130 research outputs found

    Commentary on Future of Health Behavior Research: Aging Perspectives

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    This Commentary provides personal reflections on the future of health behavior research and the role of AAHB in the preparation of the next generation of researchers and educators for high quality relevant research and practice. Comments center around the four questions presented to Research Laureates at the 2017 AAHB Annual Meeting. Themes include: 1) a life-course perspective as a priority game changer in furthering health behavior research; 2) multiple disciplines to advance health behavior research; 3) pathways to a successful doctoral program; and 4) forward thinking for identifying risk factors for public health problems and contextually-based health behavior solutions

    Parental safety concerns and active school commute: correlates across multiple domains in the home-to-school journey

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    Abiodun O. Oluyomi, Eileen Nehme, and Deanna M. Hoelscher are with The Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, UT School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Austin, TX USA -- Chanam Lee is with the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Architecture, Texas AM University, College Station, TX USA -- Diane Dowdy and Marci G. Ory are with the School of Rural Public Health, Texas AM HeaBackground: Empirical evidence of the relationship between safety concerns and walking to school (WTS) is growing. However, current research offers limited understanding of the multiple domains of parental safety concerns and the specific mechanisms through which parents articulate safety concerns about WTS. A more detailed understanding is needed to inform environmental and policy interventions. This study examined the relationships between both traffic safety and personal safety concerns and WTS in the U.S. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis examined data from the Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation (T-COPPE) project, an evaluation of state-wide obesity prevention policy interventions. All study data were from the survey (n = 830) of parents with 4th grade students attending 81 elementary schools across Texas, and living within two miles from their children's schools. Traffic safety and personal safety concerns were captured for the home neighborhood, en-route to school, and school environments. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to assess the odds of WTS controlling for significant covariates. Results: Overall, 18% of parents reported that their child walked to school on most days of the week. For traffic safety, students were more likely to walk to school if their parent reported favorable perceptions about the following items in the home neighborhood environment: higher sidewalk availability, well maintained sidewalks and safe road crossings. For the route to school, the odds of WTS were higher for those who reported "no problem" with each one of the following: traffic speed, amount of traffic, sidewalks/pathways, intersection/crossing safety, and crossing guards, when compared to those that reported "always a problem". For personal safety in the en-route to school environment, the odds of WTS were lower when parents reported concerns about: stray or dangerous animals and availability of others with whom to walk. Conclusions: Findings offered insights into the specific issues that drive safety concerns for elementary school children’s WTS behaviors. The observed associations between more favorable perceptions of safety and WTS provide further justification for practical intervention strategies to reduce WTS barriers that can potentially bring long-term physical activity and health benefits to school-aged children.Public [email protected]

    Evidence-Based Program to Reduce Fall-Related Risk Among Older Adults: A Comparison of Program Efficacy by Ethnicity

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    Despite rapid growth among the Hispanic population in the United States, seniors within this ethnic group are typically underrepresented in evidence-based programs. The purpose of this study is to examine the relative efficacy of A Matter of Balance/Volunteer Lay Leader Model (AMOB/VLL), an eight session fall risk prevention program, for non-Hispanic White and English-speaking Hispanic participants on key study outcomes. Data were collected from 1,233 seniors enrolled in AMOB/VLL in Texas. Compared to non-Hispanic White participants, a significantly larger proportion of Hispanic participants were younger (?2=50.23, df=3, p<0.001), had less than a high school education (?2=200.31, df=2, p<0.001), and resided in less affluent areas. From baseline to post-intervention, significant improvements in falls efficacy (t=- 9.13, df=167, p<0.001), days limited from usual activity (t=1.99, df=164, p=0.049), and unhealthy mental days (t=2.51, p=0.013) were seen among Hispanic participants. Significant improvements among nonHispanic White participants were observed for falls efficacy (t=-15.90, df=868, p<0.001). Although significant improvements were found for each ethnic group, the magnitude of improvement among Hispanic participants exceeded that of non-Hispanic Whites in some aspects. Identifying participant characteristics and positive outcomes specific to Hispanics can inform strategies to maximize program reach and effectiveness among this vulnerable and underserved population

    Geographic variations in access and utilization of cancer screening services: examining disparities among American Indian and Alaska Native Elders

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    Despite recommendations for cancer screening for breast and colorectal cancer among the Medicare population, preventive screenings rates are often lower among vulnerable populations such as the small but rapidly growing older American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) population. This study seeks to identify potential disparities in the availability of screening services, distance to care, and the utilization of cancer screening services for Medicare beneficiaries residing in areas with a higher concentration of AIAN populations. Using the county (n =3,225) as the level of analysis, we conducted a cross-sectional analysis of RTI International’s Spatial Impact Factor Data (2012) to determine the level of disparities for AIAN individuals. The outcomes of interest include: the presence of health care facilities in the county, the average distance in miles to the closest provider of mammography and colonoscopy (analyzed separately) and utilization of screening services (percent of adults aged 65 and older screened by county). Counties with higher concentrations of AIAN individuals had greater disparities in access and utilization of cancer screening services. Even after adjusting for income, education, state of residence, population 65 and older and rurality, areas with higher levels of AIAN individuals were more likely to see disparities with regard to health care services related to mammograms (p ≤ .05; longer distance, lower screening) and colonoscopies (p ≤ .05; longer distance, lower screening). These findings provide evidence of a gap in service availability, utilization and access facing areas with higher levels of AIAN individuals throughout the US. Without adequate resources in place, these areas will continue to have less access to services and poorer health which will be accelerated as the population of older adults grows. Keywords: American Indian; Alaska Native; Cancer; Rural; Disparities; Ecological analysisThe open access fee for this work was funded through the Texas A&M University Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Fund

    Perceived barriers to children’s active commuting to school: a systematic review of empirical, methodological and theoretical evidence

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    Active commuting to school (ACS) may increase children’s daily physical activity and help them maintain a healthy weight. Previous studies have identified various perceived barriers related to children’s ACS. However, it is not clear whether and how these studies were methodologically sound and theoretically grounded. The purpose of this review was to critically assess the current literature on perceived barriers to children’s ACS and provide recommendations for future studies. Empirically based literature on perceived barriers to ACS was systematically searched from six databases. A methodological quality scale (MQS) and a theory utilization quality scale (TQS) were created based on previously established instruments and tailored for the current review. Among the 39 studies that met the inclusion criteria, 19 (48.7%) reported statistically significant perceived barriers to child’s ACS. The methodological and theory utilization qualities of reviewed studies varied, with MQS scores ranging between 7 and 20 (Mean =12.95, SD =2.95) and TQS scores from 1 to 7 (Mean =3.62, SD =1.74). A detailed appraisal of the literature suggests several empirical, methodological, and theoretical recommendations for future studies on perceived barriers to ACS. Empirically, increasing the diversity of study regions and samples should be a high priority, particularly in Asian and European countries, and among rural residents; more prospective and interventions studies are needed to determine the causal mechanism liking the perceived factors and ACS; future researchers should include policy-related barriers into their inquiries. Methodologically, the conceptualization of ACS should be standardized or at least well rationalized in future studies to ensure the comparability of results; researchers’ awareness need to be increased for improving the methodological rigor of studies, especially in regard to appropriate statistical analysis techniques, control variable estimation, multicollinearity testing, and reliability and validity reporting. Theoretically, future researchers need to first ground their investigations in theoretical foundations; efforts should be devoted to make sure theories are used thoroughly and correctly; important theoretical constructs, in particular, need to be conceptualized and operationalized appropriately to ensure accurate measurement. By reviewing what has been achieved, this review offered insights for more sophisticated ACS studies in the future
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