The Prevention Research Center at UMass Chan Medical School (PRC) is committed to working toward optimal health of communities, families and individuals. Founded in 2009 as part of the CDC's Prevention Research Center Network, our mission is to prevent disease, promote health and advance health equity through the integration of community engaged research, practice, policy and education. With a focus on integrating our work into the Greater Worcester’s collaborative public health system, we also seek to be a research partner that addresses real-world challenges across Massachusetts, and a national model for research that connects academia, public health, community and health care systems. This site is a repository of publications produced by PRC faculty, staff, students and community partners.


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Recently Published

  • Trends in COVID-19 vaccine administration across visit types in a safety net pediatric practice during the first year of authorization

    Ryan, Grace W; Goulding, Melissa; Beeler, Angela L; Nazarian, Beverly L; Pbert, Lori; Rosal, Milagros C; Lemon, Stephenie C (2023-11-06)
    We explored patterns of COVID-19 vaccination across pediatric visit types using electronic health record data from 7/1/2021 through 7/25/2022 in a pediatric safety-net clinic. We generated frequencies and descriptive statistics for patient demographic and vaccine administration variables. Analyses were stratified into age subgroups of 5-to-11-year-olds and 12- to-17-year-olds. 1,409 children received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 2,197 doses were administered in this first year of vaccine delivery. Most vaccines given were first doses in the series (45%), followed by second doses (38%), and then booster doses (17%). First doses tended to be given at well-child (42%) or nurse visits (48%), while second doses were almost entirely given at nurse visits (87%) and booster doses at well-child visits (58%). Efforts to optimize COVID-19 vaccination could leverage clinic workflow systems to provide reminder prompts for vaccination for scheduling future doses and identify strategies to facilitate vaccination at non-well child visits, particularly for booster doses.
  • The Impact of a Lifestyle Intervention on Postpartum Cardiometabolic Risk Factors Among Hispanic Women With Abnormal Glucose Tolerance During Pregnancy: Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Trial

    Wagner, Kathryn A; St Laurent, Christine W; Pekow, Penelope; Marcus, Bess; Rosal, Milagros C; Braun, Barry; Manson, Joann E; Whitcomb, Brian W; Sievert, Lynnette Leidy; Chasan-Taber, Lisa (2023-10-27)
    Background: Women with abnormal glucose tolerance during pregnancy are at risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), with higher rates among Hispanics. However, studies on the impact of lifestyle interventions on postpartum CVD profiles are sparse. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a controlled trial among a subsample of Hispanic women with abnormal glucose tolerance participating in Estudió PARTO (Project Aiming to Reduce Type twO diabetes; mean age = 28.2 y, SD: 5.8) who were randomized to a culturally modified Lifestyle intervention (n = 45) or a comparison Health and Wellness intervention (n = 55). Primary endpoints were biomarkers of cardiovascular risk (lipids, C-reactive protein, fetuin-A, and albumin-to-creatinine ratio) and insulin resistance (fasting insulin, glucose, HbA1c, homeostasis model assessment, leptin, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and adiponectin) measured at baseline (6-wk postpartum) and 6 and 12 months. Results: In intent-to-treat analyses, there were no significant differences in changes in biomarkers of CVD risk or insulin resistance over the postpartum year. In prespecified sensitivity analyses, women adherent with the Lifestyle Intervention had more favorable improvements in insulin (intervention effect = -4.87, SE: 1.93, P = .01) and HOMA-IR (intervention effect = -1.15, SE: 0.53, P = .03) compared with the Health and Wellness arm. In pooled analyses, regardless of intervention arm, women with higher postpartum sports/exercise had greater increase in HDL-cholesterol (intervention effect = 6.99, SE: 1.72, P = .0001). Conclusions: In this randomized controlled trial among Hispanic women with abnormal glucose tolerance, we did not observe a significant effect on postpartum biomarkers of CVD risk or insulin resistance. Women adherent to the intervention had more favorable changes in insulin and HOMA-IR.
  • Equitable reach: Patient and professional recommendations for interventions to prevent perinatal depression and anxiety

