Publications by authors named "Robert J McDermott"

60 Publications

Rebranding School Health: The Power of Education for Health Literacy.

J Sch Health 2021 08 21;91(8):670-676. Epub 2021 Jun 21.

Professor Emeritus of Public Health, School of Human Sciences, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL, 62901., USA.

Background: The relationship between health and learning generally goes without question in developed countries, and has a philosophic, economic, and statutory basis. Historically, school health and school health education have evolved in response to addressing the public health needs of the times. Health literacy skills are more important now than ever. Living in an ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic reminds us of the vital role of being in control of our health, wherein health literacy plays a "life or death" role in our daily lives.

Methods: Considering the evolution of school health education, we examine the significance of health literacy in our society and schools in contemporary times.

Results: We must take a critical look at a place for education for health literacy and why it should be an innovative path in adaptive, reimagined, and revitalized schools.

Conclusions: It is time to rebrand school health in general, and school health education specifically. Improved health literacy is an asset leading to greater opportunities for health and life-long learning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.13056DOI Listing
August 2021

What's in a Name? Re-Branding and Re-Framing School Health Education to School Boards and Legislators as Education for Health Literacy-A Commentary.

J Sch Health 2021 Aug 1;91(8):595-598. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Associate Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Health Programs, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI, 49008., USA.

Background: Branding involves "labeling" (for identification) and "meaning" (for understanding) to a product, service, person, idea, or other entity. We are familiar with "brands" of soft drinks, automobiles, mobile phones, soups, cigarettes, and sports teams, and some brands have greater "market share" than others.

Methods: In this commentary, we review some of the ways that school health has been branded over the past 50+ years.

Results: The brand we know as school health education has failed to compete successfully with other school subject areas (eg, the so-called STEM subjects) for the attention of school board members, administrators, legislators, and other policymakers. Perhaps more importantly, school health education advocates have lost the market share game to subject areas that school board members and legislators see as ones with better return on investment, at least politically speaking. In short, we have failed to make the sale.

Conclusion: An alternative is to re-brand and re-frame school health education as education for health literacy. Literacy as a brand commands the attention of education gatekeepers, and may be more strongly related conceptually to what gatekeepers see as education-centric programs deserving of funding. Adopting a marketing mindset may elevate education for health literacy to a place where key stakeholders are more likely to "purchase" it as a relevant school "product."
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.13049DOI Listing
August 2021

Predicted prevalence of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) by periodontitis status and HPV vaccination status.

J Public Health Dent 2020 06 28;80(2):132-139. Epub 2020 Jan 28.

Health Education, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA.

Objectives: The purpose of the present study was to examine differences in oral human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence among adults based on HPV vaccination status and periodontitis status.

Methods: Data from 2011 to 2012 and 2013 to2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (n = 822) were retrieved in order to predict the prevalence of oral HPV in 24 separate demographic groups (age by sex by race) based on the following characteristics: HPV vaccination status and periodontitis status. A multiple logistic regression model, controlling for gender, age, race, smoking behavior, alcohol consumption, and sexual partners, was calculated in order to generate prevalence estimates.

Results: Median predicted oral HPV prevalence rates per 1,000 in 2011-2012 were highest among nonvaccinated individuals with periodontitis [median ( ) = 31.62, interquartile range (IQR) = 102.97], followed by nonvaccinated individuals without periodontitis ( = 24.63, IQR = 81.84), vaccinated individuals with periodontitis ( = 18.40, IQR = 62.27), and vaccinated individuals without periodontitis ( = 14.29, IQR = 48.96). Median predicted oral HPV prevalence rates per 1,000 in 2013-2014 were highest among nonvaccinated individuals with periodontitis ( = 9.50, IQR = 33.02), followed by nonvaccinated individuals without periodontitis ( = 7.37, IQR = 25.76), vaccinated individuals with periodontitis ( = 5.48, IQR = 19.27), and vaccinated individuals without periodontitis ( = 4.25, IQR = 14.98).

Conclusions: Interventions that integrate primary care and dental care are needed, given increased risk for oral HPV among unvaccinated individuals with periodontitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jphd.12357DOI Listing
June 2020

Prevalence of childhood asthma in US military and non-military families: Comparisons by rural-urban residence and geographic region.

Chronic Illn 2020 12 18;16(4):296-306. Epub 2018 Oct 18.

Department of Nursing, University of Tampa, Tampa, FL, USA.

Objective: We sought to determine variables associated with asthma among children from military and non-military families.

