Professional Data Analysts Inc.

Minneapolis, MN, United States

Professional Data Analysts Inc.

Minneapolis, MN, United States
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D'Silva J.,ClearWay Minnesota | Boyle R.G.,ClearWay Minnesota | Lien R.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Okuyemi K.S.,University of Minnesota
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Menthol cigarettes account for 25% of the market in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration currently is considering regulatory action on tobacco products, including a ban on menthol cigarettes. With 39% of menthol smokers reporting that they would quit smoking if menthol cigarettes were banned, there is a need to better understand whether existing cessation programs, such as quitlines, are serving menthol smokers. Purpose: This study compared baseline characteristics and cessation outcomes of menthol and nonmenthol smokers who were seeking treatment through a quitline. Methods: Data were collected between September 2009 and July 2011 on 6257 participants. A random sample of eligible participants who registered for services between March 2010 and February 2011 was contacted for a follow-up survey 7 months post-registration (n=1147). Data were analyzed in 2011. Results: Among participants, 18.7% of smokers reported using menthol cigarettes. Menthol smokers were more likely to be female, younger, African-American, and have less than a high school education. Menthol smokers who called the quitline were slightly less likely to enroll in services than nonmenthol smokers (92.2% vs 94.8%, p<0.001). However, for those that did enroll, there were no significant differences in self-reported intent-to-treat 30-day point prevalence abstinence rates between menthol and nonmenthol smokers (17.3% vs 13.8%, p=0.191). Conclusions: Quitlines appear to be adequately serving menthol smokers who call for help. Cessation outcomes for menthol smokers are comparable to nonmenthol smokers. However, if a menthol ban motivates many menthol smokers to quit, quitlines may have to increase their capacity to meet the increase in demand. © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Lien R.K.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Schillo B.A.,Minneapolis | Goto C.J.,Hawaii Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund
Nicotine and Tobacco Research | Year: 2016

Introduction: Quitline outcome studies are used to maintain and improve the effectiveness of these evidence-based cessation services. Nonresponse has the potential to bias survey results and many US and Canadian quitlines are reporting survey response rates below 50%. This study examines the effect of nonresponse bias on quit rates in three state quitline populations. Results provide implications of nonresponse bias for quitline practice. Methods: Quit status, defined as abstinent for 30 days or more 7 months after registering for services, was collected from Minnesota, Hawaii, and Florida quitline participants that responded to a survey. We assigned each responder to a wave based on the number of contacts required to obtain a survey response. Results: The latest two responder groups had the lowest quit rates within each state, although results were not statistically significant. Quit rates in the latest responder wave (Wave 6) were between 4% and 13% points lower than the earliest responders (Wave 1). The cumulative quit rates show what the quit rate would have been had the study ended after the corresponding wave. In all four studies, the cumulative quit rate was lowest in Wave 6. Conclusion: To increase accuracy of quit rates, quitlines should focus on increasing survey response rates. Suggestions for improving survey response rates are provided. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved.


Betzner A.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Lawrenz F.P.,University of Minnesota | Thao M.,University of Minnesota
Evaluation and Program Planning | Year: 2016

Three different methods were used in an evaluation of a smoking cessation study: surveys, focus groups, and phenomenological interviews. The results of each method were analyzed separately and then combined using both a pragmatic and dialectic stance to examine the effects of different approaches to mixing methods. Results show that the further apart the methods are philosophically, the more diverse the findings. Comparisons of decision maker opinions and costs of the different methods are provided along with recommendations for evaluators' uses of different methods. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Betzner A.E.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Boyle R.G.,ClearWay MinnesotaSM | Luxenberg M.G.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Schillo B.A.,ClearWay MinnesotaSM | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Bans on smoking in public areas have increased as knowledge of secondhand smoke dangers has grown. Restrictions on smoking in public areas may lead to less smoking and increased quitting. Purpose: This study examines the experiences of smokers and recent quitters with local smokefree regulations to better understand the possible mechanisms by which smokefree regulations affect individual tobacco users' patterns of tobacco consumption and quitting. Methods: Fifteen in-depth interviews and thirteen focus groups were conducted with tobacco users and recent quitters formerly enrolled in cessation programs provided by ClearWay MinnesotaSM. Data were collected 3 months after smokefree legislation was adopted in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area in 2006, and were stratified by tobacco use status and strength of regulation. Essential themes were extracted using NVivo 8 software in 2011. Results: Study participants reported that smokefree legislation forced them to confront their addiction. They experienced apprehension, frustration, and panic anticipating smoking restrictions. This motivated some to attempt to quit, whereas others felt punished by and angry at government intrusion. Both current and former tobacco users felt smokefree regulations contributed to stigmatizing smokers. They also reported smokefree legislation reduced the temptation to smoke. The physical absence of cigarette smoke in bars and restaurants appeared to support quit attempts. The inconvenience of smoking outside was reported to have a similar effect. Conclusions: Essential mechanisms by which bans influenced patterns of tobacco use and quitting include confronting addiction, temptation, inconvenience, and social norms. These findings highlight the success of tobacco control advocates in denormalizing tobacco use, and suggest that some tobacco users may be internalizing negative messages about tobacco. © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


