Notable PublicationsEach year, the Prevention Research Centers publish more than 400 journal articles and about 25 books or book chapters in the scientific literature. Selected publications are highlighted throughout the year, and citations or links to them are then collected here for reference.
Researchers Analyze Price and Healthfulness of Snacks in After-School Programs
In assessing snacks served at YMCA after-school programs, Harvard University PRC researchers found that healthful snacks were typically more expensive than less healthful options. Consequently the researchers identified ways that healthful snacks can be served at or below the prices of less healthful options. See “Price and Healthfulness of Snacks in 32 YMCA After-School Programs in 4 U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 2006–2008,” released January 12, 2012, by Preventing Chronic Disease.
Study Finds Training of Employment Program Staff Increased Mental Health Discussions and Referrals
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University PRC analyzed data from inexpensive 2-day mental health training of staff at an employment training program for out-of-school youth. They found that the training increased the percentage (from 1% to 9%) of participants who had a mental health discussion with youth employment trainers. They also found that the training increased the percentage (from 11% to 16%) of participants who received a referral to mental health services from youth employment trainers. See “Training of Staff of an Employment Training Program to Promote Mental Health Discussions and Referrals with Out-of-School Youth, Baltimore, Maryland, 2007,” released January 26, 2012, by Preventing Chronic Disease.
PRCs Lead State of the Art Review on Adolescent Health
A set of PRCs contributed to producing the December 2011 issue of Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews (AM:STARs), a publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The issue focuses on health promotion for adolescents and young adults, and the issue editors are Alwyn Cohall, MD, director of the Columbia University PRC, and Michael Resnick, PhD, director of the University of Minnesota PRC. The articles by PRC researchers include the following topics:
- Using social marketing, new media, technology, and clinician counseling in adolescent health promotion
- Enhancing young people’s resilience to resist risky, unhealthful behavior
- Integrating health interventions with employment and training programs for out of school youth
- Preventing teenage pregnancy
- Disseminating evidence-based smoking cessation programs for adolescents
Study Shows Promoting or Encouraging Physical Activity May Improve Teen Smoking Cessation
West Virginia University PRC researchers found that promoting physical activity within the Not on Tobacco program, an evidence-based teen smoking cessation program, may increase participants smoking cessation. See “Effects of Physical Activity on Teen Smoking Cessation,” published online September 19, 2011, in Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
PRC Steering Committee Publishes Editorial
Writing on behalf of the PRC Steering Committee, four PRC representatives highlight the value of the PRC Program. See “CDC’s Prevention Research Centers Program: Translating Research into Action with Communities” in the August 2011 issue of the Journal of Primary Prevention.
PRCs Report Research in September 2011 Issue of Preventing Chronic Disease:
- Lessons Learned from Arkansas’ Statewide Policy Aimed at Reducing and Preventing Childhood Obesity
Based on evaluation of the 2003 Arkansas Act 1220, researchers at the University of Arkansas PRC and colleagues suggest that states considering a similar population-based approach to preventing and reducing childhood obesity should address concerns over individual rights versus public policy during policy development. See “Public Policy Versus Individual Rights in Childhood Obesity Interventions: Perspectives From the Arkansas Experience With Act 1220 of 2003.”
- VERB Summer Scorecard Program May Encourage Physical Activity Among Youth
University of South Florida PRC researchers report that the VERB Summer Scorecard Program increased self reported vigorous physical activity among Lexington, Kentucky, youth aged 9 to 13 from 2004–2007. See “Vigorous Physical Activity Among Tweens, VERB Summer Scorecard Program, Lexington, Kentucky, 2004-2007.”
- Clean Indoor Air Regulation Associated with Reduced Hospital Admissions for Acute Coronary Syndrome
West Virginia PRC researchers found an association between a clean indoor air regulation and decreased hospital admission for acute coronary syndrome. Data were reviewed for hospitals in one West Virginia county from 2000 through 2008. See “Clean Indoor Air Regulation and Incidence of Hospital Admissions for Acute Coronary Syndrome in Kanawha County, West Virginia.”
- Policy Change Shows Promise in Reducing Youths’ Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Harvard PRC researchers found that a 2004 school district policy restricting the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages in public high schools significantly reduced students’ consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. See “Effect of School District Policy Change on Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Among High School Students, Boston, Massachusetts, 2004-2006.”
- Assessment Influences Playground Renovation
Harvard PRC researchers report that providing policy-makers with results of a playground-quality assessment can ensure replacement of equipment is done fairly and according to need, See “Playground Renovations and Quality at Public Parks in Boston, Massachusetts, 1996-2007.”
- Small, Rural Worksites have Potential to Promote Physical Activity and Healthy Eating
Through a qualitative study, Emory PRC researchers determined that small, rural worksites tend to support healthy behaviors, but lack cafeterias and have almost no established programs to promote health and prevent obesity. Given that more than half of Americans work for employers having fewer than 100 employees, access to worksite health promotion is critical. See “A Qualitative Examination of the Role of Small, Rural Worksites in Obesity Prevention.”
In a pilot study, UCLA/RAND PRC researchers found that by implementing an educational strategy and providing filtered, chilled drinking water in middle school cafeterias, students increased their consumption of water. See “Increasing the Availability and Consumption of Drinking Water in Middle Schools: a Pilot Study,” in the May 2011 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease.
PRC Director Asks, “Is Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Possible?”
In the March 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Daniel Blumenthal, MD, MPH, Director of Morehouse School of Medicine PRC, ponders whether researchers can fully adhere to all principles of CBPR. He asserts that CBPR is an approach to research that is worth the effort.
PRC Describes Methods for Assessing Intervention Acceptability
San Diego PRC researchers describe two commonly used qualitative methods, focus groups and interviews, and present two emerging methods, community mapping and photovoice. See “Qualitative Methods to Ensure Acceptability of Behavioral and Social Interventions to the Target Population,” published in the winter 2011 issue supplement of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.
Essay and American Sign Language (ASL) Video Focus on Deaf Sign Language Users, Health Inequities, and Social Justice
In the March 2011 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease, researchers at the University of Rochester PRC (National Center for Deaf Health Research) discuss four issues that underlie health inequities experienced by deaf sign language users. Six recommendations are offered for how public health can address the inequities and increase opportunities for optimal health. The center’s ASL Translation Working Group produced an accompanying video that describes highlights of the article in ASL.