Methods: We performed secondary data analysis on the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Parents with and without military experience ( = 61,079) were asked whether a child and . We used two multiple logistic regression models to determine the influence of rurality and geographic region on "ever" and "current" asthma in children of military and non-military families, while controlling for socio-demographic and behavioral variables.

Results: Overall childhood asthma prevalence for children in military families was lower than non-military families (ever, 9.7% vs. 12.9%; currently, 6.2% vs. 8.2%) in 2016. However, multiple logistic regression showed variation in "ever" and "current" asthma among children of military and non-military families by rurality and race.

Discussion: Developers of public health asthma interventions should consider targeting African-American children of military families living in urban areas. This population is approximately twice as likely to have asthma as Caucasian children of non-military families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1742395318807546DOI Listing
December 2020

Waterpipe tobacco smoking impact on public health: implications for policy.

Risk Manag Healthc Policy 2015 27;8:121-9. Epub 2015 Aug 27.

Department of Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA.

Background: Given the increasing evidence of its negative health effects, including contributions to both infectious and chronic diseases, waterpipe tobacco smoking raises public health concerns beyond even those presented by traditional smoking.

Methods: Identification of Clean Indoor Air Acts (CIAAs) from each of the 50 United States and District of Columbia were retrieved and examined for inclusion of regulatory measures where waterpipe tobacco smoking is concerned. Several instances of exemption to current CIAAs policies were identified. The cumulative policy lens is presented in this study.

Results: States vary in their inclusion of explicit wording regarding CIAAs to the point where waterpipe tobacco smoking, unlike traditional smoking products, is excluded from some legislation, thereby limiting authorities' ability to carry out enforcement.

Conclusion: Consistent, comprehensive, and unambiguous legislative language is necessary to prevent establishments where waterpipe tobacco smoking occurs from skirting legislation and other forms of regulatory control. Stricter laws are needed due to the increasing negative health impact on both the smoker and the bystander. Actions at both the federal and state levels may be needed to control health risks, particularly among youth and young adult populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S68267DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4556249PMC
September 2015

Contributing to the professional literature must be a 2-way street.

J Sch Health 2015 Apr;85(4):211-3

Journal of School Health.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.12247DOI Listing
April 2015

Improving eye safety in citrus harvest crews through the acceptance of personal protective equipment, community-based participatory research, social marketing, and community health workers.

J Agromedicine 2014 ;19(2):107-16

a J. Antonio Tovar-Aguilar, Carol A. Bryant, and Robert J. McDermott are affiliated with the Florida Prevention Research Center , University of South Florida College of Public Health , Tampa , Florida , USA .

For the last 10 years, the Partnership for Citrus Workers Health (PCWH) has been an evidence-based intervention program that promotes the adoption of protective eye safety equipment among Spanish-speaking farmworkers of Florida. At the root of this program is the systematic use of community-based preventive marketing (CBPM) and the training of community health workers (CHWs) among citrus harvester using popular education. CBPM is a model that combines the organizational system of community-based participatory research (CBPR) and the strategies of social marketing. This particular program relied on formative research data using a mixed-methods approach and a multilevel stakeholder analysis that allowed for rapid dissemination, effective increase of personal protective equipment (PPE) usage, and a subsequent impact on adoptive workers and companies. Focus groups, face-to-face interviews, surveys, participant observation, Greco-Latin square, and quasi-experimental tests were implemented. A 20-hour popular education training produced CHWs that translated results of the formative research to potential adopters and also provided first aid skills for eye injuries. Reduction of injuries is not limited to the use of safety glasses, but also to the adoption of timely intervention and regular eye hygiene. Limitations include adoption in only large companies, rapid decline of eye safety glasses without consistent intervention, technological limitations of glasses, and thorough cost-benefit analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1059924X.2014.884397DOI Listing
November 2015

What proportion of preschool-aged children consume sweetened beverages?

J Sch Health 2014 Mar;84(3):185-94

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Science, University of Alabama, PO Box 870311,Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0311.

Background: Obesity affects nearly 17% of US children and youth 2-19 years old and 10% of infants and toddlers under the age of 2 years. One strategy for addressing obesity is to discourage sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption. Compared with their older school-aged counterparts, children ≤ 5 years depend largely on parents for the purchase and serving of SSBs. Therefore, recognizing parental factors associated with children's intake of SSBs is important.

Methods: This study used cross-sectional data from parents of children ≤ 5 years old to examine SSB consumption and associated factors. Elements of the Health Belief Model and Theory of Reasoned Action facilitated data analysis and interpretation.

