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News and training opportunities
Cool websites and reports on hot topics
Interesting journal articles
News and training opportunities
New Library and Information Services Manager: Denise Bortolussi
Denise joined DSHS Library Services on September 12, 2016. She has over twenty-five years of experience as a librarian. She was Director of Information Services at the Austin American-Statesman from 1995-1998. She has served as a Reference Librarian, Secondary School Librarian, Children’s Services Librarian, and Editorial Librarian. Denise obtained a Master of Library Science degree from Texas Woman’s University. She speaks fluent French and Norwegian. Please help us give a warm DSHS welcome to Denise!
NIH Series on Data Science: The Big Data to Knowledge Guide to the Fundamentals of Data Science Series is being held every Friday beginning September 9, 2016 from 11am –noon (CDT) See http://www.bigdatau.org/data-science-seminars
Pink Book Webinar Series
This online series of 15 webinars provides an overview of the principles of vaccination, general recommendations, immunization strategies for providers, and specific information about vaccine-preventable diseases and the vaccines that prevent them. Each one-hour webinar explores a chapter from the 13th edition of "Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases," also known widely as "The Pink Book." To watch recasts of this series, go to https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/webinar-epv/index.html
Cool websites and reports on hot topics*
Adult Obesity in the United States is a project of the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. See http://stateofobesity.org/adult-obesity/
Chartbook on Effective Treatment: National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report, AHRQ, September 2016, provides updated information about national efforts to improve prevention and treatment of eight health conditions that are leading causes of mortality and morbidity: cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, HIV and AIDS, mental health and substance abuse, musculoskeletal diseases and respiratory diseases.
Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention, 5 Year Strategic Plan, Texas Dept. of Family & Protective Services, September 2016. Read this plan for preventing child abuse and neglect in Texas at http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/Reports_and_Presentations/PEI/documents/2017/09-2016_PEI_Five_Year_Strategic_Plan.pdf
Comparing Talk Therapy and Other Depression Treatments with Antidepressant Medicines: A Review of the Research for Adults, AHRQ, September 2016. Read the review at http://www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/ehc/products/568/2302/major-depressive-disorder-160915.pdf
Ending Discrimination against People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders:
The Evidence for Stigma Change (2016). This book explores stigma and discrimination faced by individuals with mental or substance use disorders and recommends effective strategies for reducing stigma and encouraging people to seek treatment and other supportive services. Read the book at https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23442/ending-discrimination-against-people-with-mental-and-substance-use-disorders
Families Caring for an Aging America (2016). This book examines the prevalence and nature of family caregiving of older adults and the available evidence on the effectiveness of programs, supports, and other interventions designed to support family caregivers. Read it at https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23606/families-caring-for-an-aging-america
The Hospital at Home Model: Bringing Hospital-Level Care to the Patient by Sarah Klein, Martha Hostetter, and Douglas McCarthy, Commonwealth Fund. Read the case study at http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/case-studies/2016/aug/hospital-at-home
Makeup of Germs in Newborn's Gut May Triple Allergy, Asthma Risk. A recent study finds an abnormality present in 10 percent of kids seems to undermine immune function. Read a summary at https://consumer.healthday.com/respiratory-and-allergy-information-2/misc-allergy-news-17/makeup-of-bugs-in-newborn-s-gut-may-triple-allergy-risk-714784.html
Rural Public Health Systems: Challenges and Opportunities for Improving Population Health by NL Hale, AcademyHealth, October 2015. Read the report at http://www.academyhealth.org/files/AH_Rural%20Health%20brief%20final2.pdf
Sports-Related Emergency Department Visits and Hospital Inpatient Stays, 2013, AHRQ Statistical Brief #207, July 2016. http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb207-Sports-Hospital-Emergency-Department-2013.jsp?utm_source=AHRQ&utm_medium=ENSTAT2&utm_term=CHILD&utm_content=9&utm_campaign=AHRQ_HCUPSB207_2016
Interesting journal articles
Criminalization of HIV exposure: a review of empirical studies in the United States. Harsono D, Galletly CL, O'Keefe E, Lazzarini Z. AIDS Behav. 2016 Sep 7. [Epub ahead of print]
This review of literature identifies and describes US empirical studies on the criminalization of HIV exposure, examines findings on key questions about these laws, highlights knowledge gaps, and sets a course for future research. Studies published between 1990 and 2014 were identified through key word searches of relevant electronic databases and discussions with experts. Twenty-five empirical studies were identified. Sixteen of these studies used quantitative methods with more than half of these being cross-sectional survey studies. Study samples included male and female HIV-positive persons, HIV-positive and -negative men who have sex with men, public health personnel, and medical providers. Research questions addressed awareness of and attitudes toward HIV exposure laws, potential influences of these laws on seropositive status disclosure for persons living with HIV, HIV testing for HIV-negative persons, safer sex practices for both groups, and associations between HIV exposure laws and HIV-related stigma. Surveys of the laws and studies of enforcement practices were also conducted. Attention should be shifted from examining attitudes about these laws to exploring their potential influence on public health practices and behaviors related to the HIV continuum of care. Studies examining enforcement and prosecution practices are also needed. Adapting a theoretical framework in future research may be useful in better understanding the influence of HIV exposure laws on HIV risk behaviors.
