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Notable Publications

Each year, the Prevention Research Centers publish more than 400 journal articles and about 25 books or book chapters in the scientific literature. Selected publications are highlighted throughout the year, and citations or links to them are then collected here for reference.

On this page: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006


2013

A Group of PRC’s Examines Characteristics of Active Living Collaboratives
The Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN) is a group of PRC’s whose work aims increase levels of physical activity within communities. The Coalitions and Networks for Active Living research team, a subgroup of PAPRN, designed a study to examine the characteristics of a representative sample of collaboratives working to promote active living. For this study the term “collaborative group” included coalitions, networks, partnerships, and alliances that 1) focused on active living as a primary or secondary goal, 2) worked on policy and environmental change, 3) involved at least 3 partners from various sectors, and 4) existed for at least 1 year. Through structured telephone interviews with 59 collaboratives, the researchers were able to characterize them on topics; such as, leadership and staff, membership diversity of membership, main activities, which environmental and policy approaches, and their success in 8 strategic areas. These findings have the potential to be useful in the planning, coordinating, implementing, and sustaining community collaboration efforts to change community environments and policies in order to promote more active lives. See “Active Living Collaboratives in the United States: Understanding Characteristics, Activities, and Achievement of Environmental and Policy Change,” released February 7, 2013, in Preventing Chronic Disease.




PRC Study Shows Installation of Bicycle Lanes May Increase Ridership
Tulane University PRC researchers assessed the impact of on-road bicycle lanes on the levels of cycling in a low-income, African-American neighborhood of New Orleans. Researchers trained people to observe the number of cyclists both before and six months after the bicycle lanes were installed in 2008. The findings showed the daily average of adult riders increased from 91 before to 142 after the installation of the lanes. The largest increase was among female adult riders, which more than doubled from 13 to 29 per day. The percentage of cyclists riding in the correct direction, with the flow of traffic, increased from 73% to 82%. The results suggest that bike lanes can have a positive impact on physical activity. In the future, researchers would like to include other streets for comparison purposes.

See “Installation of Bicycle Lanes and Increased Ridership in an Urban, Mixed-Income Setting in New Orleans, Louisiana,” published January 2011, by the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.




PRC Finds Program Improves Fruit and Vegetable Consumption among Black Church Members
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill PRC conducted a two-year study to test a health program in black churches in Michigan and North Carolina. The program, Body & Soul, aims to improve eating behaviors among black church members. Findings showed a small significant increase in members’ fruit and vegetable consumption but also stressed churches need for technical support with program start-up and maintenance. See “Promoting Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Members of black Churches, Michigan and North Carolina, 2008-2010,” released March 14, 2013, by Preventing Chronic Disease.




PRC Researchers Find Bicycle Lanes May Be a Cost-Efficient Way to Increase Physical Activity
Tulane University PRC researchers assessed the impact of new bike lanes in an economically and racially diverse urban neighborhood of New Orleans. Researchers observed and compared the number of bicycle riders on three parallel streets, one with bicycle lanes and two without, both before and three months after the installation of the bicycle lanes. The results showed a significant increase in the overall number of people riding bicycles in the neighborhood—the number of riders more than tripled after the bicycle lanes were added. There was a decrease in ridership on the streets without the bicycle lanes, which suggests that some cyclists started using the dedicated bicycle lanes over the non-marked side streets. Also indicated in this study is the total cost of the bike lane, which was less than 1% of the total road resurfacing project. The results suggest that bike lanes may be a low-cost way to positively affect physical activity in diverse urban neighborhoods.

See “Effect of Bike Lane Infrastructure Improvements on Ridership in One New Orleans Neighborhood,” published February 2013, by the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.




Researchers Evaluate a Program to Improve Health Promotion Practices Among Low-Wage, Midsized Employers
The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the University of Washington PRC co-developed ACS Workplace Solutions (WPS), a program that aims to improve using proven strategies to prevent chronic disease by businesses. Before and 15-months after the program, researchers monitored 48 low-wage, midsized employers (those with 100 – 999 workers) for changes to the following five categories of health promotion practices:

  • Health insurance benefits, such as providing full coverage for influenza vaccination.
  • Health behavior policies, such as providing facilities for physical activity.
  • Health-related programs, such as sponsoring a tobacco quitline.
  • Health behavior tracking, such as surveying workers to track effectiveness of health promotion efforts.
  • Health-related communications, such as health newsletters for workers.