Results: The most consistent predictor of SSB intake was child age. Nearly 94% of children aged 3-5 years consumed sweetened milk products, 88% consumed fruity drinks, 63% consumed sodas, and 56% consumed sports drinks and sweet tea. Adjusting for all other factors, the only parental psychosocial factor associated with SSB intake was self-efficacy (predicting fruity drinks consumption).

Conclusions: More children drink SSBs as they get older. Interventions designed to prevent SSB consumption should occur early, before children reach preschool age. Additional study of parental factors influencing SSB intake in early childhood is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.12136DOI Listing
March 2014

Adolescent asthma self-management: patient and parent-caregiver perspectives on using social media to improve care.

J Sch Health 2013 Dec;83(12):921-30

Graduate Research Associate, Florida Prevention Research Center & Social Marketing Group, University of South Florida College of Public Health, 13201 Bruce B Downs Blvd., MDC056, Tampa, FL 33612.

Background: Self-management of asthma can now leverage new media technologies. To optimize implementation they must employ a consumer-oriented developmental approach. This study explored benefits of and barriers to improved asthma self-management and identified key elements for the development of a digital media tool to enhance asthma control.

Methods: Between August 2010 and January 2011, 18 teens with asthma and 18 parent-caregivers participated in semistructured in-depth interviews to identify mechanisms for improving asthma self-management and propose characteristics for developing a digital media tool to aid such efforts.

Results: Teens and caregivers enumerated physician-recommended strategies for asthma management as well as currently employed strategies. Both groups thought of a potential digital media solution as positive, but indicated specific design requirements for such a solution to have utility. Whereas most participants perceived mobile platforms to be viable modes to improve asthma self-management, interest in having social networking capabilities was mixed.

Conclusions: A digital media product capable of tracking conditions, triggers, and related asthma activities can be a core element of improved asthma control for youth. Improved asthma control will help decrease school absenteeism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.12111DOI Listing
December 2013

Risk factors associated with increased depressive symptoms among Latinas diagnosed with breast cancer within 5 years of survivorship.

Psychooncology 2013 Dec 3;22(12):2779-88. Epub 2013 Sep 3.

Department of Child and Family Studies, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA.

Background: Co-occurring depression in women with cancer can complicate cancer treatment, lead to poor treatment adherence for both conditions, and decrease survival if left untreated. The purpose of this study was to explore risk factors for depression among Latina breast cancer survivors.

Methods: A closed-ended questionnaire was administered by telephone to 68 Latinas diagnosed with breast cancer within the past 5 years. Depression symptoms were measured using the Patient Health Questionaire-9 with the Endicott substitutive criteria applied. The Cognitive Appraisal Health Scale and the Brief COPE were used to measure appraisal and coping. Descriptive statistics, bivariate and multiple linear regression analyses were completed.

Results: Approximately 45.6% of women reported depressive symptoms. Multivariate analyses showed that a cognitive appraisal variable (decreased challenge or the potential to overcome), coping variables (increased acceptance, less positive reframing, less active coping, less use of emotional support, substance use and more self-blame), poor body image, less family and peer support to be significantly associated with an increased risk for depression. Intrapersonal variables accounted for the greatest explained variance (69%).

Conclusions: This study identified several risk factors for depression. Study findings highlight the need for intervention programs to help women normalize emotions and thoughts related to cancer and its treatments, and to improve their cognitive abilities to overcome, accept, and positively reframe cancer and other difficult situations women face throughout the cancer continuum. The importance of family and peer support to improve depressive symptoms was also evident.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pon.3357DOI Listing
December 2013

Antecedents of university students' hookah smoking intention.

Am J Health Behav 2013 Sep;37(5):599-609

University of Tampa, Tampa, FL, USA.

Objectives: To examine antecedents of university students' intention to smoke hookah using the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) as a conceptual framework.

Methods: We sampled students at a US university using 3 strategies: intercept interviews (N = 62) with hookah smokers and nonsmokers; 3 focus groups (smokers only N = 21); and online survey (N = 369). We evaluated TRA constructs regarding intention to smoke hookah and used factor analysis to identify antecedent domains concerning attitudes toward hookah smoking.

Results: Three domains emerged: benefits, negative health effects, meeting expectations. Attitudes toward hookah smoking were more positively correlated with intention than was subjective norm.

Conclusions: Benefits and attitudes were strong determinants of future intention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/AJHB.37.5.3DOI Listing
September 2013

VERB™ Summer Scorecard: increasing tween girls' vigorous physical activity.

J Sch Health 2013 Mar;83(3):164-70

Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, PO Box 8015, Statesboro, GA 30460, USA.

