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1.  Spatial Analysis and Correlates of County-Level Diabetes Prevalence, 2009–2010 
Introduction
Information on the relationship between diabetes prevalence and built environment attributes could allow public health programs to better target populations at risk for diabetes. This study sought to determine the spatial prevalence of diabetes in the United States and how this distribution is associated with the geography of common diabetes correlates.
Methods
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Census Bureau were integrated to perform geographically weighted regression at the county level on the following variables: percentage nonwhite population, percentage Hispanic population, education level, percentage unemployed, percentage living below the federal poverty level, population density, percentage obese, percentage physically inactive, percentage population that cycles or walks to work, and percentage neighborhood food deserts.
Results
We found significant spatial clustering of county-level diabetes prevalence in the United States; however, diabetes prevalence was inconsistently correlated with significant predictors. Percentage living below the federal poverty level and percentage nonwhite population were associated with diabetes in some regions. The percentage of population cycling or walking to work was the only significant built environment–related variable correlated with diabetes, and this association varied in magnitude across the nation.
Conclusion
Sociodemographic and built environment–related variables correlated with diabetes prevalence in some regions of the United States. The variation in magnitude and direction of these relationships highlights the need to understand local context in the prevention and maintenance of diabetes. Geographically weighted regression shows promise for public health research in detecting variations in associations between health behaviors, outcomes, and predictors across geographic space.
doi:10.5888/pcd12.140404
PMCID: PMC4303405  PMID: 25611797
3.  Development of a Nationally Representative Built Environment Measure of Access to Exercise Opportunities 
We sought to develop a county-level measure to evaluate residents’ access to exercise opportunities. Data were acquired from Esri, DeLorme World Vector (MapMart), and OneSource Global Business Browser (Avention). Using ArcGIS (Esri), we considered census blocks to have access to exercise opportunities if the census block fell within a buffer area around at least 1 park or recreational facility. The percentage of county residents with access to exercise opportunities was reported. Measure validity was examined through correlations with other County Health Rankings & Roadmaps’ measures. Included were 3,114 of 3,141 US counties. The average population with access to exercise opportunities was 52% (range, 0%–100%) with large regional variation. Access to exercise opportunities was most notably associated with no leisure-time physical activity (r = −0.47), premature death (r = −0.38), and obesity (r = −0.36). The measure uses multiple sources to create a valid county-level measure of exercise access. We highlight geographic disparities in access to exercise opportunities and call for improved data.
doi:10.5888/pcd12.140378
PMCID: PMC4303407  PMID: 25611798
4.  Administrative Data Linkage to Evaluate a Quality Improvement Program in Acute Stroke Care, Georgia, 2006–2009 
Introduction
Tracking the vital status of stroke patients through death data is one approach to assessing the impact of quality improvement in stroke care. We assessed the feasibility of linking Georgia hospital discharge data with mortality data to evaluate the effect of participation in the Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry on survival rates among acute ischemic stroke patients.
Methods
Multistage probabilistic matching, using a fine-grained record integration and linkage software program and combinations of key variables, was used to link Georgia hospital discharge data for 2005 through 2009 with mortality data for 2006 through 2010. Data from patients admitted with principal diagnoses of acute ischemic stroke were analyzed by using the extended Cox proportional hazard model. The survival times of patients cared for by hospitals participating in the stroke registry and of those treated at nonparticipating hospitals were compared.
Results
Average age of the 50,579 patients analyzed was 69 years, and 56% of patients were treated in Georgia Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry hospitals. Thirty-day and 365-day mortality after first admission for stroke were 8.1% and 18.5%, respectively. Patients treated at nonparticipating facilities had a hazard ratio for death of 1.14 (95% confidence interval, 1.03–1.26; P = .01) after the first week of admission compared with patients cared for by hospitals participating in the registry.
