.
Chapter learning objectives: Understand cultural concepts and various mechanisms through which culture influences health and health behavior; apply major health behavior theories to culture and health; determine strategies to incorporate culture into research and health care.
Translational Research Phases in the Behavioral and Social Sciences: Adaptations from the Biomedical Sciences
Chapter learning objectives: Define translational research and understand its importance to improve population health; compare and contrast translational research phases in biomedical research with behavioral and social sciences research; identify strategies to improve translational research in health behavior change interventions.
Weight gain prevention in the school worksite setting: Results of a multi-level cluster randomized trial
OBJECTIVE: To describe the effectiveness, reach and implementation of a weight gain prevention intervention among public school employees.
METHOD: A multi-level intervention was tested in a cluster randomized trial among 782 employees in 12 central Massachusetts public high schools from 2009 to 2012. The intervention targeted the nutrition and physical activity environment and policies, the social environment and individual knowledge, attitudes and skills. The intervention was compared to a materials only condition. The primary outcome measures were change in weight and body mass index (BMI) at 24-month follow-up. Implementation of physical environment, policy and social environment strategies at the school and interpersonal levels, and intervention participation at the individual level were assessed.
RESULTS: At 24-month follow-up, there was a net change (difference of the difference) of -3.03 pounds (p=.04) and of -.48 BMI units (p=.05) between intervention and comparison conditions. The majority of intervention strategies were successfully implemented by all intervention schools, although establishing formal policies was challenging. Employee participation in programs targeting the physical and social environment was maintained over time.
CONCLUSION: This study supports that a multi-level intervention integrated within the organizational culture can be successfully implemented and prevent weight gain in public high school employees.
OBJECTIVES: To develop and validate a self-efficacy measure of diabetes self-management, the Lifestyle Self-Efficacy Scale for Latinos with Diabetes (LSESLD), designed for low-income, Spanish-speaking Latinos with diabetes.
DESIGN: Quantitative and qualitative methods.
SETTING: Community health centers in central and western Massachusetts.
PARTICIPANTS: Low-income Latinos (N = 252) enrolled in a randomized diabetes self-management intervention trial.
MEASURES: Construct validity, internal consistency, sensitivity to change over time.
RESULTS: The LSESLD demonstrated good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = .85), reasonable construct validity (moderate, significant associations between the LSESLD and validated measures of diabetes knowledge, dietary intake, physical activity, blood glucose self-monitoring, and HbA1c values), and sensitivity to intervention-related changes over time.
CONCLUSION: The LSESLD is a reliable and valid research instrument assessing self-efficacy related to diabetes self-management among low-income, Spanish-speaking populations.
Middle school food environments and racial/ethnic differences in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption: findings from the Healthy Choices study
BACKGROUND: Prior studies have demonstrated disproportionate clustering of fast food outlets around schools.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to determine if racial/ethnic differences in middle school student self-reported sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption is explained by differential distributions of food outlets surrounding their schools.
METHODS: Baseline (2005) data were analyzed from 18,281 middle school students in 47 Massachusetts schools participating in Healthy Choices, an obesity prevention program. Linear mixed effects models were used to examine the association of individual race/ethnicity and daily SSB consumption and the potential mediating effect of the density of food outlets (the number of fast food outlets and convenience stores in a 1500 m buffer area surrounding the school) on this association adjusting for individual and school demographics.
RESULTS: More SSB consumption was reported by students of all racial/ethnic minority groups compared to their White peers except Asians. The density of fast food restaurants and convenience stores was not associated with individual SSB consumption (beta=0.001, p=0.875) nor did it mediate the association of race/ethnicity and SSB consumption.
CONCLUSIONS: Racial and ethnic differences in SSB consumption among MA middle school students cannot be fully explained by the location of fast food restaurants and convenience stores.
Family physical activity and meal practices associated with disordered weight control behaviors in a multiethnic sample of middle-school youth
OBJECTIVE: Family practices around weight-related behaviors can shape children's development of disordered weight control behaviors (DWCB), such as vomiting, taking laxatives, or taking diet pills without a prescription. This study examined family meal and physical activity (PA) practices associated with DWCB among a multiethnic sample of youth.
METHODS: We assessed self-report data on frequency of family sit-down dinners, types of parental involvement in their children's PA, and DWCB are from 15,461 6th to 8th grade girls and boys in 47 middle schools participating in the Massachusetts Healthy Choices Study at baseline (2005).
RESULTS: Youth who had family sit-down dinners every day had lower odds of DWCB (girls: odds ratio [OR] 0.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.2-0.5; boys: OR 0.6; 95% CI 0.4-0.9) than youth who never had family sit-down dinners. Similar effect estimates were found for youth who had family sit-down dinners most days. Parental provision of rides to and from a PA event was also found to be protective against DWCB among girls (OR 0.7; 95% CI 0.5-0.9). In contrast, parental participation in PA with their children was associated with increased risk for DWCB (girls: OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.0-1.8; boys: OR 1.9; 95% CI 1.4-2.4). These associations did not differ by race/ethnicity or weight status.