    Zimmermann, Martha; Peacock-Chambers, Elizabeth; Merton, Catherine; Pasciak, Katarzyna; Thompson, Azure; Mackie, Thomas; Clare, Camille A; Lemon, Stephenie C; Byatt, Nancy (2023-10-09)
    Objective: Perinatal depression and anxiety are the most common complications in the perinatal period and disproportionately affect those experiencing economic marginalization. Fewer than 15% of individuals at risk for perinatal depression are referred for preventative counseling. The goal of this study was to elicit patient and perinatal care professionals' perspectives on how to increase the reach of interventions to prevent perinatal depression and anxiety among economically marginalized individuals. Methods: We conducted qualitative interviews with perinatal individuals with lived experience of perinatal depression and/or anxiety who were experiencing economic marginalization (n = 12) and perinatal care professionals and paraprofessionals (e.g., obstetrician/gynecologists, midwives, doulas; n = 12) serving this population. Three study team members engaged a "a coding consensus, co-occurrence, and comparison," approach to code interviews. Results: Perinatal individuals and professionals identified prevention intervention delivery approaches and content to facilitate equitable reach for individuals who are economically marginalized. Factors influential included availability of mental health counselors, facilitation of prevention interventions by a trusted professional, digital health options, and options for mental health intervention delivery approaches. Content that was perceived as increasing equitable intervention reach included emphasizing stigma reduction, using cultural humility and inclusive materials, and content personalization. Conclusions: Leveraging varied options for mental health intervention delivery approaches and content could reach perinatal individuals experiencing economic marginalization and address resource considerations associated with preventative interventions.
  • Integrating Equity Into Bicycle Infrastructure, Planning, and Programming: A Mixed Methods Exploration of Implementation Among Participants in the Bicycle Friendly Community Program

    Lemon, Stephenie C; Neptune, Amelia; Goulding, Melissa; Pendharkar, Jyothi Ananth; Dugger, Roddrick; Chriqui, Jamie F (2023-10-05)
    Introduction: Integrating equity considerations into bicycle infrastructure, planning, and programming is essential to increase bicycling and reduce physical inactivity-related health disparities. However, little is known about communities' experiences with activities that promote equity considerations in bicycle infrastructure, planning, and programming or about barriers and facilitators to such considerations. The objective of this project was to gain in-depth understanding of the experiences, barriers, and facilitators that communities encounter with integrating equity considerations into bicycle infrastructure, planning, and programming. Methods: We administered a web-based survey in 2022 to assess communities' experiences with 31 equity-focused activities in 3 areas: 1) community engagement, education, events, and programming (community engagement); 2) data collection, evaluation, and goal setting (data); and 3) infrastructure, facilities, and physical amenities (infrastructure). Respondents were people who represented communities in the US that participated in the League of American Bicyclists' Bicycle Friendly Community (BFC) Program. We then conducted 6 focus groups with a subset of survey respondents to explore barriers and facilitators to implementing equity-focused activities. Results: Survey respondents (N = 194) had experience with a mean (SD) of 5.9 (5.7) equity-focused activities. Focus group participants (N = 30) identified themes related to community engagement (outreach to and engagement of underrepresented communities, cultural perceptions of bicycling, and funding and support for community rides and programs); data (locally relevant data); and infrastructure (political will, community design, and infrastructure). They described barriers and facilitators for each. Conclusion: Communities are challenged with integrating equity into bicycle infrastructure, planning, and programming. Multicomponent strategies with support from entities such as the BFC program will be required to make progress.
  • Effects of Teacher Training and Continued Support on the Delivery of an Evidence-Based HIV Prevention Program: Findings From a National Implementation Study in the Bahamas

    Wang, Bo; Deveaux, Lynette; Guo, Yan; Schieber, Elizabeth; Adderley, Richard; Lemon, Stephenie C; Allison, Jeroan J.; Li, Xiaoming; Forbes, Nikkiah; Naar, Sylvie (2023-09-02)
    Background: Few studies have investigated the effects of teacher training and continued support on teachers' delivery of evidence-based HIV prevention programs. We examined these factors in a national implementation study of an evidence-based HIV risk reduction intervention for adolescents in the sixth grade in the Bahamas. Methods: Data were collected from 126 grade 6 teachers and 3,118 students in 58 government elementary schools in the Bahamas in 2019-2021. This is a Hybrid Type III implementation study guided by the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) model. Teachers attended 2-day training workshops. Trained school coordinators and peer mentors provided biweekly monitoring and mentorship. We used mixed-effects models to assess the effects of teacher training and continued support on implementation fidelity. Results: Teachers who received training in-person or both in-person and online taught the most core activities (27.0 and 27.2 of 35), versus only online training (21.9) and no training (14.9) (F = 15.27, p < .001). Teachers with an "excellent" or "very good" school coordinator taught more core activities than those with a "satisfactory" coordinator or no coordinator (29.2 vs. 27.8 vs. 19.3 vs. 14.8, F = 29.20, p < .001). Teachers with a "very good" mentor taught more core activities and sessions than those with a "satisfactory" mentor or no mentor (30.4 vs. 25.0 vs. 23.1; F = 7.20; p < .01). Teacher training, implementation monitoring, peer mentoring, teachers' self-efficacy, and school-level support were associated with implementation fidelity, which in turn was associated with improved student outcomes (HIV/AIDS knowledge, preventive reproductive health skills, self-efficacy, and intention to use protection). Conclusion: Teachers receiving in-person training and those having higher-rated school coordinator and mentor support taught a larger number of HIV prevention core activities. Effective teacher training, implementation monitoring, and peer mentoring are critical for improving implementation fidelity and student outcomes.
  • Toward a more comprehensive understanding of organizational influences on implementation: the organization theory for implementation science framework