The study showed an increase in the number of health behavior policies and health-related communications that were implemented among participating workplaces, but no increases in benefits, programs, or tracking. A reported key barrier to program implementation was the lack of a full-time wellness coordinator at each workplace, which may indicate the need to address capacity issues when promoting the use of proven health strategies among small and midsized workplaces. See “Improving Low-Wage, Midsized Employers’ Health Promotion Practices,” in the August 2012 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.




PRC Finds That Faith-Based Program Increases Physical Activity and Proper Nutrition
The University of South Carolina PRC researchers partnered with the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church to develop, implement, and evaluate the Faith, Activity, and Nutrition (FAN) program. The program is faith-based, focuses on both physical activity and healthy eating, and encourages structural changes in the church rather than individual behavior change. The findings, among 1,257 church members from 74 AME churches in South Carolina, showed significantly larger increases in self-reported leisure-time moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity among members of FAN churches than others and modest improvements in self-reported fruit and vegetable consumption. See “The Faith, Activity, and Nutrition Program: A Randomized Controlled Trial in African-American Churches,” in the February 2013 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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2012

Food Insecurity Linked to Nutrition Problems Among Children of Mexican-Origin
Researchers at the Texas A&M University PRC are the first to conduct a study using self-reported data from children of Mexican-origin (ages 6-11 years) living in colonias, Texas-Mexico border communities, to assess the relationship between food insecurity experiences and dietary intake. The findings showed an association between food access and nutritional health. As access to food declined, researchers found that children consumed more total calories and calories from fats, and sugars. Researchers will continue to examine ways to reduce food insecurity in colonias, through federal and community food and nutrition assistance programs. See “Children’s very low food security is associated with increased dietary intakes in energy, fat, and added sugar among Mexican-origin children (6-11 y) in Texas border Colonias,” published online February, 20, 2012 in BioMed Central Pediatrics.




Framework Developed to Evaluate Obesity Prevention Policy Interventions
Researchers at the CDC-funded Center of Excellence for Training and Research Translation (Center TRT), based in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill PRC , have developed a framework for public health practitioners to evaluate public policy initiatives at the state and local level. The framework is based on the use of logic models that evolve as the project progresses and the model has four standard sections: inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes. Public health practitioners can use the Center TRT framework to identify and adapt components of obesity prevention policy approaches to fit their needs. See “An Evaluation Framework for Obesity Prevention Policy Interventions,” released June 28, 2012, by Preventing Chronic Disease.




Researchers Evaluate Implementation Tools to Improve Population Health
St. Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis PRC researchers have examined several tools for implementing evidence-based programs and policies that provide public health practitioners with the needed knowledge and skills to perform their work and improve population health. Researchers discovered that many implementation tools efficiently integrate the best available evidence and strategies to help practitioners understand evidence-based public health, evaluate interventions not yet proved, strengthen polices and improve practice, and engage in decision making with others. To find out what implementation tools were evaluated, such as Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. and The Community Tool Box, and learn more, see "Tools for Implementing an Evidence-Based Approach in Public Health Practice," released June 21, 2012, by Preventing Chronic Disease.




PRC Network Produces Journal Supplement on Nutrition Policy Research
The work of the PRC Program’s Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN) is the focus of the September 2012 supplement of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM). The supplement examines policies for promoting healthy eating and reducing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. The supplement features discussions and findings from PRC researchers on the following topics:

  • Implementation costs of providing free drinking water in Massachusetts public schools
  • Product assortment in south Texas convenience stores
  • The New Orleans Fresh Food Retailer Initiative
  • Water availability during snack time in after-school programs
  • Obesity-themed policy briefs

See Research in Brieffor a description of each article. NOPREN is funded by CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity to describe and study the effectiveness of policies intended to create environments that support healthy food and beverage choices.