Conclusion
Hospital discharge data can be linked with death data to assess the impact of clinical-level or community-level chronic disease control initiatives. Hospitals need to undertake quality improvement activities for a better patient outcome.
doi:10.5888/pcd12.140238
PMCID: PMC4307832  PMID: 25590599
5.  Effect of Cause-of-Death Training on Agreement Between Hospital Discharge Diagnoses and Cause of Death Reported, Inpatient Hospital Deaths, New York City, 2008–2010 
Introduction
Accurate cause-of-death reporting is required for mortality data to validly inform public health programming and evaluation. Research demonstrates overreporting of heart disease on New York City death certificates. We describe changes in reported causes of death following a New York City health department training conducted in 2009 to improve accuracy of cause-of-death reporting at 8 hospitals. The objective of our study was to assess the degree to which death certificates citing heart disease as cause of death agreed with hospital discharge data and the degree to which training improved accuracy of reporting.
Methods
We analyzed 74,373 death certificates for 2008 through 2010 that were linked with hospital discharge records for New York City inpatient deaths and calculated the proportion of discordant deaths, that is, death certificates reporting an underlying cause of heart disease with no corresponding discharge record diagnosis. We also summarized top principal diagnoses among discordant reports and calculated the proportion of inpatient deaths reporting sepsis, a condition underreported in New York City, to assess whether documentation practices changed in response to clarifications made during the intervention.
Results
Citywide discordance between death certificates and discharge data decreased from 14.9% in 2008 to 9.6% in 2010 (P < .001), driven by a decrease in discordance at intervention hospitals (20.2% in 2008 to 8.9% in 2010; P < .001). At intervention hospitals, reporting of sepsis increased from 3.7% of inpatient deaths in 2008 to 20.6% in 2010 (P < .001).
Conclusion
Overreporting of heart disease as cause of death declined at intervention hospitals, driving a citywide decline, and sepsis reporting practices changed in accordance with health department training. Researchers should consider the effect of overreporting and data-quality changes when analyzing New York City heart disease mortality trends. Other vital records jurisdictions should employ similar interventions to improve cause-of-death reporting and use linked discharge data to monitor data quality.
doi:10.5888/pcd12.140299
PMCID: PMC4307833  PMID: 25590598
6.  Behavioral Economics: “Nudging” Underserved Populations to Be Screened for Cancer 
Persistent disparities in cancer screening by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status require innovative prevention tools and techniques. Behavioral economics provides tools to potentially reduce disparities by informing strategies and systems to increase prevention of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers. With an emphasis on the predictable, but sometimes flawed, mental shortcuts (heuristics) people use to make decisions, behavioral economics offers insights that practitioners can use to enhance evidence-based cancer screening interventions that rely on judgments about the probability of developing and detecting cancer, decisions about competing screening options, and the optimal presentation of complex choices (choice architecture). In the area of judgment, we describe ways practitioners can use the availability and representativeness of heuristics and the tendency toward unrealistic optimism to increase perceptions of risk and highlight benefits of screening. We describe how several behavioral economic principles involved in decision-making can influence screening attitudes, including how framing and context effects can be manipulated to highlight personally salient features of cancer screening tests. Finally, we offer suggestions about ways practitioners can apply principles related to choice architecture to health care systems in which cancer screening takes place. These recommendations include the use of incentives to increase screening, introduction of default options, appropriate feedback throughout the decision-making and behavior completion process, and clear presentation of complex choices, particularly in the context of colorectal cancer screening. We conclude by noting gaps in knowledge and propose future research questions to guide this promising area of research and practice.
doi:10.5888/pcd12.140346
PMCID: PMC4307834  PMID: 25590600
7.  Social Media in Communicating Health Information: An Analysis of Facebook Groups Related to Hypertension 
Introduction
We studied Facebook groups related to hypertension to characterize their objectives, subject matter, member sizes, geographical boundaries, level of activity, and user-generated content.
Methods
We performed a systematic search among open Facebook groups using the keywords “hypertension,” “high blood pressure,” “raised blood pressure,” and “blood pressure.” We extracted relevant data from each group’s content and developed a coding and categorizing scheme for the whole data set. Stepwise logistic regression was used to explore factors independently associated with each group’s level of activity.
