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Month: January 2022

Persisting Effects of the Health Chat Program

Persisting Effects of the Health Chat Program

The use of indoor tanning facilities by minors is a public health concern. In an effort to reduce risk for skin cancer, the Health Chat social media intervention was launched by Klein Buendel researchers and their colleagues to reduce mothers’ permissiveness toward their teenage daughters’ indoor tanning behavior.

For the Health Chat study, mothers with daughters aged 14-17 were recruited in 34 states that do not ban indoor tanning by minors. 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 indoor tanning (intervention) and the other half, included posts on preventing prescription drug misuse (control). Follow-up surveys with mothers at 12 months and 18 months measured indoor tanning permissiveness, attitudes, intentions, communication, behavior, and support for state indoor tanning bans.

Analysis of the 18-month follow-up data from the Health Chat social media intervention was e-published recently in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The research was led by Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel and Dr. Sherry Pagoto from the University of Connecticut.

The methods and results of this randomized trial are detailed in the publication. Data analysis showed that at 18 months after the intervention, mothers in the intervention group were less permissive of indoor tanning by daughters and had greater self-efficacy to refuse daughter’s indoor tanning requests than mothers in the control group. Intervention-group mothers also had lower intentions to indoor tan themselves and were more supportive of bans on indoor tanning by minors than control-group mothers. In addition, daughters in the intervention group expressed less positive attitudes toward indoor tanning than daughters in the control group.

In summary, the Health Chat social media intervention may have influenced mothers’ decisions to withhold permission for their daughters to indoor tan for six months after the end of the program. Mothers’ support for bans on indoor tanning by minors also appears to have persisted.

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, Julia Berteletti and Alishia Kinsey from Klein Buendel. 

ezPreemie Project

ezPreemie Project

Today, 80-90% of very preterm infants survive. However, preterm birth alters the development of the prefrontal cortex, the brain region heavily involved in behavior regulation and inhibition. This places children born very preterm at high risk for developmental delays and behavioral problems.

Early prevention and intervention can interrupt the development of problem behaviors, reduce active problem behaviors and improve functioning for children and families. Behavioral parent training (BPT) is a gold standard for prevention and treatment of child behavior problems. BPT teaches child management skills and positive parenting strategies. Little is known about the use and effects of BPT programs for former very preterm infants with their unique medical, developmental, and psychological risk profiles.

A research team from Ohio State University, Rush University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Klein Buendel is launching a 5-year research project to develop and evaluate a technology-based, widely accessible, and effective form of BPT delivery to address the unmet and unique needs of parents of very preterm children. The app will be tested alone and in combination with specialized coaching. The project is called “Parent Training for Parents of Toddlers Born Very Premature.” It is being led by Dr. Susie Breitenstein from Ohio State University (OSU) and Dr. Michele Greene from Rush University (Multiple Principal Investigators). The project is funded by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (HD104072).

The research project will design and develop a web-based app, similar to one developed previously by Dr. Breitenstein and her team, called ezParent. ezParent was designed for parents of children ages 2-6 years. It provides behavioral training through brief videos, interactivity, reflection questions, and assessments to parents of young children. The new iteration of ezParent, ezPreemie, will assess the independent and combined effects of ezParent and coaching calls on parent and child outcomes in families with very preterm infants.

Dr. Breitenstein, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN, is an Associate Professor, Assistant Dean for Research and Innovation, and Senior Director, Community Outreach and Engagement & CHW Training Program in the OSU College of Nursing. Dr. Michelle Greene is an Associate Professor and Director of the Psychology Section in the Department of Pediatrics at Rush Medical College. Research Co-investigators include Dr. Michael Schoeny and Dr. Kousiki Patra from Rush University, Dr. Sarah Keim and Dr. Mary Lauren Neel from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Ms. Julia Berteletti from Klein Buendel. The ezPreemie app will be engineered by Klein Buendel’s Creative Team.