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STAC-T: Formative Research Results

STAC-T: Formative Research Results

Formative research, such as target population focus groups and usability testing, is essential for the design and development of interactive technology-based programs. Usability testing results of a brief web-based middle school bystander bullying prevention program, STAC-T, were published recently in JMIR Formative Research. The research team was led by Dr. Aida Midgett from Boise State University. Key collaborators included Dr. Diana Doumas from Boise State University and Dr. Valerie Myers, formerly from Klein Buendel.

STAC-T translates four strategies to train bystanders to effectively intervene to reduce bullying into a time- and cost-effective web-based program for middle school students and staff. The four strategies are: “Stealing the show,” “Turning it over,” “Accompanying others,” and “Coaching compassion.”

The main purpose of the formative research was to assess the usability and acceptability of a STAC-T prototype in advance of full-scale development. Other aims included understanding school needs and barriers to program implementation, and assessing differences in usability between middle school staff and students. 

Sixteen participants from three middle schools in rural, low-income communities completed STAC-T usability testing and a qualitative interview. The publication describes the usability testing methods and outcomes of data analyses, including ratings of prototype program satisfaction, acceptability, feasibility, needs, barriers, and recommendations for program adjustments. Overall, school staff and students reported satisfaction with the web-based program. They found it easy to use, acceptable, and feasible. The findings have encouraged the authors to pursue the full-scale development of the STAC-T web-based bullying prevention app for middle schools.

The STAC-T feasibility project was funded by a small business STTR grant to Klein Buendel from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health (MD014943; Dr. Aida Midgett, Principal Investigator). The STAC-T prototype was programmed by Klein Buendel’s Creative Team.

Mothers and Teenage Daughters: HPV Vaccination Information via Social Media

Mothers and Teenage Daughters: HPV Vaccination Information via Social Media

Dr. David Buller, Klein Buendel’s Director of Research, and his coauthors have published results from the Health Chat Project in the online journal, Frontiers in Digital Health. Health Chat was designed as a social media intervention to reduce mothers’ permissiveness toward their teen daughters’ indoor tanning behavior. It also addressed other adolescent health topics, including human papillomavirus vaccination.

“Parents acquire information about human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines online and encounter vaccine-critical content, especially on social media, which may depress vaccine uptake,” according to the authors. To help address vaccine hesitancy and misinformation, the authors employed a Facebook-delivered adolescent health campaign targeting mothers with posts on HPV vaccination. The study examined the relationship between mothers’ comments and reactions to posts about HPV and any change in their self-reports of having their daughters vaccinated.

The online publication describes the study’s hypotheses, social media health intervention, research methods, results, communication strategies, and limitations. The behavioral research was guided by social cognitive theory, transportation theory, and diffusion of innovations theory. In summary, mothers commented both positively and negatively toward HPV vaccine-related posts. Also, vaccinations rates increased from baseline, through 12-month and 18-month follow-up assessments.

This research was funded by a grant and supplement from the National Cancer Institute (CA192652; Dr. David Buller and Dr. Sherry Pagoto, Multiple Principal Investigators). Collaborating authors include Dr. Katie Baker and Dr. Joel Hillhouse from East Tennessee State University; Dr. Kimberly Henry from Colorado State University; Jessica Bibeau from the University of Connecticut; Kelsey Arroyo from the University of Florida; and Dr. Barbara Walkosz and Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel. 

Vacteens: A Web App to Boost HPV Vaccine Uptake

Vacteens: A Web App to Boost HPV Vaccine Uptake

Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Klein Buendel Senior Scientist, and his coauthors published the results of the Vacteens Project in the online journal, Frontiers in Digital Health.

The uptake of HPV vaccine in the United States remains lower than preferred by health authorities, particularly for young adolescents, when immunogenic response to the vaccine is strongest. Potential parental barriers to low vaccine uptake include confusion, uncertainty, and misinformation about HPV vaccine schedule, safety, and effectiveness. Dr. Woodall and his collaborators believe that parental barriers to HPV vaccination may be addressed by digital interventions, such as web apps, that are tailored to their concerns.