Do leadership training and development make a difference in the public sector? a panel study. Seidle B, Fernandez S, Perry JL. Public Administration Review.Jul/Aug 2016;76(4):603-13.
Although significant progress has been made in developing leadership theory and understanding the traits, skills, behaviors, and styles that make a good leader, progress in bridging the gap between theory and practice using models of leadership training and development has been slow. This research attempts to answer the question of whether leadership training and development programs in the public sector improve leader and organizational performance. The findings indicate that a combination of coaching, classroom instruction, feedback, and experiential training has a significant impact on leader performance. In addition, organizational effectiveness improves for organizations whose leaders received the intervention. This article enhances our understanding of the impact that training and development can have on leader and organizational outcomes.
Hepatitis C: global epidemiology and strategies for control. Lanini S, Easterbrook PJ, Zumla A, Ippolito G. Clin Microbiol Infect. 2016 Aug 10. pii: S1198-743X(16)30300-7.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a single strained RNA virus formally identified as the main cause of non-A non-B chronic hepatitis in April 1989. There are no accurate evidence about the actual prevalence of HCV chronic infection, however recent meta-analyses estimate that currently about 130-150 million people lives with chronic hepatitis C and that HCV causes about 500,000 deaths each year. The prevalence of infection is the highest in lower and middle income countries where incidence of new case of infection are mainly associated to iatrogenic transmission. In developed countries the infection is mainly due to at risk exposures and prevalence is still high among special groups such as person who injects drugs and jailed people. There is no vaccine against HCV, however since recently new drugs with a direct antiviral activity (DAA) has made chronic hepatitis C a curable condition. These drugs assure all oral therapy with efficacy approaching 100%, optimal tolerability and no absolute contraindications. The extraordinary clinical performance of DAA has renew the hope for developing public health interventions to reduce the burden of diseases and cut down new HCV infections at global level. We review the global epidemiology of HCV and intervention strategies for achieving global control of HCV infection. We also summarize the key elements of the World Health Organization's first-ever global health sector strategy for addressing the viral hepatitis pandemic, 2016-2021.
High-need, high-cost patients: who are they and how do they use health care? a population-based comparison of demographics, health care use, and expenditures. Hayes SL, Salzberg CA, McCarthy D, et al. Issue Brief (Commonw Fund). 2016 Aug;26:1-14.
Issue: Finding ways to improve outcomes and reduce spending for patients with complex and costly care needs requires an understanding of their unique needs and characteristics. Goal: Examine demographics and health care spending and use of services among adults with high needs, defined as people who have three or more chronic diseases and a functional limitation in their ability to care for themselves or perform routine daily tasks. Methods: Analysis of data from the 2009–2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Key findings: High-need adults differed notably from adults with multiple chronic diseases but no functional limitations. They had average annual health care expenditures that were nearly three times higher—and which were more likely to remain high over two years of observation—and out-of-pocket expenses that were more than a third higher, despite their lower incomes. Rates of hospital use for high-need adults were more than twice those for adults with multiple chronic conditions only; high-need adults also visited the doctor more frequently and used more home health care. Costs and use of services also varied widely within the high-need group. Conclusion: These findings suggest that interventions should be targeted and tailored to high-need individuals most likely to benefit.
An online tool for obesity intervention and public health. Su JG. BMC Public Health. 2016 Feb 10;16:136.
Background: Though the United States of America (U.S.A.) obesity rate shows signs of leveling off, rates remain high. Poor nutrition contributes to the development of obesity, and physical inactivity is an important cause of numerous diseases and directly linked to obesity. Efforts to improve diet, increase physical activity and pursue other behavioral changes seem imperative. However, the effective management of intervention strategies for large number of participants are challenging because services in primary, secondary, and tertiary cares are often under-resourced, relatively uncoordinated with other parts of the health system. It is thus necessary to have accompanying intervention strategies that can be carried out at population level. In this paper, we describe an online intervention tool designed for the Obesity Prevention Tailored for Health II project to help achieve such goals. Results: The first part of the online tool locates healthy food stores and recreational programs within a specified distance of a participant's home or a place of interest. The food environments include fruit & vegetable stores, farmers' markets and grocery stores, and the companying popup window shows the street address and contact information of each store. The parks and recreational programs are displayed on names of park or recreational program, types of program available, and city each amenity belongs to. The tool also provides spatial coverage of vegetation greenness, air pollution and of historical traffic accidents involving active travel. The second part of the tool provides optimized travel options for reaching various amenities. By incorporating bicycling, walking and public transit into the trip planner, this online tool helps increase active transport and reduce dependence on automobiles. It promotes transportation that encourages safety awareness, physical activity, health, recreation, and resource conservation. Conclusions: We developed the first Google-based online intervention tool that assists obese and overweight participants in finding food and recreational amenities around locations of interest and identifying optimized routes that fit their personal preferences. This tool can also serve general public and policy makers for education, disease prevention and health promotion.
