Category Archives: Screening

Feb 6 2014

Human Capital News Roundup: Avoiding aneurysms, healthy food, gun safety, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast, and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows, alumni, and grantees. Some recent examples:

In a Huffington Post Latino Voices blog, Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program alumna Paloma Toledo, MD, discusses obesity among Hispanic Americans and how parents can influence children’s behavior, particularly regarding physical activity. She also flags influences that impede efforts to improve health for Hispanic youth: “In the U.S., food advertising on Spanish-language television is more likely to promote nutritionally-poor food than English-language advertising, hindering Hispanic children.”

During months when low-income individuals have access to Earned Income Tax Credit benefits, they spend more on healthy food, according to a study by RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumna Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, PhD. The study suggests that people with low incomes also buy more healthy food when their income increases, reports the Wall Street Journal Real Time Economics blog.

Health care professionals could make a vital contribution to educating children about the dangers of gun-related injuries, according to a study by RWFJ Clinical Scholar John Leventhal, PhD. He told Fox News: “Pediatricians and other health care providers can play an important role in preventing these injuries through counseling about firearm safety, including safe storage.”

Read more

Nov 23 2012

Upcoming Webinar: Translating Research into Practice

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI) will host a webinar on November 28, where INQRI grantees will discuss their research and future implications of their work. This is the first in a new series of webinars from the program, Translating Research into Practice.

The webinar, which will be held from 12-1 p.m. EST, will feature project investigators Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, and Bonnie Spring, PhD, discussing their research on nurse-led interventions to improve screening and treatment for substance abuse.

Register for the webinar.
Learn more about the research by Newhouse and Spring.

Jun 6 2012

Will Evidence on Prostate Cancer Screening Shape Clinical Practice?

By Craig Pollack, MD, MS, MHS, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar alumnus (2006-2009), assistant professor of medicine and associate director of the General Internal Medicine Fellowship program at Johns Hopkins University

Craig Pollack

The United States Preventive Services Task Force, a group never to shy away from controversy, recently released its final recommendations on prostate cancer screening. The Task Force gave prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing a grade D, indicating that it should be discouraged as part of routine testing. They noted that there were substantial harms associated with testing and subsequent diagnosis and treatment: worry and anxiety; infections from biopsies; incontinence and erectile dysfunction. And the benefits were likely to be small—on the order of 1 life saved for every 1,000 men screened.

However, the recommendations have caused tremendous controversy. Critics question whether the Task Force has appropriately weighed the risks and benefits and balanced the existing evidence. Our research suggests that even those who agree with the recommendations will find it hard to stop screening. We are now working on a set of decision-making tools for primary care providers (PCPs) and patients to minimize unnecessary screening.


Read more

Apr 12 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Screening for prostate cancer, organ donation, bariatric surgery, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Andrea L. Campbell, PhD, writes about how health care reform could benefit her sister-in-law, now a quadriplegic after a car accident. “As a scholar of social policy at [the Massachusetts Institute of Technology], I teach students how the system works,” she writes. “Now I am learning, in real time.” Campbell is an alumna and a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Scholars in Health Policy Research program, and the recipient of an RWJF Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. The Washington Post Wonk Blog and Esquire’s Politics Blog also picked up on Campbell’s story.

Medical News Today is among the outlets to report on a study led by an alumnus of the RWJF Clinical Scholars program, Danil V. Makarov, MD, MHS (a 2008-2010 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Scholar). A large share of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer are sent for unnecessary imaging, the researchers found, which could compromise the care they receive, delaying their ultimate treatment, and could also run up the costs associated with diagnosing and treating their cancers. Read more about the study.

Susan Bakewell-Sachs, PhD, RN, PNP-BC, program director of the New Jersey Nursing Initiative (NJNI), spoke to The Record (Hackensack, N.J.) about a report in the New England Journal of Medicine that finds the country’s nursing shortage may have temporarily eased. She also discussed nursing education in New Jersey. “What I tell students is they should be thinking of a career trajectory that includes an education projection path,” she said. “Anyone who has other people’s lives in their hands must be a lifelong learner.” NJNI is a program of RWJF and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports on the success of an RWJF initiative—Transforming Care at the Bedside—in the state. The program encourages nurses and other frontline workers to suggest and implement ideas to make their hospitals safer. A recent survey by the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems found that over the last 10 months, there was a "10-percent increase in better access to supplies and equipment among staff; a 12-percent improvement in communication on the wards; and a 16-percent increase in nurses who say their ideas seem to count."

Read more

Jan 26 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Benefits of living alone, screening for osteoporosis, the impact of racism on health, and more.

Here’s a sampling of recent news coverage of the work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars and Fellows:

Smithsonian Magazine interviewed Eric Klinenberg, PhD, recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, about his new book “Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone.” Klinenberg and his research team conducted more than 300 interviews for the book and concluded that living alone can have benefits for an individual and for society as a whole.

Gary Taubes, MSE, MS, an Investigator Award winner and author of “Why We Get Fat,” wrote a letter to the New York Times in response to an article on obesity and calorie consumption. His letter was co-signed by more than 250 medical experts. Read more about Taubes’ research.

A study by Geri Dickson, PhD, RN, and Linda Flynn, PhD, RN, FAAN, grantees of the RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI), continues to receive media coverage. “It seems each new study that examines a particular facet of nursing also reinforces the notion that nurses are the backbone of healthcare delivery in the United States,” Health Leaders Media writes. “The common sense findings in a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study this month underscore the importance of nurses' critical thinking skills as the key component in reducing errors and improving outcomes.”

INQRI grantee Mary Beth Happ, PhD, RN, commented to the Associated Press about how severe mental disability may affect a patient’s probability of receiving a kidney transplant. Happ’s research focuses on communication with non-vocal patients.

Bone density scans to check for osteoporosis may not be necessary for half of women over age 67, according to a study led by Margaret Gourlay, MD, MPH, an alumna of the RWJF Clinical Scholars program. The study’s findings suggest that women who show no or very little bone loss on their first scan may not need another bone density scan for 15 years, NPR’s Shots blog reports.

Read more