    Birken, Sarah A; Wagi, Cheyenne R; Peluso, Alexandra G; Kegler, Michelle C; Baloh, Jure; Adsul, Prajakta; Fernandez, Maria E; Masud, Manal; Huang, Terry T-K; Lee, Matthew; et al. (2023-08-31)
    Introduction: Implementation is influenced by factors beyond individual clinical settings. Nevertheless, implementation research often focuses on factors related to individual providers and practices, potentially due to limitations of available frameworks. Extant frameworks do not adequately capture the myriad organizational influences on implementation. Organization theories capture diverse organizational influences but remain underused in implementation science. To advance their use among implementation scientists, we distilled 70 constructs from nine organization theories identified in our previous work into theoretical domains in the Organization Theory for Implementation Science (OTIS) framework. Methods: The process of distilling organization theory constructs into domains involved concept mapping and iterative consensus-building. First, we recruited organization and implementation scientists to participate in an online concept mapping exercise in which they sorted organization theory constructs into domains representing similar theoretical concepts. Multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analyses were used to produce visual representations (clusters) of the relationships among constructs in concept maps. Second, to interpret concept maps, we engaged members of the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) OTIS workgroup in consensus-building discussions. Results: Twenty-four experts participated in concept mapping. Based on resulting construct groupings' coherence, OTIS workgroup members selected the 10-cluster solution (from options of 7-13 clusters) and then reorganized clusters in consensus-building discussions to increase coherence. This process yielded six final OTIS domains: organizational characteristics (e.g., size; age); governance and operations (e.g., organizational and social subsystems); tasks and processes (e.g., technology cycles; excess capacity); knowledge and learning (e.g., tacit knowledge; sense making); characteristics of a population of organizations (e.g., isomorphism; selection pressure); and interorganizational relationships (e.g., dominance; interdependence). Discussion: Organizational influences on implementation are poorly understood, in part due to the limitations of extant frameworks. To improve understanding of organizational influences on implementation, we distilled 70 constructs from nine organization theories into six domains. Applications of the OTIS framework will enhance understanding of organizational influences on implementation, promote theory-driven strategies for organizational change, improve understanding of mechanisms underlying relationships between OTIS constructs and implementation, and allow for framework refinement. Next steps include testing the OTIS framework in implementation research and adapting it for use among policymakers and practitioners.
  • Can psychological interventions prevent or reduce risk for perinatal anxiety disorders? A systematic review and meta-analysis

    Zimmermann, Martha; Julce, Clevanne; Sarkar, Pooja; McNicholas, Eileen; Xu, Lulu; Carr, Catherine W.; Boudreaux, Edwin D; Lemon, Stephenie C; Byatt, Nancy (2023-08-16)
    Objective: Little is known about the extent to which interventions can prevent perinatal anxiety disorders. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine whether interventions can decrease the onset and symptoms of perinatal anxiety among individuals without an anxiety disorder diagnosis. Method: We conducted a comprehensive literature search across five databases related to key concepts: (1) anxiety disorders/anxiety symptom severity (2) perinatal (3) interventions (4) prevention. We included studies that examined a perinatal population without an anxiety disorder diagnosis, included a comparator group, and assessed perinatal anxiety. We included interventions focused on perinatal anxiety as well as interventions to prevent perinatal depression or influence related outcomes (e.g., physical activity). Results: Thirty-six studies were included. No study assessing the incidence of perinatal anxiety disorder (n = 4) found a significant effect of an intervention. Among studies assessing anxiety symptom severity and included in the quantitative analysis (n = 30), a meta-analysis suggested a small standardized mean difference of -0.31 (95% CI [-0.46, -0.16], p < .001) for anxiety at post intervention, favoring the intervention group. Both mindfulness (n = 6), and cognitive behavioral therapy approaches (n = 10) were effective. Conclusions: Interventions developed for perinatal anxiety were more effective than interventions to prevent perinatal depression. Psychological interventions show promise for reducing perinatal anxiety symptom severity, though interventions specifically targeting anxiety are needed.
  • Reimagining the Role of Health Departments and Their Partners in Addressing Climate Change: Revising the Building Resilience against Climate Effects (BRACE) Framework