Objective: We assessed changes in the frequency of self-reported physical activity (PA) among tween girls exposed and not exposed to the VERB™ Summer Scorecard (VSS) intervention in Lexington, Kentucky, during 2004, 2006, and 2007.

Methods: Girls who reported 0-1 day per week of PA were classified as having little or no PA. Girls who reported 2-3 days of PA were classified as low PA performers; 4-5 days of PA were labeled as moderate performers; and 6-7 days of PA were identified as high performers. Logit regression analysis of survey data from girls identified trends in PA frequency across time.

Results: In 2004, participant girls were more likely than girls unfamiliar with VSS (reference group girls) to report high frequency of PA (OR = 1.44, CI = 1.18, 1.70). In 2006, participants were statistically less likely than reference group girls to report low frequency of PA (OR = 1.75, CI = 1.33, 2.21). In 2007, VSS participants were consistently more likely to report moderate frequency (OR = 1.56, CI = 1.35, 1.77) and high frequency of PA (OR = 1.44, CI = 1.24, 1.64) than reference group girls.

Conclusion: An innovative, community-driven intervention demonstrated promise for increasing PA among tween girls. VSS may have transportability to other communities to help reverse the secular trend of declining PA for this population segment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.12012DOI Listing
March 2013

A modified obesity proneness model predicts adolescent weight concerns and inability to self-regulate eating.

J Sch Health 2012 Nov;82(12):560-71

Department of Health Science, University of Alabama, Box 870311, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0311, USA.

Background: The prevalence of obesity among high school students has risen in recent decades. Many high school students report trying to lose weight and some engage in disordered eating to do so. The obesity proneness model suggests that parents may influence their offspring's development of disordered eating. This study examined the viability of a modified obesity proneness model in a high school population.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey data from a random cluster sample of 1533 students in grades 9-12 from a Florida school district were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Variables included adolescents' weight concerns; inability to self-regulate eating; and perceptions about maternal comments about adolescents' weight, restrictive feeding practices, and maternal weight-related concern and values.

Results: All the model's originally proposed relationships were statistically significant, for example perceived maternal weight comments were associated with adolescents' weight concerns (β = 0.64; p < .0001), and perceived maternal restrictive feeding practices were associated with adolescents' inability to self-regulate eating (β = 0.22; p < .001).

Conclusion: Some points of intervention should be subjected to empirical study. These interventions should give mothers guidance about appropriate feeding practices and discourage mothers from making weight-related comments to their offspring. Together, as 1 component of a multilevel intervention, these behaviors may help prevent disordered eating and obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2012.00737.xDOI Listing
November 2012

The better model to predict and improve pediatric health care quality: performance or importance-performance?

Health Care Manage Rev 2013 Oct-Dec;38(4):317-24

Rebecca M. Olsen, PhD, is Associate Professor of Public Health, Health Science and Human Performance, College of Natural and Health Sciences, University of Tampa, Florida. E-mail: Carol A. Bryant, PhD, is Distinguished USF Health Professor in Community and Family Health, Co-Director, Florida Prevention Research Center, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa. Robert J. McDermott, PhD, is Professor of Health Education and Public Health, Co-Director, Florida Prevention Research Center, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa. David Ortinau, PhD, is Professor of Marketing, College of Business Administration, University of South Florida, Tampa.

Background: The perpetual search for ways to improve pediatric health care quality has resulted in a multitude of assessments and strategies; however, there is little research evidence as to their conditions for maximum effectiveness. A major reason for the lack of evaluation research and successful quality improvement initiatives is the methodological challenge of measuring quality from the parent perspective.

Purpose: Comparison of performance-only and importance-performance models was done to determine the better predictor of pediatric health care quality and more successful method for improving the quality of care provided to children.

Approach: Fourteen pediatric health care centers serving approximately 250,000 patients in 70,000 households in three West Central Florida counties were studied. A cross-sectional design was used to determine the importance and performance of 50 pediatric health care attributes and four global assessments of pediatric health care quality. Exploratory factor analysis revealed five dimensions of care (physician care, access, customer service, timeliness of services, and health care facility). Hierarchical multiple regression compared the performance-only and the importance-performance models. In-depth interviews, participant observations, and a direct cognitive structural analysis identified 50 health care attributes included in a mailed survey to parents(n = 1,030). The tailored design method guided survey development and data collection.

Findings: The importance-performance multiplicative additive model was a better predictor of pediatric health care quality.