The Vacteens Project project tested a web app for educating parents. The study was conducted with 82 parent-adolescent (daughter) pairs recruited from in nine pediatric clinics in New Mexico. It tested whether digital information delivered to parents in a community setting may be an effective way to help reach HPV vaccine uptake goals in the United States. Diffusion of Innovations Theory principles were used to guide the development of the Vacteens/Vacunadolescente mobile app in English and Spanish.

Parents were randomized to receive either the Vacteens/VacunaAdolescente mobile web app or the usual and customary online HPV vaccination pamphlet from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Parents completed surveys at baseline and month 3, and child vaccine records were collected at month 12. Vaccine uptake results from the study found that parents who received the Vacteens/VacunaAdolescente web app were more likely to have their daughters vaccinated than parents in the control condition. Study methods, results, and limitations are detailed in the online publication.

This research was funded by a grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to the University of New Mexico (#1511-33018; Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Principal Investigator). Dr. Woodall’s collaborators include Dr. Greg Zimet from Indiana University, Dr. Alberta Kong, Dr. Lance Chilton, and Dr. Randall Starling from the University of New Mexico, and Dr. David Buller, Jeannyfer Reither, and Dr. Valerie Myers from Klein Buendel.

Smart Choices 4 Teens

Smart Choices 4 Teens

Healthy decision-making by older adolescents and young adults can be fostered by active parental relationships and mutual engagement.

Two Klein Buendel Scientists are co-authors on a paper in the journal JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting looking at healthy decision-making. Dr. Gill Woodall and Dr. David Buller are members of a research team led by Dr. Brenda Miller from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE). The paper, whose lead author is Dr. Beth Bourdeau from the University of California, San Francisco, reports findings from a study designed to test the efficacy of the Healthy Relationships and Sexual Decision-making component of a web-based intervention for older adolescents and their parents, called Smart Choices 4 Teens.

The paper describes the details of the final segment of a randomized controlled trial conducted with 411 families with adolescents aged 16-17 years. Adolescents and parents worked through the web-based, self-paced program together. “Participation in the relationships component increased the frequency of parental sexual communication and increased the number of dating rules after accounting for other significant adolescent characteristics.” The paper reports that “Smart Choices 4 Teens demonstrated efficacy in increasing the frequency of sexual communication between parents and adolescents in the long term.”

The Smart Choices 4 Teens research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA020977; Dr. Brenda Miller, PIRE, Principal Investigator). Other authors on this publication include Dr. Hilary Byrnes and Dr. Joel Grube from PIRE; Dr. Beth Bourdeau from the University of California San Francisco; and Dr. Gill Woodall and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel. Smart Choices 4 Teens was programmed by the Creative Team at Klein Buendel.

Computer-Based Training for Geriatric and End-of-Life Care in Prisons

Computer-Based Training for Geriatric and End-of-Life Care in Prisons

In a recent publication in the Journal of Correctional Health Care, authors from Penn State University, Indiana University, King’s College, and Klein Buendel share insights into the testing of a computer-based training for peer caregivers (PCs) in prisons to care for aged and dying prisoners. 

As the aged and dying incarcerated population increases, so does the demand on corrections health care. In the publication, the research team describes their process of conducting focus groups and performing usability testing with PCs and corrections staff members who ultimately helped identify the priority training topics.  

The focus groups, in consultation with an Expert Advisory Board, led to the creation of three prototype modules: Standard Precautions; Loss and Grief; and Role of the Inmate Caregiver in the Final Hours. Following the focus groups, face-to-face usability testing was conducted with PCs and staff who confirmed the contextual training relevance and feasibility of the computer-based training program. 

The team concluded that the computer-based training, Inmates Care, provides evidence to complement nurse-led training within the corrections setting with a standardized e-training package. A full description of the methods, results, discussion, strength and limitations, and conclusions can be found in the publication.  