CONCLUSIONS: Programs emphasizing the importance of family meals may be beneficial in preventing DWCB in youth of all ethnicities. Further research is needed on how various methods of parental involvement in their children's PA are associated with DWCB. rights reserved.
Environmental factors associated with disordered weight-control behaviours among youth: a systematic review
OBJECTIVE: Environmental factors may be very important in the development of disordered weight-control behaviours (DWCB) among youth, yet no study to date has conducted a review that synthesizes these findings. The purpose of the present study was to systematically review existing literature on environmental influences on DWCB among youth and to identify conceptual and methodological gaps in the literature.
DESIGN: Systematic review.
SETTING: Studies were identified through a systematic search using PubMed, PsycINFO, Google Scholar and secondary references. Inclusion criteria included observational studies published in peer-reviewed journals from 1994 to 2012 that examined environmental exposure(s) associated with DWCB among youth.
SUBJECTS: Ninety-three studies, the majority of which utilized a cross-sectional design (75 %; n 70), were identified. Longitudinal studies' follow-up time ranged from 8 months to 10 years.
RESULTS: Parental, peer and media influences have been extensively studied as factors associated with DWCB among youth. Fewer studies have examined behavioural settings (i.e. homes, schools, neighbourhoods) or sectors of influence other than the media on DWCB. No studies utilized multilevel methods to parse out environmental influences on DWCB. Most studies (69 %, n 64) did not explicitly utilize a theory or model to guide the research.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate that exploring a wider range of environmental influences on DWCB, specifically behavioural settings and sectors of influence, using diverse study samples and multilevel methodology is needed to advance the field and to inform the design of comprehensive prevention programmes that target DWCB and other weight-related behaviours.
The contribution of school environmental factors to individual and school variation in disordered weight control behaviors in a statewide sample of middle schools
We investigated the contribution of school environmental factors to individual and school variation in disordered weight control behaviors (DWCB). Analyses were based on self-report data gathered from 18,567 middle-school students in 2005 and publicly available data on school characteristics. We observed large differences across schools in percent of students engaging in DWCB in the past month, ranging from less than 1% of the student body to 12%. School-neighborhood poverty was associated with higher odds of DWCB in boys. Preventive strategies need to account for wide variability across schools and environmental factors that may contribute to DWCB in early adolescence.
Effect of the planet health intervention on eating disorder symptoms in Massachusetts middle schools, 2005-2008
INTRODUCTION: The Planet Health obesity prevention curriculum has prevented purging and abuse of diet pills (disordered weight control behavior [DWCB]) in middle-school girls in randomized trials, but the effects of Planet Health on DWCB when implemented by schools under dissemination conditions are not known.
METHODS: Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts disseminated Planet Health as part of the 3-year, Healthy Choices obesity prevention program in middle schools. We conducted an evaluation in 45 schools from fall 2005 to spring 2008. We gathered data from school staff to quantify intervention activities, and we gathered anonymous cross-sectional survey data from students on DWCB at baseline and Year 3 follow-up (n = 16,369). Multivariate logistic analyses with generalized estimating equations examined the effect of intervention activities on odds of students reporting DWCB at follow-up.
RESULTS: Students in schools reaching a high number of youth with Planet Health lessons on reducing television viewing had lower odds of DWCB at follow-up (odds ratio [OR], 0.80 per 100 lesson-exposures; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.74-0.85). In addition, reduced odds of DWCB at follow-up were found in schools with active staff teamwork (OR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.66-0.86) and the presence of programs addressing television viewing goals with staff (OR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.28-0.53).
CONCLUSION: Combined evidence from efficacy and effectiveness trials and now from dissemination research indicates that appropriately designed obesity prevention programs can achieve DWCB prevention on a large scale.
Using qualitative methods to design a culturally appropriate child feeding questionnaire for low-income, Latina mothers
Obesity rates remain high among children in the United States (US), but children of low-income, minority families are at particularly high risk. Latinos are the largest and most rapidly growing US population group. Effective strategies will require attention to a wide array of culturally mediated variables that influence child feeding practices through the social contexts in which behaviors take place. This paper presents the design and implementation of a qualitative study examining low-income, Latina mothers' perceptions of child weight status and feeding practices, and their associations with the development of overweight in children. Guided by the social ecologic model and social contextual model on the role of the family in mediating health behavior, the Latina Mother Child Feeding Practices (LMCFP) study provided a systematic exploration of the influence of social class, culture, and environmental factors associated with mothers' perceptions of child overweight on feeding practices and behaviors. The design for this qualitative study consisted of three sequential phases: focus groups, in-depth interviews and cognitive interviews with Latina mothers conducted by Spanish-speaking researchers. Results showed the important role of socio-cultural factors in influencing Latina mothers' child feeding practices. In the short-term, this research yielded information to develop a child-feeding questionnaire appropriate for low-income, Latina mothers. Findings have important implications in developing nutrition education strategies for child health promotion that account for the social and cultural context of minority, low-income caregivers.