    Lemon, Stephenie C; Joseph, Heather A; Williams, Samantha; Brown, Claudia; Aytur, Semra; Catalano, Katherine; Chacker, Stacey; Goins, Karin V; Rudolph, Linda; Whitehead, Sandra; et al. (2023-07-26)
    Public health departments have important roles to play in addressing the local health impacts of climate change, yet are often not well prepared to do so. The Climate and Health Program (CHP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created the Building Resilience Against Climate Effects (BRACE) framework in 2012 as a five-step planning framework to support public health departments and their partners to respond to the health impacts of climate change. CHP has initiated a process to revise the framework to address learnings from a decade of experience with BRACE and advances in the science and practice of addressing climate and health. The aim of this manuscript is to describe the methodology for revising the BRACE framework and the expected outputs of this process. Development of the revised framework and associated guidance and tools will be guided by a multi-sector expert panel, and finalization will be informed by usability testing. Planned revisions to BRACE will (1) be consistent with the vision of Public Health 3.0 and position health departments as "chief health strategists" in their communities, who are responsible for facilitating the establishment and maintenance of cross-sector collaborations with community organizations, other partners, and other government agencies to address local climate impacts and prevent further harm to historically underserved communities; (2) place health equity as a central, guiding tenet; (3) incorporate greenhouse gas mitigation strategies, in addition to its previous focus on climate adaptation; and (4) feature a new set of tools to support BRACE implementation among a diverse set of users. The revised BRACE framework and the associated tools will support public health departments and their partners as they strive to prevent and reduce the negative health impacts of climate change for everyone, while focusing on improving health equity.
  • Pediatric High Blood Pressure Follow-up Guideline Adherence in a Massachusetts Healthcare System

    Goulding, Melissa; Ryan, Grace W; Frisard, Christine; Stevens, Elise M; Person, Sharina D.; Goldberg, Robert J; Garg, Arvin; Lemon, Stephenie C (2023-07-22)
    Objectives: To describe adherence to the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) 2017 clinical practice guidelines for follow-up after high blood pressure (BP) screening by pediatric and family medicine providers in a Massachusetts healthcare system and to assess differences in receipt of follow-up according to child- and clinic-level factors. Methods: Electronic health record data were analyzed for children aged 3-17 years who had an outpatient primary care visit during 2018 with a high BP screening (according to AAP guidelines). We classified AAP guideline adherent follow-up as BP follow-up within 6 months after an elevated finding (+2-week buffer) and within 2 weeks after a hypertensive finding (+2-week buffer). Differences in receipt of guideline adherent follow-up by child- and clinic-level factors were assessed via multilevel mixed effects logistic regression models. Results: The median age of the 4,563 included children was 12 years and 43% were female. Overall, guideline adherent follow-up was received by 17.7% of children within the recommended time interval; 27.4% for those whose index BP was elevated and 5.4% for those whose BP was hypertensive. Modeling revealed older children and those belonging to clinics with more providers, smaller patient panels, and smaller proportion of Medicaid patients were more likely to receive adherent follow-up. Conclusion: Few children received guideline adherent BP follow-up and most differences in adherence were related to clinic resources. System level interventions are needed to improve BP follow-up.
  • Performance of Rapid Antigen Tests to Detect Symptomatic and Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection : A Prospective Cohort Study