This research was funded by a Phase I grant from the National Institute on Aging (AG057239). The project was led by Principal Investigator Dr. Susan Loeb from Penn State University and Co-Investigator Dr. Valerie Myers from Klein Buendel. Additional authors include Dr. Erin Kitt-Lewis from Penn State University, Tiffany Jerrod from Klein Buendel, Dr. Rachel Wion from Indiana University, and Dr. Julie Murphy from King’s College. 

Results of a social media campaign to prevent indoor tanning by teens

Results of a social media campaign to prevent indoor tanning by teens

Results of the Health Chat social media intervention to reduce mothers’ permissiveness toward their teen daughters’ indoor tanning (IT) behavior have been published in Preventive Medicine Reports.

During the intervention, participating mothers received an adolescent health social media campaign in Facebook private groups. Half of the mothers were in a group in which the health campaign included posts about preventing IT (intervention) and the other half, included posts on preventing prescription drug misuse (control). Health Chat was designed by the research team based on an integrated conceptual framework of social cognitive theory, transportation theory, and diffusion of innovations theory.

Given mothers’ high use of social media, the research team, led by Klein Buendel Director of Research, Dr. David Buller, and Dr. Sherry Pagoto from the University of Connecticut, evaluated a social media campaign aimed at mothers to prevent IT by their daughters in a randomized trial that tested two hypotheses:

H1: The social media campaign on IT will significantly reduce (a) mother’s permissiveness regarding their daughter’s IT, (b) their daughter’s perception of maternal permissiveness toward IT, and (c) both mother’s and daughter’s IT relative to the control condition.

H2: A statistically significantly greater number of mothers will support a ban on IT for minors in the intervention group compared to the control condition.

Study methods, data, and results are detailed in the Preventive Medicine Reports publication and indicate that a social media campaign may be an effective strategy for convincing mothers to withhold permission for IT from their teen daughters, in an effort to reduce risk for skin cancer.

This research was funded by a grant and supplement from the National Cancer Institute (CA192652; Dr. David Buller and Dr. Sherry Pagoto, Multiple Principal Investigators). Collaborating authors include Dr. Katie Baker and Dr. Joel Hillhouse from East Tennessee State University; Dr. Kimberly Henry from Colorado State University; Jessica Bibeau from the University of Connecticut; and Dr. Barbara Walkosz and Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel. 

Adopting Policy to Eliminate Indoor Tanning

Adopting Policy to Eliminate Indoor Tanning

Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel joined two other behavioral scientists to publish a Viewpoint in JAMA Dermatology in April calling on dermatologists and others to support legislative efforts and other policies in their local areas to help dramatically curtail indoor tanning in the United States. The other two authors were Dr. Carolyn Heckman from the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Dr. Jerod Stapleton from the University of Kentucky.

The Viewpoint describes policy and regulation as “among the most effective strategies for influencing health behaviors and public health.” Indoor tanning restrictions in multiple states are helping to reduce skin cancer incidence and death.  Achieving continued and additional restrictions will require concerted research, advocacy, and policy efforts to overcome remaining barriers to new laws and to close lingering gaps in existing laws.

In their editorial, the authors put out a Call to Action to dermatologists to increase their awareness of local indoor tanning laws, or lack thereof, and to educate their patients, legislators, school boards, local business groups, and others about the dangers of indoor tanning and the need for more restricted use, especially by minors.

The Viewpoint was published online in JAMA Dermatology on April 28, 2021.

Online Responsible Vendor Training in Recreational Marijuana Stores

Online Responsible Vendor Training in Recreational Marijuana Stores

A collaborative research team with scientists and staff from Klein Buendel, the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley, California, and the University of Alabama, Birmingham recently published the results from a randomized trial testing an online responsible vendor training program in recreational marijuana stores in the United States. The team was led by Dr. David Buller, Director of Research, and the results were published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (JSAD).