Results
We found 187 hypertension-related Facebook groups containing 8,966 members. The main objective of most (59.9%) Facebook groups was to create hypertension awareness, and 11.2% were created primarily to support patients and caregivers. Among the top-displayed, most recent posts (n = 164), 21.3% were focused on product or service promotion, whereas one-fifth of posts were related to hypertension-awareness information. Each Facebook group’s level of activity was independently associated with group size (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01–1.03), presence of “likes” on the most recent wall post (AOR, 3.55, 95% CI, 1.41–8.92), and presence of attached files on the group wall (AOR, 5.01, 95% CI, 1.25–20.1).
Conclusion
The primary objective of most of the hypertension-related Facebook groups observed in this study was awareness creation. Compared with the whole Facebook community, the total number of hypertension-related Facebook groups and their users was small and the groups were less active.
doi:10.5888/pcd12.140265
PMCID: PMC4310711  PMID: 25633486
8.  Chronic Diseases, Lack of Medications, and Depression Among Syrian Refugees in Jordan, 2013–2014 
Introduction
Studying mental and physical health problems in refugees facilitates providing suitable health care, thus improving their quality of life. We studied depression tendency in Syrian refugees in Jordan in the light of chronic diseases and medication availability. Also, depression prevalence and depression comorbidity with chronic diseases were identified.
Methods
In this multicenter cross-sectional survey, data from Syrian refugees attending Caritas centers in 6 Jordanian cities from November 2013 through June 2014 were analyzed. Participants’ demographics, depression, previously diagnosed chronic diseases, and newly diagnosed chronic diseases and the availability of medications were studied. Logistic regression was used to examine predictors for depression.
Results
Of 765 refugees who participated, about one-third demonstrated significant depression as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory. Descriptive analyses showed that depression was comorbid in 35% of participants with previously diagnosed chronic diseases and in 40% of participants with newly diagnosed chronic diseases. Newly diagnosed chronic diseases and lack of medications significantly contributed to depression, but the regression model as a whole explained less than 5% of the variance.
Conclusion
Because the regression model showed low effect size, we concluded that newly diagnosed chronic diseases and medication shortages could not predict depression in Syrian refugees residing in Jordan. Therefore, further studies of additional factors are recommended. Prompt measures have to be taken to prevent the spread of chronic diseases and improve mental health in this fragile population.
doi:10.5888/pcd12.140424
PMCID: PMC4310712  PMID: 25633485
9.  Chronic Condition Combinations and Health Care Expenditures and Out-of-Pocket Spending Burden Among Adults, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2009 and 2011 
Introduction
Little is known about how combinations of chronic conditions in adults affect total health care expenditures. Our objective was to estimate the annual average total expenditures and out-of-pocket spending burden among US adults by combinations of conditions.
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study using 2009 and 2011 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. The sample consisted of 9,296 adults aged 21 years or older with at least 2 of the following 4 highly prevalent chronic conditions: arthritis, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and hypertension. Unadjusted and adjusted regression techniques were used to examine the association between chronic condition combinations and log-transformed total expenditures. Logistic regressions were used to analyze the relationship between chronic condition combinations and high out-of-pocket spending burden.
Results
Among adults with chronic conditions, adults with all 4 conditions had the highest average total expenditures ($20,016), whereas adults with diabetes/hypertension had the lowest annual total expenditures ($7,116). In adjusted models, adults with diabetes/hypertension and hypertension/arthritis had lower health care expenditures than adults with diabetes/heart disease (P < .001). In adjusted models, adults with all 4 conditions had higher expenditures compared with those with diabetes and heart disease. However, the difference was only marginally significant (P = .04).
