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Hacker K.,Institute for Community Health | Hacker K.,Harvard University | Walker D.K.,Abt Associates
American Journal of Public Health | Year: 2013

Although "population health" is one of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aim goals, its relationship to accountable care organizations (ACOs) remains ill-defined and lacks clarity as to how the clinical delivery system intersects with the public health system. Although defining population health as "panel" management seems to be the default definition, we called for a broader "community health" definition that could improve relationships between clinical delivery and public health systems and health outcomes for communities. We discussed this broader definition and offered recommendations for linking ACOs with the public health system toward improving health for patients and their communities. Copyright © 2012 by the American Public Health Association®.


Tendulkar S.A.,Institute for Community Health
Progress in community health partnerships : research, education, and action | Year: 2011

The National Institutes of Health-funded Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) have increasingly focused on community-engaged research and funded investigators for community-based participatory research (CBPR). However, because CBPR is a collaborative process focused on community-identified research topics, the Harvard CTSA and its Community Advisory Board (CERAB) funded community partners through a CBPR initiative. We describe lessons learned from this seed grants initiative designed to stimulate community-academic CBPR partnerships. The CBPR program of the Harvard CTSA and the CERAB developed this initiative and each round incorporated participant and advisory feedback toward program improvement. Although this initiative facilitated relevant and innovative research, challenges included variable community research readiness, insufficient project time, and difficulties identifying investigators for new partnerships. Seed grants can foster innovative CBPR projects. Similar initiatives should consider preliminary assessments of community research readiness as well as strategies for meaningful academic researcher engagement.


Ebbeling C.B.,New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center | Feldman H.A.,Clinical Research Center | Chomitz V.R.,Institute for Community Health | Antonelli T.A.,Clinical Research Center | And 3 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may cause excessive weight gain. We aimed to assess the effect on weight gain of an intervention that included the provision of noncaloric beverages at home for overweight and obese adolescents. METHODS: We randomly assigned 224 overweight and obese adolescents who regularly consumed sugar-sweetened beverages to experimental and control groups. The experimental group received a 1-year intervention designed to decrease consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, with follow-up for an additional year without intervention. We hypothesized that the experimental group would gain weight at a slower rate than the control group. RESULTS: Retention rates were 97% at 1 year and 93% at 2 years. Reported consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was similar at baseline in the experimental and control groups (1.7 servings per day), declined to nearly 0 in the experimental group at 1 year, and remained lower in the experimental group than in the control group at 2 years. The primary outcome, the change in mean body-mass index (BMI, the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) at 2 years, did not differ significantly between the two groups (change in experimental group minus change in control group, -0.3; P=0.46). At 1 year, however, there were significant between-group differences for changes in BMI (-0.57, P=0.045) and weight (-1.9 kg, P=0.04). We found evidence of effect modification according to ethnic group at 1 year (P=0.04) and 2 years (P=0.01). In a prespecified analysis according to ethnic group, among Hispanic participants (27 in the experimental group and 19 in the control group), there was a significant between-group difference in the change in BMI at 1 year (-1.79, P=0.007) and 2 years (-2.35, P=0.01), but not among non-Hispanic participants (P>0.35 at years 1 and 2). The change in body fat as a percentage of total weight did not differ significantly between groups at 2 years (-0.5%, P=0.40). There were no adverse events related to study participation. CONCLUSIONS: Among overweight and obese adolescents, the increase in BMI was smaller in the experimental group than in the control group after a 1-year intervention designed to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, but not at the 2-year follow-up (the prespecified primary outcome). (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00381160.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.


De Las Nueces D.,Harvard University | Hacker K.,Harvard University | Hacker K.,Institute for Community Health | Digirolamo A.,Health Equity Unit | Hicks L.S.,University of Massachusetts Medical School
Health Services Research | Year: 2012

Objective To examine the effectiveness of current community-based participatory research (CBPR) clinical trials involving racial and ethnic minorities. Data Source All published peer-reviewed CBPR intervention articles in PubMed and CINAHL databases from January 2003 to May 2010. Study Design We performed a systematic literature review. Data Collection/Extraction Methods Data were extracted on each study's characteristics, community involvement in research, subject recruitment and retention, and intervention effects. Principle Findings We found 19 articles meeting inclusion criteria. Of these, 14 were published from 2007 to 2010. Articles described some measures of community participation in research with great variability. Although CBPR trials examined a wide range of behavioral and clinical outcomes, such trials had very high success rates in recruiting and retaining minority participants and achieving significant intervention effects. Conclusions Significant publication gaps remain between CBPR and other interventional research methods. CBPR may be effective in increasing participation of racial and ethnic minority subjects in research and may be a powerful tool in testing the generalizability of effective interventions among these populations. CBPR holds promise as an approach that may contribute greatly to the study of health care delivery to disadvantaged populations. © Health Research and Educational Trust.


Chomitz V.R.,Institute for Community Health
Journal of physical activity & health | Year: 2011

There is growing recognition of the importance of recreational space utilization for promoting physical activity (PA) among youth. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 926 diverse 6th-8th grade students in Somerville, MA. Participants completed the 2007 Youth Risk Surveillance Survey (YRBS). Chi-square testing and logistical regression modeling were performed to predict meeting national PA recommendations for moderate, vigorous, and 60 minutes or more (60+) PA. The participants reported meeting recommended PA levels for moderate (27%), vigorous (70%) and 60+ (21%) PA. In multivariate analysis, being male and speaking English were significantly associated with meeting all 3 PA recommendations. Recreational spaces significantly associated with meeting PA recommendations included neighborhood parks and walk/bike paths, playing fields and courts, and recreational centers. Recreational space utilization varied by gender, race/ethnicity, and language. Recreational space utilization was an important predictor of meeting PA recommendations among middle school students. Our results showed that PA attainment and recreational space utilization varied by demographic characteristics. The role of each recreational space in predicting PA varied depending on the outcome used. This study demonstrates the potential use of YRBS data to inform resource allocation for PA promotion in diverse communities.

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