Practice Implications: Attribute importance moderates performance and quality, making the importance-performance model superior for measuring and providing a deeper understanding of pediatric health care quality and a better method for improving the quality of care provided to children. Regardless of attribute performance, if the level of attribute importance is not taken into consideration, health care organizations may spend valuable resources targeting the wrong areas for improvement. Consequently, this finding aids in health care quality research and policy decisions on organizational improvement strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HMR.0b013e31826119c3DOI Listing
May 2014

Social marketing: an underutilized tool for promoting adolescent health.

Adolesc Med State Art Rev 2011 Dec;22(3):387-401, x

Florida Prevention Research Center, University of South Florida College of Public Health, Department of Community and Family Health, 13201 Bruce B. Downs, Blvd. (MDC 056), Tampa, Florida 33612, USA.

Social marketing applies some of the same principles used in commercial marketing for the analysis, planning, execution, and evaluation of programs designed to motivate voluntary behavioral change. It relies on consumer research for understanding the people they hope to change, including their values, aspirations, fears, lifestyle, and factors that motivate and deter them from adopting desired behaviors. Social marketing has been applied in public health settings since the 1980s for promoting such behaviors as safer sex, hypertension and cholesterol control, reduced occurrence of alcohol-impaired driving, improved utilization of public health prevention and screening services, and enactment of better school nutrition policies in schools. Although most evidence for social marketing's utility comes from interventions directed at adult audiences, its application with adolescents may help to address issues that have been challenging or unresponsive to health behavior change specialists. This article describes the basic tenets of social marketing as a behavior change process, identifies its previously successful applications with adolescent audience segments, and offers both lessons learned and projected future applications that employ emerging communication technologies.
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December 2011

Preventing eye injuries among citrus harvesters: the community health worker model.

Am J Public Health 2011 Dec 20;101(12):2269-74. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Florida Prevention Research Center, University of South Florida College of Public Health, Tampa, 33612, USA.

Objectives: Although eye injuries are common among citrus harvesters, the proportion of workers using protective eyewear has been negligible. We focused on adoption of worker-tested safety glasses with and without the presence and activities of trained peer-worker role models on harvesting crews.

Methods: Observation of 13 citrus harvesting crews established baseline use of safety eyewear. Nine crews subsequently were assigned a peer worker to model use of safety glasses, conduct eye safety education, and treat minor eye injuries. Safety eyewear use by crews was monitored up to 15 weeks into the intervention.

Results: Intervention crews with peer workers had significantly higher rates of eyewear use than control crews. Intervention exposure time and level of worker use were strongly correlated. Among intervention crews, workers with 1 to 2 years of experience (odds ratio [OR] = 2.89; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11, 7.55) and who received help from their peer worker (OR = 3.73; 95% CI = 1.21, 11.57) were significantly more likely to use glasses than were other intervention crew members.

Conclusions: Adaptation of the community health worker model for this setting improved injury prevention practices and may have relevance for similar agricultural settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2011.300316DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222448PMC
December 2011

Using social marketing to understand the family dinner with working mothers.

Ecol Food Nutr 2010 Nov-Dec;49(6):431-51

Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida College of Public Health, Tampa, Florida, 33612, USA.

The family dinner is a valued tradition that affords opportunities for social interaction and attachment, as well as sharing events of the day, role modeling, connectedness, and problem solving. Guided by the social-marketing framework, this study explored factors associated with the frequency of the family dinner among working mothers with children ages 8-11 years. A qualitative design was used, employing focus groups and Atlas-ti software for thematic analysis. Lack of time, cost, and exhaustion/lack of energy emerged as barriers. Working mothers indicated that a youth-based organization operating as a community partner could increase the frequency of the family dinner by helping with homework completion during after-school care, thereby providing mothers with the time necessary to prepare dinner. This research identified both community partners and working mothers as valued resources for prevention strategies. Interventions developed to increase family dinner frequency should emphasize the perceived value while decreasing the costs/barriers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03670244.2010.524103DOI Listing
December 2011

Vigorous physical activity among tweens, VERB Summer Scorecard program, Lexington, Kentucky, 2004-2007.

Prev Chronic Dis 2011 Sep 15;8(5):A104. Epub 2011 Aug 15.

Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia, USA.

Introduction: Empirical examinations of the efficacy of community-based programs to increase and sustain physical activity among youth are lacking. This study describes changes in vigorous physical activity during a 3-year period among children aged 9 to 13 years (tweens) in Lexington, Kentucky, following introduction of the VERB Summer Scorecard (VSS) intervention.