Conclusion
Among adults with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, total health care expenditures differed by type of chronic condition combinations. For individuals with multiple chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, new models of care management are needed to reduce the cost burden on the payers.
doi:10.5888/pcd12.140388
PMCID: PMC4310713  PMID: 25633487
10.  Collaboration With Behavioral Health Care Facilities to Implement Systemwide Tobacco Control Policies — California, 2012 
The California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) administered 4 regional trainings in 2012 to staffers at CTCP-funded projects, tobacco control coalitions, several county departments of mental health and alcohol and drug, and administrators and providers from behavioral health care facilities. These trainings focused on the special tobacco use cessation needs and opportunities for cessation among persons with mental illness or substance abuse disorders, and they provided information about cessation and smoke-free policies. CTCP surveyed county and private behavioral health care programs to assess their readiness for adopting tobacco control strategies at treatment facilities. Between baseline and follow-up we found a decrease in the proportion of organizations at the precontemplation or contemplation stages of change and twice as many organizations at the action and maintenance stages of change. Significant obstacles remain to implementing policy: many agencies have concerns about going tobacco-free. But significant progress has been made, as evidenced by new policies and a growing number of tobacco-free coalitions consisting of public health agencies, behavioral health care agencies, and local hospitals.
doi:10.5888/pcd12.140350
PMCID: PMC4318685  PMID: 25654218
11.  Concentration of Tobacco Advertisements at SNAP and WIC Stores, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2012 
Introduction
Tobacco advertising is widespread in urban areas with racial/ethnic minority and low-income households that participate in nutrition assistance programs. Tobacco sales and advertising are linked to smoking behavior, which may complicate matters for low-income families struggling with disparate health risks relating to nutrition and chronic disease. We investigated the relationship between the amount and type of tobacco advertisements on tobacco outlets and the outlet type and location.
Methods
By using field visits and online images, we inspected all licensed tobacco retail outlets in Philadelphia (N = 4,639). Point pattern analyses were used to identify significant clustering of tobacco outlets and outlets with exterior tobacco advertisements. Logistic regression was used to analyze the relationship between the outlet’s acceptance of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the presence of tobacco advertisements.
Results
Tobacco outlets with exterior tobacco advertisements were significantly clustered in several high-poverty areas. Controlling for racial/ethnic and income composition and land use, SNAP and WIC vendors were significantly more likely to have exterior (SNAP odds ratio [OR], 2.11; WIC OR, 1.59) and interior (SNAP OR, 3.43; WIC OR, 1.69) tobacco advertisements than other types of tobacco outlets.
Conclusion
Tobacco advertising is widespread at retail outlets, particularly in low-income and racial/ethnic minority neighborhoods. Policy makers may be able to mitigate the effects of this disparate exposure through tobacco retail licensing, local sign control rules, and SNAP and WIC authorization.
doi:10.5888/pcd12.140133
PMCID: PMC4318686  PMID: 25654220
12.  Patient Perspectives on Tobacco Use Treatment in Primary Care 
Introduction
Evidence-based tobacco cessation interventions increase quit rates, yet most smokers do not use them. Every primary care visit offers the potential to discuss such options, but communication can be tricky for patients and provider alike. We explored smokers’ personal interactions with health care providers to better understand what it is like to be a smoker in an increasingly smoke-free era and the resources needed to support quit attempts and to better define important patient-centered outcomes.
Methods
Three 90-minute focus groups, involving 33 patients from 3 primary care clinics, were conducted. Participants were current or recent (having quit within 6 months) smokers. Topics included tobacco use, quit attempts, and interactions with providers, followed by more pointed questions exploring actions patients want from providers and outcome measures that would be meaningful to patients.
Results
Four themes were identified through inductive coding techniques: 1) the experience of being a tobacco user (inconvenience, shame, isolation, risks, and benefits), 2) the medical encounter (expectations of providers, trust and respect, and positive, targeted messaging), 3) high-value actions (consistent dialogue, the addiction model, point-of-care nicotine patches, educational materials, carbon monoxide monitoring, and infrastructure), and 4) patient-centered outcomes.
Conclusion
Engaged patient-centered smoking cessation counseling requires seeking the patient voice early in the process. Participants desired honest, consistent, and pro-active discussions and actions. Participants also suggested creative patient-centered outcome measures to consider in future research.
doi:10.5888/pcd12.140408
PMCID: PMC4318687  PMID: 25654219
13.  Menu-Labeling Usage and Its Association with Diet and Exercise: 2011 BRFSS Sugar Sweetened Beverage and Menu Labeling Module 
Introduction
The primary objective of our study was to investigate the association between menu-labeling usage and healthy behaviors pertaining to diet (consumption of fruits, vegetables, sodas, and sugar-sweetened beverages) and exercise.