    Soni, Apurv; Herbert, Carly; Lin, Honghuang; Yan, Yi; Pretz, Caitlin; Stamegna, Pamela; Wang, Biqi; Orwig, Taylor; Wright, Colton; Tarrant, Seanan; et al. (2023-07-04)
    Background: The performance of rapid antigen tests (Ag-RDTs) for screening asymptomatic and symptomatic persons for SARS-CoV-2 is not well established. Objective: To evaluate the performance of Ag-RDTs for detection of SARS-CoV-2 among symptomatic and asymptomatic participants. Design: This prospective cohort study enrolled participants between October 2021 and January 2022. Participants completed Ag-RDTs and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for SARS-CoV-2 every 48 hours for 15 days. Setting: Participants were enrolled digitally throughout the mainland United States. They self-collected anterior nasal swabs for Ag-RDTs and RT-PCR testing. Nasal swabs for RT-PCR were shipped to a central laboratory, whereas Ag-RDTs were done at home. Participants: Of 7361 participants in the study, 5353 who were asymptomatic and negative for SARS-CoV-2 on study day 1 were eligible. In total, 154 participants had at least 1 positive RT-PCR result. Measurements: The sensitivity of Ag-RDTs was measured on the basis of testing once (same-day), twice (after 48 hours), and thrice (after a total of 96 hours). The analysis was repeated for different days past index PCR positivity (DPIPPs) to approximate real-world scenarios where testing initiation may not always coincide with DPIPP 0. Results were stratified by symptom status. Results: Among 154 participants who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, 97 were asymptomatic and 57 had symptoms at infection onset. Serial testing with Ag-RDTs twice 48 hours apart resulted in an aggregated sensitivity of 93.4% (95% CI, 90.4% to 95.9%) among symptomatic participants on DPIPPs 0 to 6. When singleton positive results were excluded, the aggregated sensitivity on DPIPPs 0 to 6 for 2-time serial testing among asymptomatic participants was lower at 62.7% (CI, 57.0% to 70.5%), but it improved to 79.0% (CI, 70.1% to 87.4%) with testing 3 times at 48-hour intervals. Limitation: Participants tested every 48 hours; therefore, these data cannot support conclusions about serial testing intervals shorter than 48 hours. Conclusion: The performance of Ag-RDTs was optimized when asymptomatic participants tested 3 times at 48-hour intervals and when symptomatic participants tested 2 times separated by 48 hours. Primary funding source: National Institutes of Health RADx Tech program.
  • Unvaccinated Adolescents' COVID-19 Vaccine Intentions: Implications for Public Health Messaging

    Ryan, Grace W; Askelson, Natoshia M; Woodworth, Kate R; Lindley, Megan C; Gedlinske, Amber; Parker, Andrew M; Gidengil, Courtney A; Petersen, Christine A; Scherer, Aaron M (2023-07-03)
    Purpose: COVID-19 vaccine uptake remains low for US adolescents and contributes to excess morbidity and mortality. Most research has assessed parental intention to vaccinate their children. We explored differences between vaccine-acceptant and vaccine-hesitant unvaccinated US adolescents using national survey data. Methods: A nonprobability, quota-based sample of adolescents, aged 13-17 years, was recruited through an online survey panel in April 2021. One thousand nine hundred twenty seven adolescents were screened for participation and the final sample included 985 responses. We assessed responses from unvaccinated adolescents (n = 831). Our primary measure was COVID-19 vaccination intent ("vaccine-acceptant" defined as "definitely will" get a COVID-19 vaccine and any other response classified as "vaccine-hesitant") and secondary measures included reasons for intending or not intending to get vaccinated and trusted sources of COVID-19 vaccine information. We calculated descriptive statistics and chi-square tests to explore differences between vaccine-acceptant and vaccine-hesitant adolescents. Results: Most (n = 831; 70.9%) adolescents were hesitant, with more hesitancy observed among adolescents with low levels of concern about COVID-19 and high levels of concern about side effects of COVID-19 vaccination. Among vaccine-hesitant adolescents, reasons for not intending to get vaccinated included waiting for safety data and having parents who would make the vaccination decision. Vaccine-hesitant adolescents had a lower number of trusted information sources than vaccine-acceptant adolescents. Discussion: Differences identified between vaccine-acceptant and vaccine-hesitant adolescents can inform message content and dissemination. Messages should include accurate, age-appropriate information about side effects and risks of COVID-19 infection. Prioritizing dissemination of these messages through family members, state and local government officials, and healthcare providers may be most effective.
  • Disparities in Receipt of Guideline-adherent Blood Pressure Screening: An Observational Examination of Electronic Health Record Data from a Massachusetts Healthcare System

    Goulding, Melissa; Ryan, Grace W; Frisard, Christine; Stevens, Elise M; Person, Sharina D.; Goldberg, Robert J; Garg, Arvin; Lemon, Stephenie C (2023-07-01)
    Objective: To describe the prevalence of blood pressure (BP) screening according to the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines and differences according to social vulnerability indicators. Study design: We extracted electronic health record data from January 1, 2018, through December 31, 2018, from the largest healthcare system in Central Massachusetts. Outpatient visits for children aged 3-17 years without a prior hypertension diagnosis were included. Adherence was defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics guideline (≥1 BP screening for children with a body mass index [BMI] of <95th percentile) and at every encounter for children with a BMI of ≥95th percentile). Independent variables included social vulnerability indicators at the patient level (insurance type, language, Child Opportunity Index, race/ethnicity) and clinic level (location, Medicaid population). Covariates included child's age, sex, and BMI status, and clinic specialty, patient panel size, and number of healthcare providers. We used direct estimation to calculate prevalence estimates and multivariable mixed effects logistic regression to determine the odds of receiving guideline-adherent BP screening. Results: Our sample comprised 19 695 children (median age, 11 years; 48% female) from 7 pediatric and 20 family medicine clinics. The prevalence of guideline-adherent BP screening was 89%. In our adjusted model, children with a BMI of ≥95th percentile, with public insurance, and who were patients at clinics with larger Medicaid populations and larger patient panels had a lower odds of receiving guideline-adherent BP screening. Conclusions: Despite overall high adherence to BP screening guidelines, patient- and clinic-level disparities were identified.
  • Systolic Blood Pressure and Survival to Very Old Age. Results from the Women's Health Initiative [preprint]