Methods: A community coalition, guided by a marketing plan that addressed motivators for tweens to participate in physical activity, designed and implemented VSS. Youth used a scorecard to monitor their physical activity, which was verified by adults. There were 3,428 students surveyed in 2004; 1,976 in 2006; and 2,051 in 2007 (mean age for 2004, 2006, and 2007, 12 y). For each year, we performed Χ(2) tests and computed summary statistics for age, sex, and grade. Chi-square tests and cumulative logit models were used to analyze physical activity trends among VSS participants, VSS nonparticipants, and a reference group.

Results: The proportion of youth who reported frequent vigorous physical activity increased from 32% in 2004 to 42% in 2007. The proportion of VSS participants with moderate or high levels of vigorous physical activity increased by approximately 17 percentage points, more than twice the proportion of nonparticipants.

Conclusion: Interventions such as VSS may empower communities to take action to encourage greater physical activity among youth.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181177PMC
September 2011

Frequent fliers, school phobias, and the sick student: school health personnel's perceptions of students who refuse school.

J Sch Health 2011 Sep;81(9):552-9

Navarre, FL 32566, USA.

Background: This study explored school personnel's perceptions of school refusal, as it has been described as a "common educational and public health problem" that is less tolerated due to increasing awareness of the potential socioeconomic consequences of this phenomenon.

Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with school personnel at the middle school (N = 42), high school (N = 40), and district levels (N = 10). The findings focus on emergent themes from interviews with school health personnel (N = 12), particularly those themes related to their perceptions of and role in working with school-refusing students.

Results: Personnel, especially school health services staff, constructed a typification of the school-refusing student as "the sick student," which conceptualized student refusal due to reasons related to illness. Personnel further delineated sick students by whether they considered the illness legitimate. School health personnel referenced the infamous "frequent fliers" and "school phobics" within this categorization of students. Overarching dynamics of this typification included parental control, parental awareness, student locus of control, blame, and victim status. These typifications influenced how personnel reacted to students they encountered, particularly in deciding which students need "help" versus "discipline," thus presenting implications for students and screening of students.

Conclusions: Overall, findings suggest school health personnel play a pivotal role in screening students who are refusing school as well as keeping students in school, underscoring policy that supports an increased presence of school health personnel. Recommendations for school health, prevention, and early intervention include the development of screening protocols and staff training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00626.xDOI Listing
September 2011

Adoption of safety eyewear among citrus harvesters in rural Florida.

J Immigr Minor Health 2012 Jun;14(3):460-6

Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.

The community-based prevention marketing program planning framework was used to adapt an evidence-based intervention to address eye injuries among Florida's migrant citrus harvesters. Participant-observer techniques, other direct observations, and individual and focus group interviews provided data that guided refinement of a safety eyewear intervention. Workers were attracted to the eyewear's ability to minimize irritation, offer protection from trauma, and enable work without declines in productivity or comfort. Access to safety glasses equipped with worker-designed features reduced the perceived barriers of using them; deployment of trained peer-leaders helped promote adoption. Workers' use of safety glasses increased from less than 2% to between 28% and 37% in less than two full harvesting seasons. The combination of formative research and program implementation data provided insights for tailoring an existing evidence-based program for this occupational community and increase potential for future dissemination and worker protection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10903-011-9484-3DOI Listing
June 2012

Characteristics of 'tween' participants and non-participants in the VERB™ summer scorecard physical activity promotion program.

Health Educ Res 2011 Apr 8;26(2):225-38. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

Florida Prevention Research Center, University of South Florida College of Public Health, 13201 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard (MDC 056), Tampa, FL 33612-3805, USA.

Creating community-based opportunities for youth to be physically active is challenging for many municipalities. A Lexington, Kentucky community coalition designed and piloted a physical activity program, 'VERB™ summer scorecard (VSS)', leveraging the brand equity of the national VERB™--It's What You Do! campaign. Key elements of VSS subsequently were adopted in Sarasota County, FL. This study identified characteristics of Sarasota's VSS participants and non-participants. Students in Grades 5-8 from six randomly selected public schools completed a survey assessing VSS participation, physical activity level, psychosocial variables, parental support for physical activity and demographics. Logistic regression showed that VSS participants were more likely to be from Grades 5 to 6 versus Grades 7 and 8 [odds ratio (OR) = 6.055] and perceive high versus low parental support for physical activity (OR = 4.627). Moreover, for each unit rise in self-efficacy, the odds of VSS participation rose by 1.839. Chi-squared automatic interaction detector (CHAID) analysis suggested an interaction effect between grade and school socioeconomic status (SES), with a large proportion of seventh and eighth graders from high SES schools being non-participants (76.6%). A VSS-style program can be expected to be more effective with tweens who are younger, in a middle SES school, having high self-efficacy and high parental support for physical activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/her/cyq089DOI Listing
April 2011

Waterpipe (hookah) tobacco smoking among youth.