Methods
Data from the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Sugar Sweetened Beverage and Menu-Labeling module, were used. Logistic regression was used to determine the association between menu-labeling usage and explanatory variables that included fruit, vegetable, soda, and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption as well as exercise.
Results
Nearly half (52%) of the sample indicated that they used menu labeling. People who used menu labeling were more likely to be female (odds ratio [OR], 2.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.04–2.58), overweight (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.00–1.29) or obese (OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.12–1.50), obtain adequate weekly aerobic exercise (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.06–1.32), eat fruits (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.12–1.29) and vegetables (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.05–1.20), and drink less soda (OR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.69–0.83).
Conclusion
Although obese and overweight people were more likely to use menu labeling, they were also adequately exercising, eating more fruits and vegetables, and drinking less soda. Menu labeling is intended to combat the obesity epidemic; however the results indicate an association between menu-labeling usage and certain healthy behaviors. Thus, efforts may be necessary to increase menu-labeling usage among people who are not partaking in such behaviors.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130231
PMCID: PMC3879000  PMID: 24384303
14.  The Tennessee Department of Health WORKshops on Use of Secondary Data for Community Health Assessment, 2012 
Community health assessment is a core function of public health departments, a standard for accreditation of public health departments, and a core competency for public health professionals. The Tennessee Department of Health developed a statewide initiative to improve the processes for engaging county health departments in assessing their community’s health status through the collection and analysis of secondary data. One aim of the Tennessee Department of Health was to position county public health departments as trusted leaders in providing population data and engaging community stakeholders in assessments. The Tennessee Department of Health’s Division of Policy, Planning, and Assessment conducted regional 2-day training workshops to explain and guide completion of computer spreadsheets on 12 health topics. Participants from 93 counties extracted data from multiple and diverse sources to quantify county demographics, health status, and resources and wrote problem statements based on the data examined. The workshops included additional staff development through integration of short lessons on data analysis, epidemiology, and social-behavior theory. Participants reported in post-workshop surveys higher degrees of comfort in interpreting data and writing about their findings on county health issues, and they shared their findings with health, hospital, school, and government leaders (including county health council members) in their counties. Completion of the assessments enabled counties and the Tennessee Department of Health to address performance-improvement goals and assist counties in preparing to meet public health accreditation prerequisites. The methods developed for using secondary data for community health assessment are Tennessee’s first-phase response to counties’ request for a statewide structure for conducting such assessments.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130206
PMCID: PMC3879001  PMID: 24384302
15.  Physical Activity Surveillance in Parks Using Direct Observation 
Introduction
Primary features of observational public health surveillance instruments are that they are valid, can reliably estimate physical activity behaviors, and are useful across diverse geographic settings and seasons by different users. Previous studies have reported the validity and reliability of Systematic Observation of Play and Recreation in Communities (SOPARC) to estimate park and user characteristics. The purpose of this investigation was to establish the use of SOPARC as a surveillance instrument and to situate the findings from the study in the context of the previous literature.
Methods
We collected data by using SOPARC for more than 3 years in 4 locations: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Columbus, Ohio; Chapel Hill/Durham, North Carolina; and Albuquerque, New Mexico during spring, summer, and autumn.
Results
We observed a total of 35,990 park users with an overall observer reliability of 94% (range, 85%–99%) conducted on 15% of the observations. We monitored the proportion of park users engaging in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and found marginal differences in MVPA by both city and season. Park users visited parks significantly more on weekend days than weekdays and visitation rates tended to be lower during summer than spring.
