Exertional Heat Illness Preparedness Strategies: Environmental Monitoring Policies in United States High Schools.
ABSTRACT: Background and objectives: Environmental monitoring allows for an analysis of the ambient conditions affecting a physically active person's ability to thermoregulate and can be used to assess exertional heat illness risk. Using public health models such as the precaution adoption process model (PAPM) can help identify individual's readiness to act to adopt environmental monitoring policies for the safety of high school athletes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the adoption of policies and procedures used for monitoring and modifying activity in the heat in United States (US) high schools. Materials and Methods: Using a cross-sectional design, we distributed an online questionnaire to athletic trainers (ATs) working in high schools in the US. The questionnaire was developed based on best practice standards related to environmental monitoring and modification of activity in the heat as outlined in the 2015 National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Exertional Heat Illness. The PAPM was used to frame questions as it allows for the identification of ATs' readiness to act. PAPM includes eight stages: unaware of the need for the policy, unaware if the school has this policy, unengaged, undecided, decided not to act, decided to act, acting, and maintaining. Invitations were sent via email and social media and resulted in 529 complete responses. Data were aggregated and presented as proportions. Results: Overall, 161 (161/529, 30.4%) ATs report they do not have a written policy and procedure for the prevention and management of exertional heat stroke. The policy component with the highest adoption was modifying the use of protective equipment (acting = 8.2%, maintaining = 77.5%). In addition, 28% of ATs report adoption of all seven components for a comprehensive environmental monitoring policy. Conclusions: These findings indicate a lack of adoption of environmental monitoring policies in US high schools. Secondarily, the PAPM, facilitators and barriers data highlight areas to focus future efforts to enhance adoption.
Project description:Exertional heat stroke (EHS) is a life-threatening medical condition involving thermoregulatory failure and is the most severe condition along a continuum of heat-related illnesses. Current EHS policy guidance principally advocates a thermoregulatory management approach, despite growing recognition that gastrointestinal (GI) microbial translocation contributes to disease pathophysiology. Contemporary research has focused to understand the relevance of GI barrier integrity and strategies to maintain it during periods of exertional-heat stress. GI barrier integrity can be assessed non-invasively using a variety of in vivo techniques, including active inert mixed-weight molecular probe recovery tests and passive biomarkers indicative of GI structural integrity loss or microbial translocation. Strenuous exercise is strongly characterised to disrupt GI barrier integrity, and aspects of this response correlate with the corresponding magnitude of thermal strain. The aetiology of GI barrier integrity loss following exertional-heat stress is poorly understood, though may directly relate to localised hyperthermia, splanchnic hypoperfusion-mediated ischemic injury, and neuroendocrine-immune alterations. Nutritional countermeasures to maintain GI barrier integrity following exertional-heat stress provide a promising approach to mitigate EHS. The focus of this review is to evaluate: (1) the GI paradigm of exertional heat stroke; (2) techniques to assess GI barrier integrity; (3) typical GI barrier integrity responses to exertional-heat stress; (4) the aetiology of GI barrier integrity loss following exertional-heat stress; and (5) nutritional countermeasures to maintain GI barrier integrity in response to exertional-heat stress.
Project description:Adolescent active travel (AT) can contribute to health-enhancing physical activity, sense of community, social interactions, spatial and navigational skills and is a sustainable form of transport. Data analysed were from surveys with validated scales, translated and adapted for Chinese speaking Hong Kong adolescents and their parents, and administered to 1,299 adolescent/parent dyads. Using hierarchical modelling, this study examined independent associations of socio-demographic, perceived environmental, social and psychological factors (in that order) with adolescent AT to/from school (ATS) and AT to other destinations in Hong Kong. Moderation by gender and age on perceived environmental and social factors and number of household vehicles on proximity to destinations with AT were also estimated. The adolescents participating in ATS (58%), averaged 7.93 trips and 139.79 min per week. Adolescents averaged 7.68 trips/week to destinations other than school. Perceived proximity of school to home and social support for PA from peers were independently associated with higher odds of engaging in ATS. Social support for PA from household adults was associated with lower odds of engaging in ATS, especially in older adolescents. Trip frequency in those who engaged in ATS was positively associated with perceived proximity of school, access to services and parental transport-related PA. Perceived proximity of school was negatively associated with weekly minutes of ATS. Gender modified the association between social support for PA from peers and ATS frequency, and that of perceived proximity to public transport from home with weekly minutes of ATS. Perceived environmental, social and psychological factors were independently associated with AT to destinations other than school. In conclusion, Hong Kong adolescents appear to have high frequencies of ATS and AT to other destinations than reported elsewhere. Social support from peers, parental AT and having schools and other destinations within walking distance from home may independently contribute to adolescents' AT.
