Public Health Researchers – Meet CORIDOR, the CDC’s new online resource database

The CDC is pleased to announce the launch of CORIDOR,  the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s (NCCDPHP) Collection of Online Resources & Inventory Database.  CORIDOR  is an organized and readily accessible source for public health practitioners to use in planning, implementation, and evaluation of state and national chronic disease prevention and health promotion initiatives. The resources included are primarily practice-based and represent science and practice promoted by CDC and CDC funded partners to address chronic disease conditions and risk factors. Tools include model policies and programs, guides, toolkits, and other resources for a variety of audiences with a range of skills.


How Patients and Their Families Manage Life on the LVAD Heart Device – Frances Barg PhD

Observing that “lifesaving technologies have proliferated dramatically within the past few decades, yet there is scant understanding of the ramifications of such technologies in the world of patients and their families,”  PRC Researcher Frances Barg, PhD, MEd, and co-authors examine how patients and their families face health decisions that accompany use of the LVAD (left ventricular assist device) heart pump in  the January 2017 issue of The American Journal of Bioethics

“The findings from our study sound the call for further investigation of nuanced approaches to patient-centered interventions that take into account the impact of technologies on meaning, identity, and patient and family experience,” according to the authors. “Such intervention may better prepare and orient patients and their families to life with the LVAD. It is incumbent upon those of us who work with these technologies to recognize the complexities of these experiences and reflect upon the emergent ethical, clinical, and social cultures that can obscure them.”


Penn Medicine Researcher Calls for Changes to Current Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines

Chyke Doubeni Quote

UPenn PRC’s Chyke Doubeni (pictured) recommends assessing risk and change over time when determining colorectal cancer screening guidelines.

In a recent editorial in the journal Gastroenterology, Chyke A. Doubeni, MD, MPH, Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Perelman School of Medicine and a PRC researcher, and Robert H. Fletcher, MD of Harvard Medical School, call for a reassessment of colorectal cancer screening guidelines.

“The accumulated evidence shows that the risk of a colorectal cancer diagnosis in patients associated with having a family history of the condition becomes progressively smaller with increasing age, as does the association between family history and death from colorectal cancer,” Doubeni said. “Current standards recommend aggressive screening until age 75 to 85, but now a growing body of evidence show that it is not necessary to continue to screen most older people with a family history that aggressively.”

In light of these findings, for patients over 55—particularly those 65 years and older—who have only one immediate family member with colorectal cancer, Doubeni advocates for screening as recommended for average risk individuals (colonoscopy every ten years or other recommended screening test such as fecal immunochemical test every year). Those with two or more first-degree relatives with the disease, he says, should continue to receive a colonoscopy more often until more evidence is available.

Innovative Strategy For Improving Stakeholder Engagement in Academic Research Communities

Strategic planning for research priorities in schools of nursing requires consensus-building and engagement of key stakeholders. However, traditional approaches to strategic planning using workgroups and committees sometimes result in low rates of faculty participation and fail to engage other important stakeholders.

In a special issue of Nursing Outlook,  Kaitlin M. Best, MS RN, Olga Jarrin, PhD, RN, Alison M. Buttenheim, PhD, MBA, Kathryn H. Bowles, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Martha A. Q. Curley, PhD, RN, FAAN describe an unique low-cost, high-yield processes that contributed to the rapid development of their school’s strategic research plan over the course of 1 month.

Most importantly, using the name recognition of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s annual basketball tournament, the author was able to encourage high levels of participation by faculty, doctoral students, and postdoctoral fellows in not only developing a consensus around eight broad lines of inquiry but also offering tangible recommendations for accomplishing those goals within the next 5 years. However, other schools of nursing seeking to evaluate their research enterprise and align their science with national priorities could easily replicate this approach.

Read the article here.

Best K, Jarrin O, Buttenheim A, Bowles K, Curley M. Innovation in creating a strategic plan for research within an academic community. Nursing Outlook, Jul-Aug 2015, 63:4, 456-461.



Development of the Perceived Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS-P)

In the American Journal of Preventive Medicine July 2015, PRC Director Dr. Karen Glanz and Sarah Green of the Center for Health Behavior Research, University of Pennsylvania, discuss the development of the Perceived Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS-P). As a result, it has the ability to discern differences between lower- and higher-SES neighborhoods.


One of the most widely used observational measures of the nutrition environment, the Nutrition Environment Measures Survey (NEMS), developed by Dr. Glanz’s team, is used to study a range of food environments and contexts and evaluate policy and environment interventions. NEMS data have been collected throughout the U.S. and internationally by trained researchers, nutritionists, and public health professionals.


The NEMS-P, developed using a multiphase systematic measurement development process, has been shown to be easy to understand and have good test-retest reliability. In addition, it discriminates between neighborhood food environments in disadvantaged compared to more affluent communities. The NEMS-P is an important step forward in developing a psychometrically sound and conceptually grounded tool that can be used in a variety of communities and complement observational and geospatial assessments of nutrition environments.


Read the article here.


Green S, Glanz K. Development of the Perceived Nutrition Environment Measures Survey. American Journal of Preventive Medicine July 2015, 49:1, 50-61.