    Haring, Bernhard; Andrews, Chris A; Hovey, Kathleen; Shadyab, Aladdin H; LaCroix, Andrea; Martin, Lisa Warsinger; Rosal, Milagros C; Kuller, Lewis H; Salmoirago-Blotcher, Elena; Saquib, Nazmus; et al. (2023-06-29)
    Background: The association between systolic blood pressure (SBP) and longevity is not fully understood. We aimed to determine survival probabilities to age 90 for various SBP levels among women aged ≥ 65 years with or without BP medication. Methods: We analyzed blood pressure data from participants in the Women's Health Initiative (n=16,570) who were aged 65 or older and without history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or cancer. Blood pressure was measured at baseline (1993-1998) and then annually through 2005. The outcome was defined as survival to age 90 with follow-up until February 28, 2020. Results: During a follow-up of 18 years, 9,723 (59%) of 16,570 women survived to age 90. The SBP associated with the highest probability of survival was about 120mmHg regardless of age. Compared to an SBP between 110 and 130 mmHg, women with uncontrolled SBP had a lower survival probability across all age groups and with or without BP medication. A 65-year-old women on BP medication with an interpolated SBP between 110 and 130 mmHg in 80% of the first 5 years of follow-up had a 31% (95% confidence interval, 24%, 38%) absolute survival probability. For those with 20% time in range, the probability was 21% (95% confidence interval, 16%, 26%). Conclusions: An SBP level below 130 mmHg was found to be associated with longevity among older women. The longer SBP was controlled at a level between 110 and 130 mmHg, the higher the survival probability to age 90. Preventing age-related rises in SBP and increasing the time with controlled BP levels constitute important measures for achieving longevity. Clinical perspective: What is new ?: The age-related rise in SBP is commonly regarded as inevitable and intensified SBP treatment in older adults is still controversial, as strict BP control in older adults has been related to a higher risk of mortality.Based on a real-world national cohort, an SBP level below 130 mmHg was associated with the highest survival probability to age 90 years in women with or without BP medication.The longer the time women had their SBP controlled at ≥ 110 and <130mmHg, the higher the probability of survival to age 90.What are the clinical implications ?: The age-related BP estimates in conjunction with survival probabilities to age 90 presented clearly emphasize the importance of maintaining well-controlled BP levels even at older age.Preventive measures and risk factor control to ensure a constant relatively low SBP pattern during ageing are warranted.
  • A systematic review of interventions to promote HPV vaccination globally

    Escoffery, Cam; Petagna, Courtney; Agnone, Christine; Perez, Stephen; Saber, Lindsay B; Ryan, Grace W; Dhir, Meena; Sekar, Swathi; Yeager, Katherine A; Biddell, Caitlin B; et al. (2023-06-29)
    Background: Despite the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine being a safe, effective cancer prevention method, its uptake is suboptimal in the United States (U.S.). Previous research has found a variety of intervention strategies (environmental and behavioral) to increase its uptake. The purpose of the study is to systematically review the literature on interventions that promote HPV vaccination from 2015 to 2020. Methods: We updated a systematic review of interventions to promote HPV vaccine uptake globally. We ran keyword searches in six bibliographic databases. Target audience, design, level of intervention, components and outcomes were abstracted from the full-text articles in Excel databases. Results: Of the 79 articles, most were conducted in the U.S. (72.2%) and in clinical (40.5%) or school settings (32.9%), and were directed at a single level (76.3%) of the socio-ecological model. Related to the intervention type, most were informational (n = 25, 31.6%) or patient-targeted decision support (n = 23, 29.1%). About 24% were multi-level interventions, with 16 (88.9%) combining two levels. Twenty-seven (33.8%) reported using theory in intervention development. Of those reporting HPV vaccine outcomes, post-intervention vaccine initiation ranged from 5% to 99.2%, while series completion ranged from 6.8% to 93.0%. Facilitators to implementation were the use of patient navigators and user-friendly resources, while barriers included costs, time to implement and difficulties of integrating interventions into the organizational workflow. Conclusions: There is a strong need to expand the implementation of HPV-vaccine promotion interventions beyond education alone and at a single level of intervention. Development and evaluation of effective strategies and multi-level interventions may increase the uptake of the HPV vaccine among adolescents and young adults.
  • Adolescents Who Vape Nicotine and Their Experiences Vaping: A Qualitative Study