Project description:Ten years ago, leaders in the field of toxicology called for a transformation of the discipline and a shift from primarily relying on traditional animal testing to incorporating advances in biotechnology and predictive methodologies into alternative testing strategies (ATS). Governmental agencies and academic and industry partners initiated programs to support such a transformation, but a decade later, the outcomes of these efforts are not well understood.We aimed to assess the use of ATS and the perceived barriers and drivers to their adoption by toxicologists and by others working in, or closely linked with, the field of toxicology.We surveyed 1,381 toxicologists and experts in associated fields regarding the viability and use of ATS and the perceived barriers and drivers of ATS for a range of applications. We performed ranking, hierarchical clustering, and correlation analyses of the survey data.Many respondents indicated that they were already using ATS, or believed that ATS were already viable approaches, for toxicological assessment of one or more end points in their primary area of interest or concern (26-86%, depending on the specific ATS/application pair). However, the proportions of respondents reporting use of ATS in the previous 12 mo were smaller (4.5-41%). Concern about regulatory acceptance was the most commonly cited factor inhibiting the adoption of ATS, and a variety of technical concerns were also cited as significant barriers to ATS viability. The factors most often cited as playing a significant role (currently or in the future) in driving the adoption of ATS were the need for expedited toxicology information, the need for reduced toxicity testing costs, demand by regulatory agencies, and ethical or moral concerns.Our findings indicate that the transformation of the field of toxicology is partly implemented, but significant barriers to acceptance and adoption remain. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1435.
Project description:Only a few authors have reported about a new-onset headache among patients who sustained an episode of an exertional heat illness (EHI). This report presents a healthy and physically fit 20-year-old male who developed a completely new headache after an EHI event. The new headache could be aggravated or called by exertion or exposure to sun and environmental heat. It was severe enough to interfere with even moderate physical activity, but reacted well to a few hours' rest and OTC pain medications. An extensive work-up including laboratory blood tests, lumbar puncture, head CT, and CT angiogram was negative. The patient remained symptomatic on the 6-month follow-up. Continued abstinence from physical activity and waiting for spontaneous resolution were recommended. We suggest that the headache may be secondary to the hyperthermia brain damage during the EHI event and differs from exertional headache by its association with exposure to sun and environmental heat.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems can provide a range of benefits to users with regards to efficiency, reliability, costs and environmental impact. Furthermore, increasing the amount of electricity generated by CHP systems in the United States has been identified as having significant potential for impressive economic and environmental outcomes on a national scale. Given the benefits from increasing the adoption of CHP technologies, there is value in improving our understanding of how desired increases in CHP adoption can be best achieved. These obstacles are currently understood to stem from regulatory as well as economic and technological barriers. In our research, we answer the following questions: Given the current policy and economic environment facing the CHP industry, what changes need to take place in this space in order for CHP systems to be competitive in the energy market?<h4>Methods</h4>We focus our analysis primarily on Combined Heat and Power Systems that use natural gas turbines. Our analysis takes a two-pronged approach. We first conduct a statistical analysis of the impact of state policies on increases in electricity generated from CHP system. Second, we conduct a Cost-Benefit analysis to determine in which circumstances funding incentives are necessary to make CHP technologies cost-competitive.<h4>Results</h4>Our policy analysis shows that regulatory improvements do not explain the growth in adoption of CHP technologies but hold the potential to encourage increases in electricity generated from CHP system in small-scale applications. Our Cost-Benefit analysis shows that CHP systems are only cost competitive in large-scale applications and that funding incentives would be necessary to make CHP technology cost-competitive in small-scale applications.<h4>Conclusion</h4>From the synthesis of these analyses we conclude that because large-scale applications of natural gas turbines are already cost-competitive, policy initiatives aimed at a CHP market dominated primarily by large-scale (and therefore already cost-competitive) systems have not been effectively directed. Our recommendation is that for CHP technologies using natural gas turbines, policy focuses should be on increasing CHP growth in small-scale systems. This result can be best achieved through redirection of state and federal incentives, research and development, adoption of smart grid technology, and outreach and education.