Conclusion
SOPARC is a highly reliable observation instrument that can be used to collect data across diverse geographic settings and seasons by different users and has potential as a surveillance system.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130147
PMCID: PMC3879002  PMID: 24384304
16.  Online Grocery Store Coupons and Unhealthy Foods, United States 
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130211
PMCID: PMC3887050  PMID: 24406094
17.  The Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health Partnership Study: Multisector Partnerships in US Counties with Improving Health Metrics 
Introduction
Multisector partnerships are promoted as a mechanism to improve population health. This study explored the types and salient features of multisector partnerships in US counties with improving population health metrics.
Methods
We used the “Framework for Understanding Cross-Sector Collaborations” proposed by Bryson, Crosby, and Stone to guide data collection and interpretation. Comparative case studies were conducted in 4 counties selected on the basis of population, geographic region, an age-adjusted mortality decline better than the US average, and stable per capita income. Data were collected through website and report reviews and through in-depth interviews with key informants (N = 59) representing multiple sectors. County reports were developed and cross-case themes related to partnership types and salient features were derived.
Results
Multisector collaboration was common in all 4 counties despite substantial variations in population, geographic size, demographic diversity, and other characteristics. Most partnerships were formed by professionals and organizations to improve delivery of health and social services to vulnerable populations or to generate policy, system, and environment changes. Multisector collaboration was valued in all cases. Outcomes attributed to partnerships included short- and long-term effects that contributed to improved population health.
Conclusion
The Bryson, Crosby, and Stone model is a useful framework for conducting case study research on multisector partnerships. Outcomes attributed to the multisector partnerships have the potential to contribute to improvement in population health. Further study is needed to confirm whether multisector partnerships are necessary for improving population health within counties and to understand which partnership characteristics are critical for success.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130103
PMCID: PMC3887051  PMID: 24406092
18.  Obesity Prevalence by Occupation in Washington State, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 
Introduction
Data that estimate the prevalence of and risk factors for worker obesity by occupation are generally unavailable and could inform the prioritization of workplace wellness programs. The aims of this study were to estimate the prevalence of obesity by occupation, examine the association of occupational physical activity and a range of health behaviors with obesity, and identify occupations in which workers are at high risk of obesity in Washington State.
Methods
We conducted descriptive and multivariable analyses among 37,626 employed Washington State respondents using the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in odd numbered years, from 2003 through 2009. We estimated prevalence and prevalence ratios (PRs) by occupational groups adjusting for demographics, occupational physical activity level, smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption, and leisure-time physical activity (LPTA).
Results
Overall obesity prevalence was 24.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 24.0–25.1). Workers in protective services were 2.46 (95% CI, 1.72–3.50) times as likely to be obese as workers in health diagnosing occupations. Compared with their counterparts, workers who consumed adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables and had adequate LTPA were significantly less likely to be obese (PR = 0.91; 95% CI, 0.86–0.97 and PR = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.60–0.67, respectively). Workers with physically demanding occupational physical activity had a lower PR of obesity (PR = 0.83; 95% CI, 0.78–0.88) than those with nonphysically demanding occupational physical activity.
Conclusion
Obesity prevalence and health risk behaviors vary substantially by occupation. Employers, policy makers, and health promotion practitioners can use our results to target and prioritize workplace obesity prevention and health behavior promotion programs.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130219
PMCID: PMC3887052  PMID: 24406093
19.  Policy Changes to Implement Intramural Sports in North Carolina Middle Schools: Simulated Effects on Sports Participation Rates and Physical Activity Intensity, 2008–2009 
Introduction
Extracurricular school sports programs can provide adolescents, including those who are economically disadvantaged, with opportunities to engage in physical activity. Although current models favor more exclusionary interscholastic sports, a better understanding is needed of the potential effects of providing alternative school sports options, such as more inclusive intramural sports. The purpose of this study was to simulate the potential effect of implementing intramural sports programs in North Carolina middle schools on both the rates of sports participation and on energy expenditure related to physical activity levels.
Methods
Simulations were conducted by using a school-level data set developed by integrating data from multiple sources. Baseline rates of sports participation were extrapolated from individual-level data that were based on school-level characteristics. A regression model was estimated by using the simulated baseline school-level sample. Participation rates and related energy expenditure for schools were calculated on the basis of 2 policy change scenarios.