Betzner A.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Boyle R.G.,ClearWay Minnesota | St. Claire A.W.,ClearWay Minnesota
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2016

Cigarette tax increases result in a reduced demand for cigarettes and increased efforts by smokers to reduce their cost of smoking. Less is known about how smokers think about their expenditures for cigarettes and the possible mechanisms that underlie price-minimizing behaviors. In-depth longitudinal interviews were conducted with Minnesota smokers to explore the factors that influence smokers’ decisions one month prior to a $1.75 cigarette tax increase and again one and three months after the increase. A total of 42 were sampled with 35 completed interviews at all three time points, resulting in 106 interviews across all participants at all time points. A qualitative descriptive approach examined smoking and buying habits, as well as reasons behind these decisions. A hierarchy of ways to save money on cigarettes included saving the most money by changing to roll your own pipe tobacco, changing to a cheaper brand, cutting down or quitting, changing to cigarillos, and buying online. Using coupons, shopping around, buying by the carton, changing the style of cigarette, and stocking up prior to the tax increase were described as less effective. Five factors emerged as impacting smokers’ efforts to save money on cigarettes after the tax: brand loyalty, frugality, addiction, stress, and acclimation. © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Schillo B.A.,ClearWay Minnesota | Keller P.A.,ClearWay Minnesota | Betzner A.E.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Greenseid L.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | And 2 more authors.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine | Year: 2012

Background: Smokefree policies are enacted to protect individuals from secondhand smoke; however, these laws may have broader cessation effects. Purpose: This study investigated the relationship between Minnesota's local and statewide smokefree policies and quitting outcomes among cessation program enrollees. Methods: Data were collected from 2006 to 2008 from two groups of participants (n=1644 pre-statewide law; n=1273 post-statewide law) and analyzed in 2009. Website enrollees were surveyed by Internet or telephone 6 months post-enrollment. Others were surveyed by telephone 7 months post-enrollment. Results: Those who enrolled in a cessation program after the statewide smokefree law were more likely to quit (p<0.05, relative risk [RR]=1.15) and were predicted to achieve a 30-day abstinence rate 4.1 percentage points greater than that achieved by those who quit pre-statewide law (30.9% vs 26.8%, respectively). Participants who quit post-statewide law were less likely to relapse and were predicted to have a relapse rate 6.4 percentage points below those who quit pre-statewide law (p<0.05, RR=0.87). Each additional year residing in or adjacent to a county with a local smokefree ordinance in place, up until the time of the statewide law, reduced the likelihood of achieving abstinence post-statewide law (p<0.001, RR=0.92) and increased the likelihood of relapse and the predicted relapse rate (p<0.05, RR=1.05). Conclusions: Abstinence and relapse rates for those enrolling in cessation programs appeared more favorable after the implementation of Minnesota's statewide smokefree law, suggesting that smokefree policies may have a small but beneficial impact on cessation outcomes. Previous exposure to local smokefree ordinances may lessen this effect. © 2012 American Journal of Preventive Medicine.


An L.C.,University of Michigan | Betzner A.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | Schillo B.,ClearWay Minnesota | Luxenberg M.G.,Professional Data Analysts Inc. | And 5 more authors.
Nicotine and Tobacco Research | Year: 2010

Introduction: Tobacco treatment programs may be offered in clinical settings, at work-sites, via telephone helplines, or over the Internet. Little comparative data exist regarding the real-world effectiveness of these programs. This paper compares the reach, effectiveness, and costs of these different modes of cessation assistance. Methods: This is an observational study of cohorts of participants in Minnesota's QUITPLAN programs in 2004. Cessation assistance was provided in person at 9 treatment centers, using group counseling at 68 work-sites, via a telephone helpline, or via the Internet. The main outcomes of the study are enrollment by current smokers, self-reported 30-day abstinence, and cost per quit. Reach was calculated statewide for the helpline and Web site, regionally for the treatment centers, and for the employee population for work-site programs. Results: Enrollment was greatest for the Web site (n = 4,698), followed by the helpline (n = 2,351), treatment centers (n = 616), and work-sites (n = 479). The Web site attracted younger smokers. Smokers at treatment centers had higher levels of nicotine dependence. The helpline reached more socially disadvantaged smokers. Responder 30-day abstinence rates were higher for the helpline (29.3%), treatment centers (25.8%), and work-sites (19.6%) compared with the online program (12.5%). These differences persisted after controlling for baseline differences in participant characteristics and use of pharmacological therapy. The cost per quit was lowest for the Web site program ($291 per quit, 95% CI = $229-$372). Discussion: Treatment center, work-site, helpline, and Web site programs differ in their reach, effectiveness, and estimated cost per quit. Each program plays a part in assisting populations of tobacco users in quitting. © The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Professional Data Analysts Inc., ClearWay Minnesota and Northeastern University
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Tobacco control | Year: 2016