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is the third most common inherited neuromuscular disease, with an epigenetic basis linked to contractions or hypomethylation of the chromosome 4q subtelomere. Efforts to understand chromatin alterations in this region have yielded several interesting models of the disorder. This chapter summarizes the genetic and epigenetic etiology of FSHD and the search for candidate genes, with an emphasis on recent discoveries. It also seeks to highlight current therapeutic strategies and future directions for the field. In particular, there is a need for large, well-controlled studies to identify consistent biomarkers of early disease pathology.
Provides a comprehensive overview of behavior change as it relates to public health.
Objectives of this chapter: Understand the prevalence of tobacco use and cessation; Identify the biological, psychological, and social factors that influence tobacco use and dependence; Describe intervention approaches that can be used to help people change tobacco use behavior.
Smoking frequency among current college student smokers: distinguishing characteristics and factors related to readiness to quit smoking
Given the increased prevalence of non-daily smoking and changes in smoking patterns, particularly among young adults, we examined correlates of smoking level, specifically motives for smoking, and readiness to quit smoking among 2682 college undergraduates who completed an online survey. Overall, 64.7% (n = 1736) were non-smokers, 11.6% (n = 312) smoked 1-5 days, 10.5% (n = 281) smoked 6-29 days and 13.2% (n = 353) were daily smokers. Ordinal regression analyses modeling smoking level indicated that correlates of higher smoking level included having more friends who smoke (beta = 0.63, 95% CI 0.57-0.69) and more frequent other tobacco use (beta = 0.04, 95% CI 0.02-0.05), drinking (beta = 0.04, 95% CI 0.02-0.07) and binge drinking (beta = 0.09, 95% CI 0.06-0.13). Bivariate analyses indicated that daily smokers (versus the subgroups of non-daily smokers) were less likely to smoke for social reasons but more likely to smoke for self-confidence, boredom, and affect regulation. Controlling for sociodemographics, correlates of readiness to quit among current smokers included fewer friends who smoke (P = 0.002), less frequent binge drinking (P = 0.03), being a social smoker (P < 0.001), smoking less for self-confidence (P = 0.04), smoking more for boredom (P = 0.03) and less frequent smoking (P = 0.001). Specific motives for smoking and potential barriers to cessation particularly may be relevant to different groups of college student smokers.
Tobacco dependence treatment teaching by medical school clerkship preceptors: survey responses from more than 1,000 US medical students
OBJECTIVE: To determine factors associated with tobacco cessation counseling in medical school clerkships.
METHODS: Third-year medical students at 10 medical schools across the United States completed a 100-item survey, measuring the frequency with which they experienced their preceptors providing clinical teaching components: clear instruction, feedback, modeling behavior, setting clear objectives, and responding to questions about tobacco dependence counseling as well as frequency of use of tobacco prompts and office systems. Our primary dependent measure was student self-reported skill level for items of tobacco dependence treatment (e.g. "5As").
RESULTS: Surveys were completed by 1213 students. For both family medicine and internal medicine clerkships, modeling and providing clear instruction on ways to provide tobacco counseling were reported most commonly. In contrast, providing feedback and clear objectives for tobacco dependence treatment lagged behind. Overall, students who reported preceptors' provision of optimal clinical teaching components and office system prompts in both family medicine and internal medicine clerkships had higher self-reported skill (P<0.001) than students with no exposure or exposure during only one of the clerkships.
CONCLUSIONS: Future educational interventions intended to help students adopt effective tobacco dependence treatment techniques should be engineered to facilitate these critical precepting components.
Smokeless tobacco products sold in Massachusetts from 2003 to 2012: trends and variations in brand availability, nicotine contents and design features
BACKGROUND: Sales of smokeless tobacco products have increased in the USA. More than one in eight males in the 12th grade are current users of smokeless tobacco. Surveillance data examining nicotine levels of smokeless tobacco subsequent to 2006 have not been reported in the literature.
METHODS: Data on nicotine levels and design features (eg, pH, moisture content, leaf cut and flavour) of smokeless tobacco products sold in Massachusetts were obtained from manufacturers between 2003 and 2012. Design features, levels and temporal trends in unionised (free) nicotine and nicotine content of smokeless tobacco products were analysed overall and by manufacturer and product type.
RESULTS: The annual total number of moist snuff products increased from 99 in 2003 to 127 in 2012. The annual total number of reported snus products increased from 4 in 2003 to the highest level of 62 in 2011, before decreasing to 26 in 2012. Overall, mean unionised (free) nicotine remained relatively stable (beta=0.018 (95% CI -0.014 to 0.050) mg/g dry weight/year) from 2003 to 2012. However, both levels and temporal trends of mean free nicotine varied significantly among manufacturers (p<0.001). Since 2003, the free nicotine content of snus has increased at an overall rate of 0.192 (95% CI 0.138 to 0.246) mg/g dry weight/year, but varied by manufacturer (p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The number of smokeless tobacco products increased in the Massachusetts market. Further, mean unionised (free) nicotine levels in smokeless tobacco products of several manufacturers continued to rise despite decreasing levels from other manufacturers. The current success in tobacco control is very likely undermined without government surveillance, regulation and widespread public disclosure of nicotine levels in these products.