See “Evaluating Policies and Processes for Promoting Healthy Eating: Findings from the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN),” AJPM 2012;43(3SS2):S85—S152. Free download available through the NOPREN website at www.nopren.org/noprensupplement2012.html.




Researchers Evaluate Telephone-Based Physical Activity Program for Older Adults
University of Washington PRC researchers have determined that the Physical Activity for a Lifetime of Success (PALS) program is effective in increasing the activity levels among sedentary older adults, specifically in the areas of aerobic endurance, strength, and flexibility. In interviews of participants and people who declined to participate, the telephone-based delivery of the program was identified as a deterrent among nonjoiners and was not well-received by participants. Researchers continue to explore other ways to reach diverse, low-income older adult populations. See "Evaluation of a Telephone-based Physical Activity Promotion Program for Disadvantaged Older Adults," released February 23, 2012, by Preventing Chronic Disease.




Study Shows Changes to Built Environment in Low-Income Black Neighborhoods May Increase Physical Activity
Tulane University PRC researchers evaluated the effect of a walking path and school playground on physical activity in a low-income African-American neighborhood of New Orleans. By analyzing data from direct observation and surveys of residents, the researchers measured physical activity levels in this neighborhood and two comparison neighborhoods before and after the path and playground were built. The findings showed the proportion of residents observed to be active increased significantly in the neighborhood section with the path compared with the comparison neighborhoods. The increased activity was observed in the intervention area, not on the path itself, as the path led to a park with recreational facilities. No significant increase in physical activity was observed in the neighborhood section with the playground. The findings suggest that walking paths or trails may hold potential for increasing physical activity in low-income neighborhoods. See "Effect of Changes to the Neighborhood Built Environment on Physical Activity in a Low-Income African American Neighborhood" in the February 16, 2012, issue of Preventing Chronic Disease.




Researchers Analyze Price and Healthfulness of Snacks in After-School Programs
In assessing snacks served at YMCA after-school programs, Harvard University PRC researchers found that healthful snacks were typically more expensive than less healthful options. Consequently the researchers identified ways that healthful snacks can be served at or below the prices of less healthful options. See "Price and Healthfulness of Snacks in 32 YMCA After-School Programs in 4 U.S. Metropolitan Areas, 2006–2008," released January 12, 2012, by Preventing Chronic Disease.




Study Finds Training of Employment Program Staff Increased Mental Health Discussions and Referrals
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University PRC analyzed data from inexpensive 2-day mental health training of staff at an employment training program for out-of-school youth. They found that the training increased the percentage (from 1% to 9%) of participants who had a mental health discussion with youth employment trainers. They also found that the training increased the percentage (from 11% to 16%) of participants who received a referral to mental health services from youth employment trainers. See “Training of Staff of an Employment Training Program to Promote Mental Health Discussions and Referrals with Out-of-School Youth, Baltimore, Maryland, 2007,” released January 26, 2012, by Preventing Chronic Disease.

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2011

PRC Study Shows Installation of Bicycle Lanes May Increase Ridership
Tulane University PRC researchers assessed the impact of on-road bicycle lanes on the levels of cycling in a low-income, African-American neighborhood of New Orleans. Researchers trained people to observe the number of cyclists both before and six months after the bicycle lanes were installed in 2008. The findings showed the daily average of adult riders increased from 91 before to 142 after the installation of the lanes. The largest increase was among female adult riders, which more than doubled from 13 to 29 per day. The percentage of cyclists riding in the correct direction, with the flow of traffic, increased from 73% to 82%. The results suggest that bike lanes can have a positive impact on physical activity. In the future, researchers would like to include other streets for comparison purposes.

See “Installation of Bicycle Lanes and Increased Ridership in an Urban, Mixed-Income Setting in New Orleans, Louisiana,” published January 2011, by the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.