Results
Currently, 37.2% of school sports participants are economically disadvantaged. Simulations suggested that policy changes to implement intramural sports along with interscholastic sports could result in more than 43,000 new sports participants statewide, of which 64.5% would be economically disadvantaged students. This estimate represents a 36.75% increase in economically disadvantaged participants. Adding intramural sports to existing interscholastic sports programs at all middle schools in North Carolina could have an annual effect of an additional 819,892.65 kilogram calories expended statewide.
Conclusion
Implementing intramural sports may provide economically disadvantaged students more access to sports, thus reducing disparities in access to school sports while increasing overall physical activity levels among all children.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130195
PMCID: PMC3894929  PMID: 24433623
20.  Recommendations for a Culturally Relevant Internet-Based Tool to Promote Physical Activity Among Overweight Young African American Women, Alabama, 2010–2011 
Introduction
Innovative approaches are needed to promote physical activity among young adult overweight and obese African American women. We sought to describe key elements that African American women desire in a culturally relevant Internet-based tool to promote physical activity among overweight and obese young adult African American women.
Methods
A mixed-method approach combining nominal group technique and traditional focus groups was used to elicit recommendations for the development of an Internet-based physical activity promotion tool. Participants, ages 19 to 30 years, were enrolled in a major university. Nominal group technique sessions were conducted to identify themes viewed as key features for inclusion in a culturally relevant Internet-based tool. Confirmatory focus groups were conducted to verify and elicit more in-depth information on the themes.
Results
Twenty-nine women participated in nominal group (n = 13) and traditional focus group sessions (n = 16). Features that emerged to be included in a culturally relevant Internet-based physical activity promotion tool were personalized website pages, diverse body images on websites and in videos, motivational stories about physical activity and women similar to themselves in size and body shape, tips on hair care maintenance during physical activity, and online social support through social media (eg, Facebook, Twitter).
Conclusion
Incorporating existing social media tools and motivational stories from young adult African American women in Internet-based tools may increase the feasibility, acceptability, and success of Internet-based physical activity programs in this high-risk, understudied population.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130169
PMCID: PMC3899848  PMID: 24433625
21.  Prevalence of Chronic Conditions Among Medicare Part A Beneficiaries in 2008 and 2010: Are Medicare Beneficiaries Getting Sicker? 
Introduction
Medicare beneficiaries who have chronic conditions are responsible for a disproportionate share of Medicare fee-for-service expenditures. The objective of this study was to analyze the change in the health of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Part A (hospital insurance) between 2008 and 2010 by comparing the prevalence of 11 chronic conditions.
Methods
We conducted descriptive analyses using the 2008 and 2010 Chronic Conditions Public Use Files, which are newly available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and have administrative (claims) data on 100% of the Medicare fee-for-service population. We examined the data by age, sex, and dual eligibility (eligibility for both Medicare and Medicaid).
Results
Medicare Part A beneficiaries had more chronic conditions on average in 2010 than in 2008. The percentage increase in the average number of chronic conditions was larger for dual-eligible beneficiaries (2.8%) than for nondual-eligible beneficiaries (1.2%). The prevalence of some chronic conditions, such as congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, and stroke/transient ischemic attack, decreased. The deterioration of average health was due to other chronic conditions: chronic kidney disease, depression, diabetes, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis/osteoarthritis. Trends in Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease showed differences by sex or dual eligibility or both.
Conclusion
Analyzing the prevalence of 11 chronic conditions by using Medicare claims data provides a monitoring tool that can guide health care providers and policy makers in devising strategies to address chronic conditions and rising health care costs.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130118
PMCID: PMC3899849  PMID: 24433626
22.  Prevalence of Smoke-Free Car and Home Rules in Maine Before and After Passage of a Smoke-Free Vehicle Law, 2007–2010 
Introduction
This is the first study to examine the prevalence of self-reported smoke-free rules for private cars and homes before and after the passage of a smoke-free vehicle law.
