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Month: May 2022

Promoting Social Distancing and COVID-19 Vaccine Intentions

Promoting Social Distancing and COVID-19 Vaccine Intentions

Dr. David Buller, Klein Buendel’s Director of Research, presented findings from a supplemental campaign to the Health Chat social media intervention for mothers and their teenage daughters at the 72nd Annual Conference of the International Communication Association in Paris, France, May 26-30, 2022.

Dr. David Buller Presenting at ICA

The COVID-19 pandemic is the most severe public health crisis in the past 100 years. To control the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised Americans to practice non-pharmaceutical interventions (social distancing) and federal and state governments mounted an unprecedented biomedical endeavor to develop and distribute vaccines and boosters.

Social media is playing a large role in disseminating information on the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is also being used to spread misinformation that affects prevention measures such as social distancing and vaccine acceptance.

A sample of 303 mothers of teen daughters were enrolled in a 3 (information source) x 4 (assessment period) randomized factorial trial from January to March 2021 to evaluate effects of information sources in a social media campaign addressing non-pharmaceutical interventions (social distancing), COVID-19 vaccinations, media literacy, and mother-daughter communication about COVID-19. Mothers received the 9-week campaign in one of three Facebook private groups in which posts contained information and links to government agencies, near-peer parents, or news media.

Mothers reported social distancing behavior and COVID-19 vaccine intentions for self and daughter in baseline and 3-, 6-, and 9-weeks post-randomization assessments.

In intent-to-treat analyses, social distancing behavior by mothers and daughters decreased over time but vaccine intentions increased. The decrease in social distancing by daughters was greater in the near-peer source group and lesser in the government source group. Higher perceived credibility of assigned information source increased social distancing and vaccine intentions. Decreasing case counts, relaxation of government restrictions, and vaccine distribution during the study may explain the decreased social distancing and increased vaccine intentions.

Campaign planners may be more effective when selecting information sources that audiences consider credible when promoting COVID-19 prevention as no source was more credible in general.

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). Authors on this presentation include Dr. Sherry Pagoto, Joseph Divito, Christie Idiong, and Haley Troy from the University of Connecticut; Dr. Kim Henry from Colorado State University; Dr. Katie Baker and Dr. Joel Hillhouse from East Tennessee State University; and Dr. David Buller, Dr. Barbara Walkosz, Dr. Gill Woodall, Julia Berteletti, and Alishia Kinsey from Klein Buendel.

Just Care for Dementia in Prisons

Just Care for Dementia in Prisons

Prison systems in the United States face sharply increased demands in caring for older people living in prisons. Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRD) are age-related diseases. Prison health, social, and security staff perceive they lack the skills and knowledge essential for identifying dementia and supporting people who are incarcerated and living with ADRDs.

A research team from Klein Buendel and The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) are launching a new research project to address ADRD care in prisons. The project is entitled “Computer-based Learning to Enhance ADRD Care in Prison: Just Care for Dementia.” The effort is being led by Dr. Susan Loeb from the Penn State College of Nursing and is being funded by a Phase I STTR grant to Klein Buendel from the National Institute on Aging (AG078103; Dr. Susan Loeb, Principal Investigator).

The mission of Corrections is to provide care, custody, and control for incarcerated individuals. Prisons are required by law to provide adequate care for growing numbers of older people who are incarcerated—a group who are disproportionately at risk for ADRD. This Phase I feasibility project focuses on research and development of highly interactive computer-based learning modules, for prison staff and people who are incarcerated and serving as peer caregivers to promote an integrated systems approach for enhancing the care of people with ADRD in prison.

The project will transform best practices in ADRD care into media-rich, highly interactive, computer-based educational module prototypes and conduct in-person usability testing of the learning module prototypes with corrections staff and peer caregivers to evaluate the user interface, ease of use, and perceived barriers in order to refine the product and optimize implementation in prison settings.

Dr. Loeb is a Professor in the College of Nursing and the Department of Medicine at Penn State University. Her research collaborators include: Dr. Donna Fick, a Professor in the College of Nursing and the Director of the Center for Geriatric Nursing at Penn State University; and Dr. Barbara Walkosz, a Senior Scientist at Klein Buendel. The ADRD modules will be programmed by Klein Buendel’s Creative Team.

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Derek Griffith

Collaborator Spotlight:
Dr. Derek Griffith

Dr. Derek Griffith is a Founding Co-Director of the Racial Justice Institute, the Founder and Director of the Center for Men’s Health Equity, a Professor of Health Systems Administration and Oncology, and a Member of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He earned his Ph.D. from DePaul University in 2002 and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in 2004.

Dr. Griffith’s research focuses on strategies to improve African American men’s health, such as precision lifestyle medicine interventions to prevent and control obesity and other chronic diseases. Specifically, he studies the “links between notions of masculinity or manhood and health among men of color; the role of stress and coping processes in men’s health disparities; and how gender intersects with race, ethnicity, SES and other variables to shape men’s physical and mental health behavior and health outcomes.” 

In a current research project, Dr. Griffith is a Co-Investigator with Dr. Robert Newton from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana and Dr. David Buller from Klein Buendel on a study to develop and evaluate a smartphone app to increase and maintain physical activity in African American. The app is called FitBrothers and will include personalization, chronic disease health information, dietary information, competition activities, and incentives to promote and sustain physical activity. The study is being funded by a Small Business Technology Transfer grant to Klein Buendel from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (MD014947; Dr. Robert Newton and Dr. David Buller, Multiple Principal Investigators).

Dr. Griffith has received research grants as the Principal Investigator from the American Cancer Society, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and several institutes within the National Institutes of Health. He has authored over 140 peer-reviewed manuscripts and serves on the editorial boards of several public health and men’s health journals.

Dr. Griffith has received multiple distinguished awards and honors throughout his career, including:

  • The Tom Bruce Award from the Community-Based Public Health Caucus of the American Public Health Association in recognition of his research on eliminating health disparities that vary by race, ethnicity and gender;
  • Recognition as a Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior for his significant contributions to the field of health behavior research; and
  • Designation as one of 1,000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America by the Cell Mentor’s Community of Scholars.