Project description:Although mobile technologies such as smartphone apps are promising means for motivating people to adopt a healthier lifestyle (mHealth apps), previous studies have shown low adoption and continued use rates. Developing the means to address this issue requires further understanding of mHealth app nonusers and adoption processes. This study utilized a stage model approach based on the Precaution Adoption Process Model (PAPM), which proposes that people pass through qualitatively different motivational stages when adopting a behavior.To establish a better understanding of between-stage transitions during app adoption, this study aimed to investigate the adoption process of nutrition and fitness app usage, and the sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics and decision-making style preferences of people at different adoption stages.Participants (N=1236) were recruited onsite within the cohort study Konstanz Life Study. Use of mobile devices and nutrition and fitness apps, 5 behavior adoption stages of using nutrition and fitness apps, preference for intuition and deliberation in eating decision-making (E-PID), healthy eating style, sociodemographic variables, and body mass index (BMI) were assessed.Analysis of the 5 behavior adoption stages showed that stage 1 ("unengaged") was the most prevalent motivational stage for both nutrition and fitness app use, with half of the participants stating that they had never thought about using a nutrition app (52.41%, 533/1017), whereas less than one-third stated they had never thought about using a fitness app (29.25%, 301/1029). "Unengaged" nonusers (stage 1) showed a higher preference for an intuitive decision-making style when making eating decisions, whereas those who were already "acting" (stage 4) showed a greater preference for a deliberative decision-making style (F4,1012=21.83, P<.001). Furthermore, participants differed widely in their readiness to adopt nutrition and fitness apps, ranging from having "decided to" but not yet begun to act (stage 2; nutrition: 6.88%, 70/1017; fitness: 9.23%, 95/1029) to being "disengaged" following previous adoption (stage 5; nutrition: 13.77%, 140/1017; fitness: 15.06%, 155/1029).Using a behavior stage model approach to describe the process of adopting nutrition and fitness apps revealed motivational stage differences between nonusers (being "unengaged," having "decided not to act," having "decided to act," and being "disengaged"), which might contribute to a better understanding of the process of adopting mHealth apps and thus inform the future development of digital interventions. This study highlights that new user groups might be better reached by apps designed to address a more intuitive decision-making style.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to examine human papillomavirus (HPV) and HPV vaccine knowledge, attitudes, and uptake in college students and to identify factors associated with vaccination status utilizing the Precaution Adoption Process Model (PAPM). The sample included 383 undergraduates from a public university who participated in February and March 2015. Students were emailed an anonymous online survey assessing knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions related to HPV and HPV vaccination, as well as their stage in the PAPM regarding vaccination completion. Significantly more females (47.3%) than males (15.8%) were vaccinated. While most students had basic knowledge of HPV, they had low perceptions of their susceptibility to contract HPV. Most unvaccinated students were in the early stages of decision-making related to vaccination. Campus health centers have an opportunity to increase HPV vaccination rates. This study indicates that students need prompts from providers, as well as education regarding susceptibility to HPV.
Project description:Malaria treatment policy has changed from presumptive treatment to targeted "test and treat" (T&T) with malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). This transition involves changing behavior among health providers, meaning delays between introduction and full implementation are recorded in almost every instance. We investigated factors affecting successful transition, and suggest approaches for accelerating uptake of T&T. Records from 2000 to 2011 from health clinics in Senegal where malaria is mesoendemic were examined (96,166 cases). The study period encompassed the implementation of national T&T policy in 2006. Analysis showed that adherence to test results is the first indicator of T&T adoption and is dependent on accumulation of experience with positive RDTs (odds ratio [OR]: 0.55 [P ? 0.001], 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.53-0.58). Reliance on tests for malaria diagnosis (rather than presumptive diagnosis) followed after test adherence is achieved, and was also associated with increased experience with positive RDTs (OR: 0.60 [P ? 0.001], 95% CI: 0.58-0.62). Logistic models suggest that full adoption of T&T clinical practices can occur within 2 years, that monitoring these behavioral responses rather than RDT or ACT consumption will improve evaluation of T&T uptake, and that accelerating T&T uptake by focusing training on adherence to test results will reduce overdiagnosis and associated health and economic costs in mesoendemic regions.