Methods
Data were examined for 13,461 Maine adults aged 18 or older who participated in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a state-based telephone survey covering health topics. Self-reported smoke-free car and home rules, smoking behavior, and demographic variables of age, sex, education, income, and children in household were analyzed for prevalence before and after the state’s smoke-free vehicle law was passed.
Results
Prevalence of smoke-free car and home rules was significantly higher after Maine’s smoke-free vehicle law was passed in the state (P = .004 for car rules and P = .009 for home rules). Variations in smoking rules differed by smoking and demographic variables. People with household incomes of less than $20,000 saw an increase of 14.3% in smoke-free car rules; overall, those with annual incomes of less than $20,000 and those with less than a high school education reported a lower prevalence of smoke-free car rules both before and after the law was passed than did people with higher incomes and higher education levels. The prevalence of smoke-free home rules after the law was implemented was higher among those with 4 or more years of college education than among those with lower levels of education (P = .02).
Conclusion
The prevalence of smoke-free car and home rules among Maine adults was significantly higher after the passage of a statewide smoke-free vehicle law. This apparent change in smoke-free rule prevalence may be indicative of changing social norms related to the unacceptability of secondhand smoke exposure.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130132
PMCID: PMC3899850  PMID: 24433624
23.  The Program Sustainability Assessment Tool: A New Instrument for Public Health Programs 
Introduction
Public health programs can deliver benefits only if they are able to sustain programs, policies, and activities over time. Although numerous sustainability frameworks and models have been developed, there are almost no assessment tools that have demonstrated reliability or validity or have been widely disseminated. We present the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool (PSAT), a new and reliable instrument for assessing the capacity for program sustainability of various public health and other programs.
Methods
A measurement development study was conducted to assess the reliability of the PSAT. Program managers and staff (n = 592) representing 252 public health programs used the PSAT to rate the sustainability of their program. State and community-level programs participated, representing 4 types of chronic disease programs: tobacco control, diabetes, obesity prevention, and oral health.
Results
The final version of the PSAT contains 40 items, spread across 8 sustainability domains, with 5 items per domain. Confirmatory factor analysis shows good fit of the data with the 8 sustainability domains. The subscales have excellent internal consistency; the average Cronbach’s α is 0.88, ranging from 0.79 to 0.92. Preliminary validation analyses suggest that PSAT scores are related to important program and organizational characteristics.
Conclusion
The PSAT is a new and reliable assessment instrument that can be used to measure a public health program’s capacity for sustainability. The tool is designed to be used by researchers, evaluators, program managers, and staff for large and small public health programs.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130184
PMCID: PMC3900326  PMID: 24456645
24.  Using the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool to Assess and Plan for Sustainability 
Implementing and growing a public health program that benefits society takes considerable time and effort. To ensure that positive outcomes are maintained over time, program managers and stakeholders should plan and implement activities to build sustainability capacity within their programs. We describe a 3-part sustainability planning process that programs can follow to build their sustainability capacity. First, program staff and stakeholders take the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool to measure their program’s sustainability across 8 domains. Next, managers and stakeholders use results from the assessment to inform and prioritize sustainability action planning. Lastly, staff members implement the plan and keep track of progress toward their sustainability goals. Through this process, staff can more holistically address the internal and external challenges and pressures associated with sustaining a program. We include a case example of a chronic disease program that completed the Program Sustainability Assessment Tool and engaged in program sustainability planning.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130185
PMCID: PMC3900327  PMID: 24456644
25.  From Menu to Mouth: Opportunities for Sodium Reduction in Restaurants 
Restaurant foods can be a substantial source of sodium in the American diet. According to the Institute of Medicine, the significant contribution made by restaurants and food service menu items to Americans’ sodium intake warrants targeted attention. Public health practitioners are uniquely poised to support sodium-reduction efforts in restaurants and help drive demand for lower-sodium products through communication and collaboration with restaurant and food service professionals and through incentives for restaurants. This article discusses the role of the public health practitioner in restaurant sodium reduction and highlights select strategies that have been taken by state and local jurisdictions to support this effort.
doi:10.5888/pcd11.130237
PMCID: PMC3900328  PMID: 24456646

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