Curr Probl Pediatr Adolesc Health Care 2011 Feb;41(2):34-57

Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida, College of Public Health (MDC 056), Tampa, FL, USA.

Waterpipe tobacco smoking is a centuries old practice, influenced by cultural tradition in Eastern Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, and parts of Asia. It historically has been an activity enjoyed primarily by men. In the past 2 decades, however, this method of tobacco smoking has increased in popularity in other parts of the world, including the USA. Growing interest in this form of smoking can be traced, in part, to the advent of a flavored tobacco, called maassel. The combination of flavoring agents and the paraphernalia itself used in the smoking process, along with its mystic appeal, novelty, affordability, and the social atmosphere in which smoking often occurs, has made waterpipe smoking attractive to women as well as men, cigarette smokers and nonsmokers alike, and particular groups, including persons of college age and younger adolescents. Although waterpipe smoking is perceived by its new generation of users to be less addictive and hazardous to health than cigarette smoking, researchers draw diametrically opposed conclusions. Research demonstrates that numerous toxic agents, including carcinogens, heavy metals, other particulate matter, and high levels of nicotine, are efficiently delivered through waterpipes. Moreover, sidestream smoke exposes others in the vicinity of waterpipe smokers to the risk of respiratory diseases and other conditions. In addition, persons sharing waterpipe mouthpieces may share infectious agents as well. Waterpipe tobacco smoking has been declared a public health problem by the World Health Organization and other authorities. Recognition of the deleterious effects of waterpipe smoking has led to initial attempts to expand regulatory control. Because waterpipe tobacco is not directly burned in the smoking process, many existing control measures do not apply. Public health authorities should monitor waterpipe tobacco use carefully. Finally, pediatricians and other healthcare providers should discourage experimentation and continued use among their adolescent patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cppeds.2010.10.001DOI Listing
February 2011

Increasing physical activity in children 8 to 12 years old: experiences with VERB Summer Scorecard.

Percept Mot Skills 2010 Aug;111(1):240-8

Department of Community and Family Health, Florida Prevention Research Center, University of South Florida College of Public Health, Tampa, FL 33612-3805, USA.

Interventions which facilitate physical activity of youth are vital for promoting community health and reducing obesity. This study assessed the results of a community-driven program, VERB Summer Scorecard, as knowledge of exposure to and awareness of community-based interventions for physical activity among youth could inform design and implementation of such interventions. A total of 2,215 youth ages 8 to 12 years responded to a survey about physical activity. Ordinal logistic regression suggested that youth who participated in this program were 1.73 times (95% CI = 1.41, 2.11) more likely to report high physical activity than nonparticipating youth 9 mo. after the intervention's first full-scale application. The program appeared to appeal more to girls than boys. Such results are encouraging for use in communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2466/06.10.11.14.PMS.111.4.240-248DOI Listing
August 2010

Influences on human papillomavirus vaccination status among female college students.

J Womens Health (Larchmt) 2010 Oct;19(10):1885-91

Department of Community and Family Health College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA.

Objective: In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine Gardasil® (Merck) for girls and women aged 9-26 years. Although the vaccine is ideally administered to 11 and 12 year olds, college-aged women may be uniquely at risk for HPV due to high rates of sexual activity and, thus, serve as an important catch-up population for the HPV vaccine. The purpose of this study is to examine factors associated with HPV vaccination status among college women.

Methods: In fall 2008, a convenience sample of 256 undergraduate women enrolled in an introductory social science course at a large, public, urban university in the southeastern United States was surveyed. The 30-item paper-and-pencil questionnaire asked for demographic information, HPV knowledge, HPV vaccine beliefs, and HPV vaccination status. The overall survey response rate was 89.6%.

Results: Most women were unmarried/single (91.7%), with a mean age of 18.9 years (range 17-42). Race/ethnicity status included 73.0% white, 17.5% Hispanic, and 7.7% black/African American. One hundred eleven (40.5%) women reported receiving the vaccine. Nonvaccinated women were less likely to have heard of the vaccine through a healthcare provider (odds ratio [OR] 0.12, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.04-0.35) or from a family member (OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.16-0.68) and more likely to consider a healthcare provider recommendation as being only somewhat important (OR 2.91, 95% CI 1.32-6.41) or not important at all (OR 5.61, 95% CI 0.44-71.87) vs. very important.

