Funded Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs)
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Carol W. Runyan, PhD, MPH
University of North Carolina
Bank of America Building, Suite 500, CB 7505
137 East Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7505
The University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center (UNC IPRC) is a mature center with a 12-year history of successfully building the injury field through research, collaboration, teaching, and publication. We are making a difference by translating research into practice. We have facilitated funding for injury research at dollar amounts more than six times that provided in Center core funds, published over 150 refereed papers and book chapters, assisted with more than 100 student projects, helped several dozen students initiate careers in injury control, and engaged in over 1,000 technical assistance activities to scores of organizations. The Center's mission is to stimulate and participate in interdisciplinary research and to facilitate the translation of research into injury control policies and programs for prevention, acute care, and rehabilitation.
Organizationally, UNC IPRC operates as a freestanding Center within the UNC Division of Health Affairs, with strong linkages to other campuses in the UNC system. External advisors provide periodic guidance while an interdisciplinary Senior Advisory Committee offers on-going, high-level support and assistance on campus. Core faculty and staff meet regularly to develop programs and monitor progress and continuously improve program quality.
Research activities revolve around of occupational injury, violence, and sports and recreational injury. A core team will develop the scientific capacity for program development, implementation, and evaluation using a variety of strategies including a "community laboratory" in Eastern North Carolina. We are forming a partnership with the State and Territorial Injury Prevention Directors Association (STIPDA) to assist in evaluating state programs and developing improved intervention and evaluation methods. We will apply these skills in other state, national, and international settings through university and agency collaborations, including the World Health Organization.
Other activities focus on research stimulation, including statistical assistance, faculty small grants, and work with faculty to use secondary data sets for research, such as medical examiner data. We will continue teaching graduate students, providing technical assistance and consultation on translating research into practice, and will broaden our funding base to enable expansion.
Project Title: Preventing Falls through Enhanced Pharmaceutical Care
Project Period: 09/01/04-08/31/09
Description: Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults in the United States. Past research suggests that individuals taking multiple medications are at increased risk for falls. Drugs that affect the central nervous system (CNS), in particular, have been associated with increased risk. This study will evaluate the effectiveness of a community based falls prevention program delivered by community pharmacists. A randomized controlled clinical trial design will be used. The target population is community dwelling older adults (ages 65 and older) at high risk for future falls because (1) they have experienced a fall within the past year, (2) they are currently using four or more prescription medications, or (3) they are currently using at least one CNS active medication. Participants will be recruited using prescription profile records maintained by the pharmacies where they obtain their medications. Individuals in the intervention group will receive an in depth consultation concerning their current medications, conducted by a community pharmacist. Individuals assigned to the control group will receive a series of monthly informational materials focused on the prevention and treatment of health problems associated with aging (e.g., osteoporosis, heart disease) and lifestyle behaviors (e.g., exercise) important for health maintenance. All individuals will be followed for 1 year. Data concerning falls will be collected via monthly falls calendars.
Project Title: Prospective Investigation of Sport-related Concussion: Relationship Between Biomechanical, Neuroanatomical, and Clinical Factors
Project Period: 09/01/04-04/30/09
Description: This study, which builds on prior work supported by CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, will evaluate the relationship between biomechanical, neuroanatomical, and clinical factors associated with sport related concussion. Symptomatology, neuropsychological function, and postural stability measured at selected post injury points will be correlated to neuroanatomical measures taken with susceptibility weighted imaging and diffusion tensor imaging and to linear and rotational acceleration of the head at impact, as measured by the Head Impact Telemetry System (HITS). The results will help establish a threshold for concussive brain injury and assist researchers and clinicians in understanding how mechanisms of injury are associated with clinical outcome. The results may assist in the development of safer return-to-play guidelines, while subsequently preventing the complications associated with repeated sport related concussion.
Project Title: Youth Employment and Youth Violence: Is Work a Viable Intervention?
Project Period: 09/01/04-02/28/06
Description: This project considers whether youth employment has promise as a potential intervention to reduce youth violence. It will rely on data collected in three waves as part of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). This study provides a nationally representative sample of more than 10,000 adolescents who completed in home interviews over a 6-year period. In the context of background and contextual variables, the investigators will examine the relationship, cross-sectionally and longitudinally, of employment during adolescence with violent (i.e., assault, fighting, threatening with weapons) and violence related behaviors (i.e., drug and alcohol use, stealing, weapon carrying, gang membership).
Project Title: Adolescent Pregnancy, Intimate Partner Violence, and Poor Birth Outcomes: Consequences of Childhood Victimization?
Project Period: 09/01/07-08/31/09
Description: This project uses a sample of 1,151 adolescents in a longitudinal investigation of child maltreatment to assess how victimization during childhood is associated with early pregnancy, victimization during pregnancy, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. It will examine whether a history of maltreatment or exposure to witnessed violence are associated with increased likelihood of adolescent pregnancy and whether that relationship is increased by risk factors (substance use, mental health problems, and family dysfunction) or attenuated by protective factors (academic achievement, family support, social competence, school connectedness, and neighborhood resources). Among youth who have been pregnant or impregnated by a partner, the project will examine prospectively whether a history of maltreatment or exposure to witnessed violence are associated with increased likelihood of intimate partner violence (IPV) and whether that relationship is increased by risk factors or attenuated by protective factors. Finally, among females who have been pregnant, the project will examine whether a history of maltreatment or exposure to witnessed violence are associated with negative health behaviors (alcohol, tobacco or drug use, and less prenatal care) and adverse birth outcomes (spontaneous abortion, prematurity, low birth weight). The LONGSCAN study (Longitudinal Studies in Child Abuse and Neglect) provides one of the largest, most comprehensive prospective data sets on child maltreatment. LONGSCAN is an established set of cohort studies of children recruited during the first 4 years of life. The studies have been collecting data for 14 years. LONGSCAN's use of multi method, multiple respondent methods of collecting information on maltreatment and violence exposure is innovative because it extends beyond the use of administrative databases and the biases inherent in state reporting systems.
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