PRC Communication and Dissemination Core Director Amy Jordan presided over the 66th Annual International Communication Association Conference held in Fukuoka Japan from June 9th to 13th. Her presidential address, entitled “Digital Media Use and the Experience of Childhood”, argued that it is essential to include less visible, marginalized, and refugee children as we seek to understand the role media can play in children’s development.
Dr. Jordan and colleagues in the Children, Adolescent, and Media Division celebrated the 10 year anniversary of the Journal of Children and Media.
Left to right: Sun Sun Lim (National University of Singapore), Sonia Livingstone (London School of Economics), Dafna Lemish (Southern Illinois University), Jan van den Buick (University of Leuven), Moniek Bujzien (Radboud University Nijmegen), Renee Hobbs (University of Rhode Island), Claudia Riesmeyer (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich), Michael Rich (Boston Children’s Hospital), Ellen Wartella (Northwestern University), Srivi Ramasubramanian (Texas A & M University), Amy Jordan (University of Pennsylvania) and Vicky Rideout (VJR Consulting).
Whooping cough has increased dramatically over the past five years, putting infants at risk of serious illness or death. Most are infected by a caregiver who has not received a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) booster, so caregiver immunization is key to reversing this trend.
Since many caregivers go unvaccinated, new strategies are needed to convince those living with infants to get the Tdap booster. To address this care gap, a team of researchers lead by Alison Buttenheim PhD, MBA, an Assistant Professor of Nursing and an Assistant Professor of Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, evaluated the feasibility and impact of different interventions aimed at increasing the number of vaccinated caregivers.
The results of their study, set for publication in the February 2016 issue of Vaccine, concluded that despite leveraging existing vaccination services at retail pharmacies, vaccine vouchers and celebrity video promotion delivered during a newborn visit were not an effective strategy for increasing Tdap vaccination. “We continue to look for alternate approaches that prioritize convenience and provide an immediate opportunity to vaccinate when the motivation to do so is high,” added Buttenheim
Co-investigator of UPenn PRC’s Special Interest Project on Skin Cancer Prevention, DeAnn Lazovich, recently stated that the best way to protect yourself from the sun is by wearing clothing. Sunscreen, Lazovich said, should be a last option. People often feel invincible when using sunscreen when the best form of coverage actually comes from not exposing the skin at all.
Reports on the association between statins and memory impairment are inconsistent. To assess whether statin users show acute decline in memory compared with nonusers and with users of nonstatin lipid-lowering drugs (LLDs), UPenn PRC researcher Jason Karlawish and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study which compared 482 543 statin users with 2 control groups: 482 543 matched nonusers of any LLDs and all 26 484 users of nonstatin LLDs. A case-crossover study of 68 028 patients with incident acute memory loss evaluated exposure to statins during the period immediately before the outcome vs 3 earlier periods.
When compared with matched nonusers of any LLDs, a strong association was present between first exposure to statins and incident acute memory loss diagnosed within 30 days immediately following exposure. This association was not reproduced in the comparison of statins vs nonstatin LLDs but was also present when comparing nonstatin LLDs with matched nonuser controls. The case-crossover analysis showed little association.
The authors conclude by arguing that both statin and nonstatin LLDs were strongly associated with acute memory loss in the first 30 days following exposure in users compared with nonusers but not when compared with each other. Thus, either all LLDs cause acute memory loss regardless of drug class or the association is the result of detection bias rather than a causal association.
UPenn PRC’s Amy Jordan PhD, Amy Bleakley, PhD, MPH, Karen Glanz, PhD, MPH, and Andrew Strasser, PhD, using a novel experimental approach, identifying the effectiveness of distinct persuasive strategies used in audiovisual (television-format) public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to encourage parents to reduce their children’s sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption. Evaluation of existing SSB-related PSAs is vitally important because it can provide insight into which persuasive appeals are most effective for audiences, particularly those most at risk for overweight and obesity
Their findings suggest that anti-SSB campaigns targeting parents should include strong arguments for sugar-sweetened beverage reduction, invoke feelings of empowerment and hope, and be clearly directed at distinct parent audiences. At the same time the authors recognize that while individual actions may be helpful, the obesogenic environment that surrounds children may subvert even the most involved and well-intentioned parents. Appeals to personal parenting responsibility should be made in concert with efforts to create healthier structural, nutritional, and preventative environments.