This study uses an online survey panel to compare two approaches for assessing ad awareness. The first uses a screenshot of a television ad and the second shows participants a full-length video of the ad.We randomly assigned 1034 Minnesota respondents to view a screenshot or a streaming video from two antitobacco ads. The study used one ad from ClearWay Minnesotas ITALIC! We All Pay the Price campaign, and one from the Centers for Disease Control ITALIC! Tips campaign. The key measure used to assess ad awareness was aided ad recall. Multivariate analyses of recall with cessation behaviour and attitudinal beliefs assessed the validity of these approaches.The respondents who saw the video reported significantly higher recall than those who saw the screenshot. Associations of recall with cessation behaviour and attitudinal beliefs were stronger and in the anticipated direction using the screenshot method. Over 20% of the respondents assigned to the video group could not see the ad. People who were under 45years old, had incomes greater than $35,000 and women were reportedly less able to access the video.The methodology used to assess recall matters. Campaigns may exaggerate the successes or failures of their media campaigns, depending on the approach they employ and how they compare it to other media campaign evaluations. When incorporating streaming video, researchers should consider accessibility and report possible response bias. Researchers should fully define the measures they use, specify any viewing accessibility issues, and make ad comparisons only when using comparable methods.


PubMed | Professional Data Analysts Inc., ClearWay Minnesota and Allina Health
Type: | Journal: Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco | Year: 2016

Over the past few decades, tobacco control efforts have made great strides in making smoke-free air the norm; 30 states in the United States have implemented 100% smoke-free laws. Despite this progress, the evolution of the measurement of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure has lagged.Cognitive testing was used to explore the functioning and limitations of current SHS surveillance items; many items are frequently used for statewide or national surveillance. A total of 20 nonsmokers and 17 smokers participated in a cognitive interview.Overreporting of SHS was evidenced in our analysis as thirdhand smoke exposure was being included in the assessment of SHS exposure, likely due to the successful implementation of indoor smoking bans. Also asking about locations of SHS exposure outside of work, home, or a personal vehicle is important because these alternative locations were sometimes the only incidence of SHS exposure.Survey questions about SHS should: (1) reduce the ambiguity in words and phrases of items; (2) measure location of exposure; (3) measure duration of exposure; and (4) consider alternative strategies for asking smokers questions about SHS. Assessing location and duration of exposure can inform decision-makers about future SHS programming and policy work.Commonly accepted survey measures of SHS exposure need to be reevaluated to assure that the intended interpretation of them is still accurate given significant policy and social norm change. This paper assesses current SHS surveillance items and provides recommendations for revisions.


PubMed | University of Minnesota, Park Nicollet Osteoporosis Center and Professional Data Analysts Inc
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of clinical densitometry : the official journal of the International Society for Clinical Densitometry | Year: 2016

Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) predicts incident atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events and can be accurately identified on densitometric lateral spine images obtained at the time of bone densitometry. Our objective was to estimate the proportion of patients referred for bone densitometry who have a high level of AAC and are not already known to have ASCVD or to be at high risk for ASCVD. AAC was scored on densitometric lateral spine images of 2168 individuals blinded to clinical diagnoses or risk factors using the 24-point Framingham scale. We ascertained preexisting ASCVD diagnoses and risk factors using electronic health record data. We used the risk calculator of the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) to estimate the 10-yr risk of hard ASCVD outcomes (myocardial infarction, death caused by coronary heart disease, or nonfatal or fatal stroke). A high level of AAC (AAC score5) was present in 41 (6.1%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 4.4%-8.2%) of those aged less than 65yr, in 253 (23.1%, 95% CI: 20.7%-25.7%) of those aged 65-74yr, and in 153 (37.8%, 95% CI: 33.0%-42.7%) of those aged 75-80yr. Among those aged 65-74yr, 16.9% (95% CI: 14.7%-19.3%) had a high level of AAC and no prior clinical diagnosis of ASCVD, but only 2.4% had a high level of AAC and a predicted 10-yr risk of hard ASCVD outcomes <7.5%. AAC is common among those aged 65yr and older who were referred for bone densitometry and had no known ASCVD, although these individuals can also be recognized as being at intermediate to high risk using the AHA-ACC ASCVD risk calculator. Further studies regarding the impact of identification of AAC on provider and patient cardiovascular disease risk management choices are warranted.

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