The responsible marijuana vendor (RMV) training program implemented in the study was Train To Tend®. Train To Tend is an interactive, media-rich, online, comprehensive RMV program created by Klein Buendel. It’s five modules address state laws and regulations, preventing sales to minors, health effects of marijuana, customer service, and rules of the trade. Train To Tend provides state-approved instruction and certification of cannabis sellers. 

In the JSAD publication, the authors detail the measures, methods, analyses, and results of the randomized trial to evaluate the impact of the RMV training program on refusing sales to buyers without proper identification. The trial was conducted with 175 recreational marijuana stores in Colorado and Washington State using a pseudo-underage patron procedure. The results showed that online RMV training could increase sellers’ refusal of potential buyers at entrance to the store who looked youthful and did not provide state-approved identification.

As more states legalize recreational marijuana sales, responsible vendor training in the safe sale of cannabis products can become more essential to helping to ensure youth and community safety.

This research was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health (DA038933; Dr. David Buller, Principal Investigator). Co-authors on the publication include Dr. Robert Saltz from the Prevention Research Center in California; Dr. Gary Cutter from the University of Alabama, Birmingham; and Dr. W. Gill Woodall, Andrew Grayson, Mary Klein Buller, Sierra Svendsen, and Xia (Lucia) Liu from Klein Buendel.

Association of Occupational Sun Safety Policy with Employee Practices

Association of Occupational Sun Safety Policy with Employee Practices

Occupational sun protection policies are fundamental for the increased implementation of employee sun safety practices. Investigators and staff from Klein Buendel, led by Dr. David Buller, Director of Research, recently published baseline results from a large-scale workplace sun safety policy project in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

In the publication, the authors report on the coding and evaluation of written safety policies from 21 state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) enrolled in a randomized trial testing methods for scaling-up an occupational sun safety intervention. A total of 1,113 managers who supervised people who work outdoors reported on workplace and employee sun safety practices in a baseline survey.

Analysis showed that 20 of the state DOTs had a policy with at least one sun protection component (e.g., sunscreen, eye protection, use of shade). Sun safety training was increased at workplaces with written sun safety policy and unwritten standard operating procedures on sun protection. Sun safety actions were highest where there was a written sun safety policy and unwritten standard operating procedures on workplace sun protection. The measures, methods, analyses, results, conclusions, and limitations of the baseline manager survey are detailed in the publication.

This research was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (CA210259; Dr. David Buller, Principal Investigator). Coauthors include Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Savanna Olivas, Rachel Eye, Xia Liu, Alishia Kinsey, Mary Buller, and Andrew Grayson from Klein Buendel.

Scented Lotions and Adverse Tattoo Reactions

Scented Lotions and Adverse Tattoo Reactions

Klein Buendel Senior Scientist, Dr. Barbara Walkosz, is a co-author on a recent publication in the Dermatology Online Journal. In the manuscript, Dr. Walkosz and her co-authors discuss how scented lotions may cause scaring, premature aging, and fading of tattoos.

Tattoo aftercare instructions are often provided to clients after receiving a tattoo. However, aftercare instructions can vary by studio and are often not universal or supported by research. The authors examine a case study of a man with no pre-existing skin conditions, family history, allergies, or other factors, who developed a rash on his new tattoo. Upon questioning, it was discovered that the client had applied a scented lotion to the new tattoo, at which point he began to experience problems with scabbing and fading tattoo ink.

The authors provide a case discussion about how the use of a scented lotion may have caused a negative, adverse reaction to the new tattoo and discuss the importance of treating a new tattoo as flesh wound. The full discussion and conclusion can be found in the publication.

This research team was funded by a grant and supplement from the National Cancer Institute (CA206569; Dr. Barbara Walkosz and Dr. Robert Dellavalle, Multiple Principal Investigators). Authors also include, Dr. Adrian Pona from the Department of Dermatology at University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Department of Internal Medicine at the Vidant Medical Center of East Carolina University; Dr. Cristian Gonzalez from the Department of Dermatology at University of Colorado School of Medicine; and Dr. Robert Dellavalle from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center Dermatology Service.