PRC Study Shows Installation of Bicycle Lanes May Increase Ridership
Tulane University PRC researchers assessed the impact of on-road bicycle lanes on the levels of cycling in a low-income, African-American neighborhood of New Orleans. Researchers trained people to observe the number of cyclists both before and six months after the bicycle lanes were installed in 2008. The findings showed the daily average of adult riders increased from 91 before to 142 after the installation of the lanes. The largest increase was among female adult riders, which more than doubled from 13 to 29 per day. The percentage of cyclists riding in the correct direction, with the flow of traffic, increased from 73% to 82%. The results suggest that bike lanes can have a positive impact on physical activity. In the future, researchers would like to include other streets for comparison purposes.

See “Installation of Bicycle Lanes and Increased Ridership in an Urban, Mixed-Income Setting in New Orleans, Louisiana,” published January 2011, by the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.




PRCs Lead State of the Art Review on Adolescent Health
A set of PRCs contributed to producing the December 2011 issue of Adolescent Medicine: State of the Art Reviews (AM:STARs), a publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The issue focuses on health promotion for adolescents and young adults, and the issue editors are Alwyn Cohall, MD, director of the Columbia University PRC, and Michael Resnick, PhD, director of the University of Minnesota PRC. The articles by PRC researchers include the following topics:

  • Using social marketing, new media, technology, and clinician counseling in adolescent health promotion
  • Enhancing young people’s resilience to resist risky, unhealthful behavior
  • Integrating health interventions with employment and training programs for out of school youth
  • Preventing teenage pregnancy
  • Disseminating evidence-based smoking cessation programs for adolescents

See “Advances in Health Promotion for Adolescents and Young Adults,” AM:STARS 2011;22(3).




Study Shows Promoting or Encouraging Physical Activity May Improve Teen Smoking Cessation
West Virginia University PRC researchers found that promoting physical activity within the Not on Tobacco program, an evidence-based teen smoking cessation program, may increase participants smoking cessation. See “Effects of Physical Activity on Teen Smoking Cessation,” published online September 19, 2011, in Pediatrics, a journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.




PRC Steering Committee Publishes Editorial
Writing on behalf of the PRC Steering Committee, four PRC representatives highlight the value of the PRC Program. See “CDC’s Prevention Research Centers Program: Translating Research into Action with Communities” in the August 2011 issue of the Journal of Primary Prevention.




PRCs Report Research in September 2011 Issue of Preventing Chronic Disease:




PRCs Report Research in July 2011 Issue of Preventing Chronic Disease:

  • Small, Rural Worksites have Potential to Promote Physical Activity and Healthy Eating
    Through a qualitative study, Emory PRC researchers determined that small, rural worksites tend to support healthy behaviors, but lack cafeterias and have almost no established programs to promote health and prevent obesity. Given that more than half of Americans work for employers having fewer than 100 employees, access to worksite health promotion is critical. See “A Qualitative Examination of the Role of Small, Rural Worksites in Obesity Prevention.”



Middle School Students Increase Consumption of Water in School
In a pilot study, UCLA/RAND PRC researchers found that by implementing an educational strategy and providing filtered, chilled drinking water in middle school cafeterias, students increased their consumption of water. See “Increasing the Availability and Consumption of Drinking Water in Middle Schools: a Pilot Study,” in the May 2011 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease.




PRC Director Asks, “Is Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) Possible?”
In the March 2011 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Daniel Blumenthal, MD, MPH, Director of Morehouse School of Medicine PRC, ponders whether researchers can fully adhere to all principles of CBPR. He asserts that CBPR is an approach to research that is worth the effort.




PRC Describes Methods for Assessing Intervention Acceptability
San Diego PRC researchers describe two commonly used qualitative methods, focus groups and interviews, and present two emerging methods, community mapping and photovoice. See “Qualitative Methods to Ensure Acceptability of Behavioral and Social Interventions to the Target Population,” published in the winter 2011 issue supplement of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.




Essay and American Sign Language (ASL) Video Focus on Deaf Sign Language Users, Health Inequities, and Social Justice
In the March 2011 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease, researchers at the University of Rochester PRC (National Center for Deaf Health Research) discuss four issues that underlie health inequities experienced by deaf sign language users. Six recommendations are offered for how public health can address the inequities and increase opportunities for optimal health. The center’s ASL Translation Working Group produced an accompanying video that describes highlights of the article in ASL.
 

