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Month: August 2021

Workplace Sun Safety Training Goes All-Virtual

Workplace Sun Safety Training Goes All-Virtual

People who work outdoors are exposed to high levels of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) over a lifetime that can substantially increase their risk for developing skin cancer. Workplaces can be an effective channel for UV safety policy and training for employees in order to reduce their UV over-exposure and risk for skin cancer.

Klein Buendel researchers and their collaborators have been developing, evaluating, and refining comprehensive approaches to occupational sun protection for two decades. Now, the experienced research team is launching a new project funded by the National Cancer Institute to develop and evaluate a mechanism for distributing an established sun protection program virtually to diverse workplaces in the United States. The virtual environment will be comprised of a database, content management (interactive toolbox), and media platform (trackable training) to tailor the sun safety program to management’s readiness to innovate on sun safety based on Diffusion of Innovations Theory. In addition, the virtual platform will better integrate sun safety training by improving appropriateness for Hispanic and African American workers and conforming with the latest learning management systems technologies.

The Fast-Track SBIR project (CA257778) will complete a 9-month Phase I feasibility study and a 2-year Phase II effectiveness trial through employers across the country. The primary hypothesis of the study is that compared to employers in a minimal information control group, employers assigned to receive SSW Works will have employees that practice more sun protection at posttest. The research will be led by Mary Klein Buller, Principal Investigator. Co-Investigators include Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Julia Berteletti, and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel. The virtual platform will be engineered by Klein Buendel’s Creative Team.

The outdoor workforce in the United States is large and, in many places, at very high risk for skin cancer. Improving sun safety will help reduce health care costs and save lives. Thus, the research will have high impact and potential for commercial adoption, two objectives of SBIR projects.

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.

WayToServe Plus

WayToServe Plus

Among effective interventions to reduce driving while intoxicated (DWI) by alcohol, Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training of alcohol servers has shown promise. RBS training is currently required or incentivized by 36 states and California will require it starting in 2022.

Klein Buendel and its research collaborators from the University of New Mexico and the Pacific  Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) have shown that an online RBS training, named WayToServe®, was effective in two randomized research trials. WayToServe is currently commercially available in multiple states in English and Spanish.

Now, researchers from Klein Buendel and PIRE are launching a new research project funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA029364) to develop and test an in-service professional development component for alcohol servers trained by WayToServe to enhance its effectiveness. It is intended to motivate servers to implement the RBS skills in the face of common barriers, provide support for RBS actions from a “community” of alcohol servers, and prevent natural degradation of skills over time. The in-service component – WayToServe Plus – will be delivered through the WayToServe Facebook page that currently is followed by over 20,000 alcohol servers trained by WayToServe.

The Fast-Track SBIR project will complete a 12-month Phase I feasibility study and a 2-year Phase II effectiveness trial in New Mexico and Washington State. The primary outcome will be the effect of WayToServe Plus on refusal of sales to pseudo-intoxicated patrons. The research will be led by Dr. David Buller and Dr. Gill Woodall (Multiple Principal Investigators) from Klein Buendel, and Dr. Robert Saltz from PIRE.

This research is innovative as WayToServe Plus will be the first continuous in-service professional development for RBS training and will increase the WayToServe training’s effectiveness and commercial advantage with alcohol servers and corporate clients.