    Dubé, Catherine E; Pbert, Lori; Nagawa, Catherine S; Simone, Dante P; Wijesundara, Jessica G; Sadasivam, Rajani S (2023-06-28)
    Introduction: Understanding adolescent perceptions of vaping and roles it plays in their lives is needed to design effective interventions to help adolescents quit. We explored vaping experiences of 11 adolescents from initiation through quit attempts. Methods: A convenience sample of students who vaped in the last 90 days was recruited from one suburban high school in Massachusetts. Qualitative interviews were transcribed and coded. An inductive thematic analysis approach was employed. Areas of agreement and range of responses in code reports were summarized. Results: Eleven open-ended semi-structured interviews were conducted (mean = 32.5 minutes each). Vaping initiation often occurred when socializing with friends who also supplied vaping devices. Vaping was "something to do" and new flavors engaged adolescents further. Solitary activities coupled with vaping included video gaming, getting ready for school, talking on the phone, or studying. Peak hours for vaping included morning, before and after school, before parents returned from work, and after parents went to bed. Several vaped to address anxiety/stress. For some, anxiety control was a main reason for vaping. Participants were concerned about health effects and nicotine dependence. Cost and health effects were drivers of quitting. Quit strategies relied on willpower and distraction. Conclusions: Peers have powerful influences on the initiation and maintenance of adolescent vaping. Vaping habits can become routinized into adolescent lives. Addiction is a concern although nicotine's anxiolytic effects were valued by many. Social connection was enhanced by communal vaping, sharing, and common vernacular, secrecy and rule-breaking. We describe the context in which adolescents vape nicotine, their reasons for vaping, and reasons to quit. This information can inform the development of interventions to better address adolescents' triggers to vape, and social and psychosocial barriers to quitting. Our findings suggest a desire to quit vaping but a limited awareness of quitting strategies.
  • Advancing the science of policy implementation: a call to action for the implementation science field

    Chriqui, Jamie F; Asada, Yuka; Smith, Natalie Riva; Kroll-Desrosiers, Aimee; Lemon, Stephenie C (2023-06-24)
    Public policies have been essential in addressing many of the most pressing public health problems in the USA and around the world. A large and convincing body of multidisciplinary research has established the impacts or effectiveness of public policies, such as smoke-free air laws and nutrition standards, on improving health outcomes and behaviors. Most of this research assumes that because an evidence-based policy is adopted or takes effect, it is implemented as intended. This assumption, however, is often incorrect. Like with clinical guidelines and other interventions, implementation science has an important role to play in promoting the uptake and implementation of evidence-based public policies that promote public health. To realize this potential, there remains a critical need to first establish a common understanding of what public policy is, the role of specific policies in the context of implementation (i.e., is it the evidence-based intervention or the implementation strategy?), and to establish an appropriate methodological foundation for the field of policy implementation science. We recommend that the field must evolve to (i) include policy experts and actors on policy implementation science study teams; (ii) identify theories, models, and frameworks that are suitable for policy implementation science; (iii) identify policy implementation strategies; (iv) adapt and/or identify study designs best suited for policy implementation science research; and (v) identify appropriate policy implementation outcome measures.
  • Pediatricians' perspectives on COVID-19 and HPV vaccine hesitancy

    Ryan, Grace W; Miotto, Mary Beth; McReynolds, Cynthia; Lemon, Stephenie C; Pbert, Lori; Trivedi, Michelle (2023-06-22)
    Rises in parental vaccine hesitancy, observed during the COVID-19 pandemic, threaten public health. This is especially concerning for vaccines not typically required for school-entry, such as the vaccines for COVID-19 and human papillomavirus (HPV), both of which also have much lower rates of completion compared to other adolescent vaccines. Pediatricians are well-positioned to address vaccine hesitancy and can offer insights into parents' perspectives in this area. There is evidence that pediatricians' sharing their own vaccine stories may help to address parents' concerns; yet we have little information on pediatricians' or their children's COVID-19 vaccine uptake. To address these gaps, we conducted a cross-sectional survey about Massachusetts pediatricians' behaviors and perspectives on vaccines that face significant resistance: HPV and COVID-19 vaccines. A total of 144 people initiated the survey, and 109 participants were eligible and completed the survey. Participants reported high levels of COVID-19 vaccine uptake for themselves (97%) and their children (98%). Similarities in parents' resistance toward both vaccines were identified: fear of side effects; general vaccine resistance. Pediatricians reported a rise in vaccine hesitancy since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Future research should focus on identifying strategies to build overall vaccine confidence and streamline these efforts for pediatricians.
  • Screening for Depression and Suicide Risk in Adults: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