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2010


New Journal Articles Highlight Help for People with Epilepsy
 
Two interventionscan help people with epilepsy avoid depression and manage the condition, according to studies published by researchers collaborating in the Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) network.




New Study Confirms Outcomes of an Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Program
Researchers, with support from the Texas A&M Health Science Center PRC, evaluated the dissemination and implementation of A Matter of Balance/Volunteer Lay Leader, an evidence-based falls prevention program for older adults, in Texas. The program was found to decrease fear of falling and improve the overall physical activity levels of participants, which are consistent with original study findings. See the November 2010 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease, article titled “Implementing and Disseminating an Evidence-Based Program to Prevent Falls in Older Adults, Texas, 2007-2009.”




PRCs Report Research in July 2010 issue of PCD:




PRCs Report Research in March 2010 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease:

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2009


Article Highlights Partnerships Between Three PRCs and the Private Sector
An article in the April 2009 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease, "The Private Partners of Public Health: Public-Private Alliances for Public Good," explains the lessons learned from partnerships between PRCs and varied entities in the private sector.




PRCs Report Research in January 2009 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease:

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2008


New Study Reports Effectiveness of a Work Site Program to Help Parents Talk with their Adolescent Children About Sexual Health
A study by the UCLA/RAND PRC found that a parenting program conducted at work sites, significantly increases and improves parent-adolescent communication about sexual health. See the July 2008 issue of British Medical Journal (www.bmj.com/ ), article titled "Evaluation of Talking Parents, Healthy Teens, a new work site based parenting programme to promote parent-adolescent communication about sexual health: randomized controlled trial."




A New Intervention May Increase Employers' Use of Health Promotion Practices
A journal article in the July 2008 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease, "Employer Adoption of Evidence-Based Chronic Disease Prevention Practices: A Pilot Study," describes a promising intervention, Workplace Solutions, which suggests best practices employers can use to help prevent chronic disease among their employees. The program significantly increased the implementation of evidence-based practices by employers. The study is a joint project of the University of Washington PRC and the American Cancer Society Great West Division.




Study Finds Away-From-Home Food Intake Associated with Risk for Obesity in Children
A study by the San Diego PRC found that children who eat away-from-home at least once a week are at risk for obesity. See the May 2008 issue of Obesity (www.nature.com/oby/index.html), article titled "Away-from-home Food Intake and Risk for Obesity: Examining the Influence of Context."




VERB Campaign's Use of Social Marketing
The University of South Florida's PRC co-authored an article, titled "Catalyzing Community Action Within a National Campaign: VERB Community and National Partnerships," in the June 2008 supplement of American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The article describes the social marketing strategy used to sustain the immediate effects of the VERB campaign, designed to promote activity in youth.

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2007

Article on the Use of Community Coalitions to Change Policy and the Environment
"From Program to Policy: Expanding the Role of Community Coalitions," an article in Preventing Chronic Disease by the University of Arizona's PRC, on how five community-based partnerships went from improving health behaviors through programs to changing policy and the environment in counties along the Arizona-Mexico boarder.

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2006

Article Assesses the Impact of Prevention Research Through Peer-Reviewed Publications
An article, "Assessing Prevention Research Impact: A Bibliometric Analysis," in the March 2006 issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine describes a process for assessing the scientific impact of the PRCs on public health prevention research.




Journal Article on the Screening of Children in the Healthy Kids Project
The article, “Body Mass Index and Blood Pressure Screening in a Rural Public School System: the Healthy Kids Project,” published in the October 2006 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease focuses on children's body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure screening. The University of Oklahoma Prevention Research Center's project is being conducted in a rural public school system near Anadarko, Oklahoma.




Journal Article about Talking Parents, Healthy Teens
The article, “Talking Parents, Healthy Teens: A Worksite-based Program for Parents to Promote Adolescent Sexual Health,” in the October 2006 issue of Preventing Chronic Disease describes the theoretical framework, components, and intervention strategies of the core research project of the UCLA/RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion.

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