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Research Briefs

KDHRC has things to say. You can find our research in top journals,
leading conferences, and right here, in our Informing Public Health research briefs,
which summarize our research advances.

February 2024

Andrew Simkus and Kristen Holtz

In November of 2022, OpenAI previewed one of the most advanced large language models (LLMs) available to the public, Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer (better known as ChatGPT). LLMs like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard are a breakthrough in artificial intelligence (AI) allowing automatic learning and communication through natural language interactions with human users, information from the world wide web, and even other LLMs. The capabilities of LLMs have been expanding exponentially over a very short time.

January 2024

Kristen D. Holtz, Andrew Simkus, Eric C. Twombly, Morgan Fleming, and Nicole I. Wanty

ENDS manufacturers use loopholes to skirt advertising bans on ENDS by paying influencers to promote ENDS products on personal social media pages. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram have taken steps to ban the use of influencers in this way, research has proved that influencer promotional posts about ENDS are still breaching the rules and reaching the eyes of many adolescent social media users. According to The Guardian, tobacco companies are also circumventing bans by establishing their own pages on social media sites. Efforts to track the degree adolescents view such promotional advertising have discovered that even minimal exposure to social media content promoting ENDS relates to greater intentions of using ENDS in the future.

November 2023

Kristen D. Holtz, Eric C. Twombly, Andrew Simkus, and Nicole I. Wanty

The increasing use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), also known as e-cigarettes or vapes, among youth has become an important, recent concern. There is increasing evidence that such use, typically referred to as vaping, produces substantial negative health and behavioral consequences, potentially long-term. As a nicotine delivery device, ENDS are attractive to many youths because they tend to be easily obtained and are odorless to use and easy to conceal. ENDS may deliver nicotine and other harmful chemicals at levels that surpass conventional cigarettes. Taken on the whole, ENDS and their use by youth constitute an important public health and public policy problem.

September 2023

Dexter L. Cooper, Andrew Simkus, Nicole I. Wanty, Annie McNeill, and Kristen Holtz

In our previous Practice brief 22, CHW Support of Male Caregivers – Conversations and Takeaways we explored some of the key insights that we gathered during our virtual convening to discuss nuanced needs, experiences, and perceptions of male caregivers. In addition to these topics, the convening also discussed potential solutions and strategies for helping community health workers (CHWs) identify, build rapport with, and ultimately offer support to male caregivers. In this brief we review findings on this topic to inform future CHW-led interventions and caregiver support services.

August 2023

Dexter L. Cooper, Andrew Simkus, Nicole I. Wanty, Annie McNeill, and Kristen Holtz

In the United States (US), there is a growing need for informal caregivers, coinciding with the number of baby boomers now transitioning into later stages of life that require support with daily tasks. Informal caregivers are family members or close friends of aging individuals who provide voluntary support with physical and/or mental disabilities to a care recipient. While the act of caregiving may be a meaningful role, it often comes with burdens that may affect the mental or physical health of the caregiver.

June 2023

Andrew Simkus, Annie McNeill, Nicole I. Wanty, and Kristen D. Holtz

Clinical trials (CTs) in the United States (US) have struggled to adequately enroll minority racial and ethnic groups to participate in drug efficacy studies. Lack of representation in CTs makes it harder to assess the associated risks and benefits of a new treatment among minority patients. Without accurate assessments of a drug’s effects on minority patients, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is limited in their ability to approve new treatments for use among minority populations.

May 2023

Nicole I. Wanty, Dexter L. Cooper, Andrew Simkus, Kristen D. Holtz

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder that disproportionately affects women and minorities. Estimates report up to 90% of lupus patients are women. Black and Latino individuals experience up to three-times the lupus incidence rate, more severe disease symptoms, a higher frequency of lupus-related complications, and a sharply higher mortality rate compared to non-Latino White individuals.

January 2023

Dexter L. Cooper, Morgan L. Fleming, Kristen D. Holtz, Nicole I. Wanty, and Andrew Simkus

Tooth decay, the most common and preventable chronic disease among children in the U.S., afflicts nearly one of four Americans ages 3 to 5. The prevalence of tooth decay increases from 21 percent among children ages 2-5 to 54-59 percent among adolescents ages 12-19, which indicates a persistent pattern of oral health problems that worsens with age. Tooth decay, especially when untreated, creates lasting and substantial physical and psychosocial consequences for children and adolescents.

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