    Barry, Michael J; Nicholson, Wanda K; Silverstein, Michael; Chelmow, David; Coker, Tumaini Rucker; Davidson, Karina W; Davis, Esa M; Donahue, Katrina E; Jaén, Carlos Roberto; Li, Li; et al. (2023-06-20)
    Importance: Major depressive disorder (MDD), a common mental disorder in the US, may have substantial impact on the lives of affected individuals. If left untreated, MDD can interfere with daily functioning and can also be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events, exacerbation of comorbid conditions, or increased mortality. Objective: The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a systematic review to evaluate benefits and harms of screening, accuracy of screening, and benefits and harms of treatment of MDD and suicide risk in asymptomatic adults that would be applicable to primary care settings. Population: Asymptomatic adults 19 years or older, including pregnant and postpartum persons. Older adults are defined as those 65 years or older. Evidence assessment: The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that screening for MDD in adults, including pregnant and postpartum persons and older adults, has a moderate net benefit. The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient on the benefit and harms of screening for suicide risk in adults, including pregnant and postpartum persons and older adults. Recommendation: The USPSTF recommends screening for depression in the adult population, including pregnant and postpartum persons and older adults. (B recommendation) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for suicide risk in the adult population, including pregnant and postpartum persons and older adults. (I statement).
  • Screening for Anxiety Disorders in Adults: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

    Barry, Michael J; Nicholson, Wanda K; Silverstein, Michael; Coker, Tumaini Rucker; Davidson, Karina W; Davis, Esa M; Donahue, Katrina E; Jaén, Carlos Roberto; Li, Li; Ogedegbe, Gbenga; et al. (2023-06-20)
    Importance: Anxiety disorders are commonly occurring mental health conditions. They are often unrecognized in primary care settings and substantial delays in treatment initiation occur. Objective: The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a systematic review to evaluate the benefits and harms of screening for anxiety disorders in asymptomatic adults. Population: Asymptomatic adults 19 years or older, including pregnant and postpartum persons. Older adults are defined as those 65 years or older. Evidence assessment: The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that screening for anxiety disorders in adults, including pregnant and postpartum persons, has a moderate net benefit. The USPSTF concludes that the evidence is insufficient on screening for anxiety disorders in older adults. Recommendation: The USPSTF recommends screening for anxiety disorders in adults, including pregnant and postpartum persons. (B recommendation) The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of screening for anxiety disorders in older adults. (I statement).
  • Development and pilot testing of a clinic implementation program delivering physical activity electronic referrals to cancer survivors

    Faro, Jamie M; Yue, Kai-Lou; Leach, Heather J; Crisafio, Mary E; Lemon, Stephenie C; Wang, Bo; McManus, David D; Sadasivam, Rajani S (2023-06-15)
    Provider physical activity referrals are recommended for cancer survivors, though barriers exist to clinical system integration. To develop and test ActivityChoice, an electronic referral (eReferral) clinic implementation program referring cancer survivors to physical activity programs of their choice. In Phase 1, we conducted semi-structured interviews with Cancer Center clinicians (n = 4) and cancer-focused physical activity program leaders (n = 3) assessing adaptations needed to implement an eReferral previously designed for another context. In Phase 2, we pilot-tested clinician-delivered referrals to survivors in two 12-week Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycles. We examined feasibility using descriptive statistics (clinicians' adoption and engagement, patient referrals, and physical activity program enrollment) and acceptability through semi-structured interviews with enrolled clinicians (n = 4) and referred patients (n = 9). ActivityChoice included a secure referral webform, text message/email referral confirmations, clinician training/booster sessions, visual reminders, and referrals to in-person or virtual group physical activity programs. Results for each PDSA cycle respectively included: 41% (n = 7) and 53% (n = 8) of clinicians adopted ActivityChoice; 18 and 36 patients were referred; 39% (n = 7) and 33% (n = 12) of patients enrolled in programs, and 30% (n = 4) and 14% (n = 5) of patients deferred enrollment. Patients and clinicians appreciated the referrals and choices. A printed handout describing both programs was added to the clinic workflow for Cycle 2, which yielded more referrals, but lower program enrollment rates. Clinic-based eReferrals to choices of physical activity programs were feasible and acceptable by clinicians and patients. Added clinic workflow support may facilitate referrals.

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