A performance management initiative for local health department vector control programs.
Gerding J, Kirshy M, Moran JW, Bialek R, Lamers V, Sarisky J. Environ Health Insights. 2016 Jul 11;10:113-8
Local health department (LHD) vector control programs have experienced reductions in funding and capacity. Acknowledging this situation and its potential effect on the ability to respond to vector-borne diseases, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Foundation partnered on a performance management initiative for LHD vector control programs. The initiative involved 14 programs that conducted a performance assessment using the Environmental Public Health Performance Standards. The programs, assisted by quality improvement (QI) experts, used the assessment results to prioritize improvement areas that were addressed with QI projects intended to increase effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of services such as responding to mosquito complaints and educating the public about vector-borne disease prevention. This article describes the initiative as a process LHD vector control programs may adapt to meet their performance management needs. This study also reviews aggregate performance assessment results and QI projects, which may reveal common aspects of LHD vector control program performance and priority improvement areas. LHD vector control programs interested in performance assessment and improvement may benefit from engaging in an approach similar to this performance management initiative.
Suboptimal breastfeeding in the United States: Maternal and pediatric health outcomes and costs. Bartick MC, Schwarz EB, Green BD, et al. Matern Child Nutr. 2016 Sep 19. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12366. [Epub ahead of print]
The aim of this study was to quantify the excess cases of pediatric and maternal disease, death, and costs attributable to suboptimal breastfeeding rates in the United States. Using the current literature on the associations between breastfeeding and health outcomes for nine pediatric and five maternal diseases, we created Monte Carlo simulations modeling a hypothetical cohort of U.S. women followed from age 15 to age 70 years and their children from birth to age 20 years. We examined disease outcomes using (a) 2012 breastfeeding rates and (b) assuming that 90% of infants were breastfed according to medical recommendations. We measured annual excess cases, deaths, and associated costs, in 2014 dollars, using a 2% discount rate. Annual excess deaths attributable to suboptimal breastfeeding total 3,340 (95% confidence interval [1,886 to 4,785]), 78% of which are maternal due to myocardial infarction (n = 986), breast cancer (n = 838), and diabetes (n = 473). Excess pediatric deaths total 721, mostly due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (n = 492) and necrotizing enterocolitis (n = 190). Medical costs total $3.0 billion, 79% of which are maternal. Costs of premature death total $14.2 billion. The number of women needed to breastfeed as medically recommended to prevent an infant gastrointestinal infection is 0.8; acute otitis media, 3; hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infection, 95; maternal hypertension, 55; diabetes, 162; and myocardial infarction, 235. For every 597 women who optimally breastfeed, one maternal or child death is prevented. Policies to increase optimal breastfeeding could result in substantial public health gains. Breastfeeding has a larger impact on women's health than previously appreciated.
The theory and practice of “nudging”: changing health behaviors. Vlaev I, King D, Dolan P, Darzi A. Public Administration Review.Jul/Aug 2016;76(4):550-61.
Many of the most significant challenges in health care—such as smoking, overeating, and poor adherence to evidence-based guidelines—will only be resolved if we can influence behavior. The traditional policy tools used when thinking about influencing behavior include legislation, regulation, and information provision. Recently, policy analysts have shown interest in policies that “nudge” people in particular directions, drawing on advances in understanding that behavior is strongly influenced in largely automatic ways by the context within which it is placed. This article considers the theoretical basis for why nudges might work and reviews the evidence in health behavior change. The evidence is structured according to the Mindspace framework for behavior change. The conclusion is that insights from behavioral economics offer powerful policy tools for influencing behavior in health care. This article provides public administration practitioners with an accessible summary of this literature, putting these insights into practical use.
Tuberculosis in jails and prisons: United States, 2002-2013. Lambert LA, Armstrong LR, Lobato MN, Ho C, France AM, Haddad MB. Am J Public Health. 2016 Sep 15:e1-e7. [Epub ahead of print]
Objectives: To describe cases and estimate the annual incidence of tuberculosis in correctional facilities. Methods: We analyzed 2002 to 2013 National Tuberculosis Surveillance System case reports to characterize individuals who were employed or incarcerated in correctional facilities at time they were diagnosed with tuberculosis. Incidence was estimated with Bureau of Justice Statistics denominators. Results: Among 299 correctional employees with tuberculosis, 171 (57%) were US-born and 82 (27%) were female. Among 5579 persons incarcerated at the time of their tuberculosis diagnosis, 2520 (45%) were US-born and 495 (9%) were female. Median estimated annual tuberculosis incidence rates were 29 cases per 100 000 local jail inmates, 8 per 100 000 state prisoners, and 25 per 100 000 federal prisoners. The foreign-born proportion of incarcerated men 18 to 64 years old increased steadily from 33% in 2002 to 56% in 2013. Between 2009 and 2013, tuberculosis screenings were reported as leading to 10% of diagnoses among correctional employees, 47% among female inmates, and 42% among male inmates. Conclusions: Systematic screening and treatment of tuberculosis infection and disease among correctional employees and incarcerated individuals remain essential to tuberculosis prevention and control.
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