Project description:Background:In Great Britain, 19% of trips to primary school within 1 mile, and 62% within 1-2 miles, are by car. Active travel to school (ATS) offers a potential source of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). This study tested the feasibility of an intervention to promote ATS in 9-10 year olds and associated trial procedures. Methods:A parallel cluster randomised pilot trial was conducted over 9 weeks in two schools from a low-income area in northeast England. Measures included daily parental ATS reports (optionally by SMS) and child ATS reports, as well as accelerometry (ActiGraph GT3X+). At baseline, all children were asked to wear the accelerometer for the same week; in the post-randomisation phase, small subsamples were monitored each week. In the 2 weeks when a child wore the accelerometer, parents also reported the start and finish times of the journey to school. The intervention consisted of a lottery-based incentive scheme; every ATS day reported by the parent, whether by paper or SMS, corresponded to one ticket entered into a weekly £5 voucher draw. Before each draw session, the researcher prepared the tickets and placed them into an opaque bag, from which one was randomly picked by the teacher at the draw session. Results:Four schools replied positively (3.3%, N = 123) and 29 participants were recruited in the two schools selected (33.0%, N = 88). Participant retention was 93.1%. Most materials were returned on time: accelerometers (81.9%), parental reports (82.1%) and child reports (97.9%). Draw sessions lasted on average 15.9 min (IQR 10-20) and overall session attendance was 94.5%. Parent-child report agreement regarding ATS was moderate (k = 0.53, CI 95% 0.45; 0.60). Differences in minutes of accelerometer-assessed MVPA between parent-reported ATS and non-ATS trips were assessed during two timeframes: during the journey to school based on the times reported by the parent (U = 390.5, p < 0.05, 2.46 (n = 99) vs 0.76 (n = 13)) and in the hour before classes (U = 665.5, p < 0.05, 4.99 (n = 104) vs 2.55 (n = 19)). Differences in MVPA minutes between child-reported ATS and non-ATS trips were also significant for each of the timeframes considered (U = 596.5, p < 0.05, 2.40 (n = 128) vs 0.81 (n = 15) and U = 955.0, p < 0.05, 4.99 (n = 146) vs 2.59 (n = 20), respectively). Conclusions:Data suggest the feasibility of an ATS incentive scheme and of most trial procedures. School recruitment stood out as requiring further piloting. Trial registration:ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02282631. Registered 5th September 2014.
Project description:Achieving an AIDS-free generation will require the adoption and implementation of critical health policy reforms. However, countries with high HIV burden often have low policy development, advocacy, and monitoring capacity. This lack of capacity may be a significant barrier to achieving the AIDS-free generation goals. This manuscript describes the increased focus on policy development and implementation by the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It evaluates the curriculum and learning modalities used for two regional policy capacity building workshops organized around the PEPFAR Partnership Framework agreements and the Road Map for Monitoring and Implementing Policy Reforms. A total of 64 participants representing the U.S. Government, partner country governments, and civil society organizations attended the workshops. On average, participants responded that their policy monitoring skills improved and that they felt they were better prepared to monitor policy reforms three months after the workshop. When followed-up regarding utilization of the Road Map action plan, responses were mixed. Reasons cited for not making progress included an inability to meet or a lack of time, personnel, or governmental support. This lack of progress may point to a need for building policy monitoring systems in high HIV burden countries. Because the success of policy reforms cannot be measured by the mere adoption of written policy documents, monitoring the implementation of policy reforms and evaluating their public health impact is essential. In many high HIV burden countries, policy development and monitoring capacity remains weak. This lack of capacity could hinder efforts to achieve the ambitious AIDS-free generation treatment, care and prevention goals. The Road Map appears to be a useful tool for strengthening these critical capacities.