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1.  NET-Works: Linking families, communities and primary care to prevent obesity in preschool-age children☆,☆☆ 
Contemporary clinical trials  2013;36(2):544-554.
Obesity prevention in children offers a unique window of opportunity to establish healthful eating and physical activity behaviors to maintain a healthful body weight and avoid the adverse proximal and distal long-term health consequences of obesity. Given that obesity is the result of a complex interaction between biological, behavioral, family-based, and community environmental factors, intervention at multiple levels and across multiple settings is critical for both short- and long-term effectiveness. The Minnesota NET-Works (Now Everybody Together for Amazing and Healthful Kids) study is one of four obesity prevention and/or treatment trials that are part of the Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment (COPTR) Consortium. The goal of the NET-Works study is to evaluate an intervention that integrates home, community, primary care and neighborhood strategies to promote healthful eating, activity patterns, and body weight among low income, racially/ethnically diverse preschool-age children. Critical to the success of this intervention is the creation of linkages among the settings to support parents in making home environment and parenting behavior changes to foster healthful child growth. Five hundred racially/ethnically diverse, two–four year old children and their parent or primary caregiver will be randomized to the multi-component intervention or to a usual care comparison group for a three-year period. This paper describes the study design, measurement and intervention protocols, and statistical analysis plan for the NET-Works trial.
doi:10.1016/j.cct.2013.09.015
PMCID: PMC4001736  PMID: 24120933
Obesity prevention; Parent; Family; Community; Dietary intake; Physical activity
2.  Predictors of Independent Living Status in Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer: A Report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study 
Pediatric blood & cancer  2011;57(7):1197-1203.
Background
Adult survivors of childhood cancer and their siblings are compared on one of the most salient developmental milestones of adulthood, the ability to live independently.
Procedure
Adult survivors of childhood cancers (n=6,047) and siblings (n=2,326), all 25 years of age and older, completed a long-term follow-up questionnaire that assessed adaptive, neurocognitive, and psychological functioning, as well as demographic and health status. Multivariable logistic regression analyses and structural equation modeling (SEM) were used to identify predictors of independent living.
Results
Compared to siblings (n=206, 8.7%), survivors (n=1063; 17.7%) were more than twice as likely to live dependently (OR 2.07; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.77–2.42). Survivors diagnosed with CNS tumors (OR 0.13, 95% CI 0.10–0.18) or leukemia (OR 0.29, 95% CI 0.23–0.27) were significantly less likely to live independently compared to those diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma. Other risk factors for reduced independent living included cranial radiation (≤24Gy OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.62–0.93; >24Gy OR 0.31, 95% CI 0.24–0.41), use of neuroleptic, anticonvulsant, or psychostimulant medication (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.24–0.43), attention and processing speed problems (OR 0.58, 95% CI 0.47–0.71), poor physical functioning (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.38–0.63), depression (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.53–0.88), and racial/ethnic minority status (OR 0.39, 95% CI 0.30–0.51). SEM demonstrated that neurocognitive functioning had both direct effects on independent living status, and indirect effects through use of neurologically-directed medication, depression, and poor mental health.
Conclusion
Adult survivors of childhood cancer who experience neurocognitive, psychological or physical late effects are less likely to live independently as adults.
doi:10.1002/pbc.22982
PMCID: PMC3139702  PMID: 21294244
Pediatric oncology; psychosocial; late effects; outcomes research
3.  Psychological Outcomes of Siblings of Cancer Survivors: A Report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study 
Psycho-oncology  2010;20(12):1259-1268.
Objective
To identify risk factors for adverse psychological outcomes among adult siblings of long-term survivors of childhood cancer.
Methods
Cross-sectional, self-report data from 3,083 adult siblings (mean age 29 years, range 18-56 years) of 5+ year survivors of childhood cancer were analyzed to assess psychological outcomes as measured by the Brief Symptom Inventory-18 (BSI-18). Sociodemographic and health data, reported by both the siblings and their matched cancer survivors were explored as risk factors for adverse sibling psychological outcomes through multivariable logistic regression.
Results
Self-reported symptoms of psychological distress, as measured by the global severity index of the BSI-18, were reported by 3.8% of the sibling sample. Less than 1.5% of siblings reported elevated scores on two or more of the subscales of the BSI-18. Risk factors for sibling depression included having a survivor brother (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.42-3.55), and having a survivor with impaired general health (OR 2.15, 95% CI 1.18-3.78). Siblings who were younger than the survivor reported increased global psychological distress (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.05-3.12), as did siblings of survivors reporting global psychological distress (OR 2.32, 95% CI 1.08-4.59). Siblings of sarcoma survivors reported more somatization than did siblings of leukemia survivors (OR 2.07, 95% CI 1.05-3.98).
Conclusions
These findings suggest that siblings of long-term childhood cancer survivors are psychologically healthy in general. There are, however, small subgroups of siblings at risk for long-term psychological impairment who may benefit from preventive risk-reduction strategies during childhood while their sibling with cancer is undergoing treatment.
doi:10.1002/pon.1848
PMCID: PMC3223600  PMID: 22114043
4.  White versus gray matter function as seen on neuropsychological testing following bone marrow transplant for acute leukemia in childhood 
Current theory suggests that neurocognitive late effects of treatments for childhood cancer such as difficulties with attention, processing speed and visual-motor ability are the result of white matter damage. Neuroimaging studies have produced a variety of white matter findings. However, although white matter is thought to be differentially affected, previous studies have not demonstrated a discrepancy between white and gray matter function. The present study included 36 children treated for childhood leukemia with hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT). Their performance on neurocognitive measures traditionally thought to measure white matter was compared to performance on measures thought to measure gray matter function. Composite white and gray matter standard scores were created based on neuropsychological measures that individuals with known white or gray matter damage perform poorly. As predicted, composite white matter scores (mean = 98.1) were significantly lower (t = 2.26, p = 0.03) than composite gray matter scores (mean = 102.5). Additionally, as gray matter performance increased, the difference between gray and white matter scores increased (R = 0.353, p = 0.035). Overall, the results of this study support the current theory that white matter damage is responsible for the more subtle neurocognitive late effects resulting from treatment for childhood leukemia.
PMCID: PMC2515926  PMID: 18728772
late effects of cancer treatment; leukemia; neuropsychology; white matter; brain function

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