Conclusions: Findings suggest that healthcare providers have an important role in encouraging HPV vaccination. Continuing education for providers who see preadolescent girls in conjunction with a parent or who treat women of college age may be a worthwhile endeavor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2009.1861DOI Listing
October 2010

Utility of the physical activity resource assessment for child-centric physical activity intervention planning in two urban neighborhoods.

J Community Health 2011 Feb;36(1):132-40

Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, 13201 Bruce B. downs Blvd, MDC Box 56, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

Children's physical activity (PA) may be determined, in part, by environmental influences such as access to diverse and safe places to play. As part of the development of a community-based PA program, a PA asset assessment was conducted in two low-income urban neighborhoods that support elementary schools serving minority youth. Resources were rated using an adapted version of the Physical Activity Resource Assessment (PARA), a multi-dimensional instrument that rates various venues on their features, amenities, and incivilities. Seventy-one child-centric venues (e.g., parks, playgrounds, community centers, sports facilities, fitness centers, etc.) were assessed within a three-mile radius of each school. Community member feedback via interviews with parent-child dyads revealed issues (e.g., bullying) not captured by the PARA that can influence venue use. Whereas the PARA can be a useful needs assessment and program planning tool for community-based PA programs, supplementing PARA data with community-based input may reduce contextual error in program development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10900-010-9290-1DOI Listing
February 2011

Promoting physical activity among youth through community-based prevention marketing.

J Sch Health 2010 May;80(5):214-24

Florida Prevention Research Center, University of South Florida College of Public Health, 13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd (MDC 056), Tampa, FL 33612-3805, USA.

Background: Community-based prevention marketing (CBPM) is a program planning framework that blends community-organizing principles with a social marketing mind-set to design, implement, and evaluate public health interventions. A community coalition used CBPM to create a physical activity promotion program for tweens (youth 9-13 years of age) called VERB Summer Scorecard. Based on the national VERB media campaign, the program offered opportunities for tweens to try new types of physical activity during the summer months.

Methods: The VERB Summer Scorecard was implemented and monitored between 2004 and 2007 using the 9-step CBPM framework. Program performance was assessed through in-depth interviews and a school-based survey of youth.

Results: The CBPM process and principles used by school and community personnel to promote physical activity among tweens are presented. Observed declines may become less steep if school officials adopt a marketing mind-set to encourage youth physical activity: deemphasizing health benefits but promoting activity as something fun that fosters spending time with friends while trying and mastering new skills.

Conclusions: Community-based programs can augment and provide continuity to school-based prevention programs to increase physical activity among tweens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00493.xDOI Listing
May 2010

How many steps does it take to put on a condom?--A commentary.

J Sch Health 2010 May;80(5):211-3

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 1215 21st Avenue South, Medical Center East, North Tower, Suite 6000, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2010.00492.xDOI Listing
May 2010

Formation and early history of the American Academy of Health Behavior.

Am J Health Behav 2010 Sep-Oct;34(5):563-72

Florida Prevention Research Center, Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida College of Public Health, 13201 Bruce B. Downs Boulevard (MDC 056)Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

Objective: To document the formation and early history of The American Academy of Health Behavior.

Methods: Recollections and interactions with selected founders of The Academy active in building the organization through its formative years.

Results: A professional organization came into existence whose sole mission is fostering research skill development and research dissemination across health behavior-related disciplines that increases the likelihood of improved translation and evidence-based practice.

Conclusion: Creation and survival of this organization required visionary leadership, dedicated early adopters, a commitment to excellence, and outreach to new researchers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5993/ajhb.34.5.6DOI Listing
June 2010

Grab N' Go breakfast at school: observations from a pilot program.

J Nutr Educ Behav 2010 May-Jun;42(3):208-9

Department of Sociology, Roanoke College, Salem, VA, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2009.10.003DOI Listing
August 2010

The psychosocial burden of HPV: a mixed-method study of knowledge, attitudes and behaviors among HPV+ women.

J Health Psychol 2010 Mar;15(2):279-90

Department of Community and Family Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.

Despite an increased awareness and 'normalization' of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) following the release of the HPV vaccine, the psychosocial impact of an HPV infection, the most common sexually transmissible infection (STI), must not be overshadowed. This study employed in-depth interviews (N = 52) and quantitative surveys (N = 154) to assess the knowledge, emotional impact and behavioral consequences of an HPV-related diagnosis in women who had received abnormal Pap test results. Findings revealed confusion over test results and themes related to stigma, fear, self-blame, powerlessness and anger emerged. The promotion of the HPV vaccine should not obfuscate the psychosocial burden associated with an HPV diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1359105309351249DOI Listing
March 2010
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