SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Health education

497

Social interactions increasingly take place online. Friendships and other offline social ties have been repeatedly associated with human longevity, but online interactions might have different properties. Here, we reference 12 million social media profiles against California Department of Public Health vital records and use longitudinal statistical models to assess whether social media use is associated with longer life. The results show that receiving requests to connect as friends online is associated with reduced mortality but initiating friendships is not. Additionally, online behaviors that indicate face-to-face social activity (like posting photos) are associated with reduced mortality, but online-only behaviors (like sending messages) have a nonlinear relationship, where moderate use is associated with the lowest mortality. These results suggest that online social integration is linked to lower risk for a wide variety of critical health problems. Although this is an associational study, it may be an important step in understanding how, on a global scale, online social networks might be adapted to improve modern populations' social and physical health.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Sociology, Population health, Health education, Social network aggregation

200

Health literacy has become an increasingly important concept in public health. We sought to develop a comprehensive measure of health literacy capable of diagnosing health literacy needs across individuals and organisations by utilizing perspectives from the general population, patients, practitioners and policymakers.

Concepts: Health, Health literacy, Health education

28

Health literacy skills tend to decline during ageing, which is often attributed to age-related cognitive decline. Whether health literacy skills may be influenced by technological and social factors during ageing is unknown.

Concepts: Cohort study, Epidemiology, Cognition, Health literacy, Health education, Internet, Literacy, Information literacy

28

The objective was to develop a comprehensive questionnaire for measuring the patient-perceived comprehensibility of health education programs (COHEP questionnaire). According to a conceptual model outlined in the article, comprehensibility is considered a context factor of patient health literacy.

Concepts: Health care provider, Medicine, Health, Medical terms, Illness, Educational psychology, Health literacy, Health education

27

: Local health departments (LHDs) and state health agencies (SHAs) require quantitative data to fulfill their obligation to ensure public health. However, data collection and sharing are not straightforward processes in the US public health system. Responsibilities are divided among many actors, jurisdictions overlap, events that can occur elsewhere, and not every public health agency possesses information systems capable of sharing data. Collectively, these characteristics define a system that likely has gaps in data sharing among public health entities.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Universal health care, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Population health, Health education

24

What can be done to reduce unhealthy eating among adolescents? It was hypothesized that aligning healthy eating with important and widely shared adolescent values would produce the needed motivation. A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled experiment with eighth graders (total n = 536) evaluated the impact of a treatment that framed healthy eating as consistent with the adolescent values of autonomy from adult control and the pursuit of social justice. Healthy eating was suggested as a way to take a stand against manipulative and unfair practices of the food industry, such as engineering junk food to make it addictive and marketing it to young children. Compared with traditional health education materials or to a non-food-related control, this treatment led eighth graders to see healthy eating as more autonomy-assertive and social justice-oriented behavior and to forgo sugary snacks and drinks in favor of healthier options a day later in an unrelated context. Public health interventions for adolescents may be more effective when they harness the motivational power of that group’s existing strongly held values.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Nutrition, Health education

11

Physical inactivity is a growing public health concern. Use of mobile applications (apps) may be a powerful tool to encourage physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. For instance, apps may be used in the preparation of a running event. However, there is little evidence for the relationship between app use and change in physical activity and health in recreational runners. The aim of this study was to determine the relationship between the use of apps and changes in physical activity, health and lifestyle behaviour, and self-image of short and long distance runners.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Weight loss, Population health, Personal life, Health education

10

Most US adults have limited health literacy skills. They struggle to understand complex health information and services and to make informed health decisions. The Internet has quickly become one of the most popular places for people to search for information about their health, thereby making access to quality information on the Web a priority. However, there are no standardized criteria for evaluating Web-based health information. Every 10 years, the US Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) develops a set of measurable objectives for improving the health of the nation over the coming decade, known as Healthy People. There are two objectives in Healthy People 2020 related to website quality. The first is objective Health Communication and Health Information Technology (HC/HIT) 8.1: increase the proportion of health-related websites that meet 3 or more evaluation criteria for disclosing information that can be used to assess information reliability. The second is objective HC/HIT-8.2: increase the proportion of health-related websites that follow established usability principles.

Concepts: Health care, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Evaluation, Health literacy, World Wide Web, Health education

9

BACKGROUND: Public health programs can only deliver benefits if they are able to sustain activities over time. There is a broad literature on program sustainability in public health, but it is fragmented and there is a lack of consensus on core constructs. The purpose of this paper is to present a new conceptual framework for program sustainability in public health. METHODS: This developmental study uses a comprehensive literature review, input from an expert panel, and the results of concept-mapping to identify the core domains of a conceptual framework for public health program capacity for sustainability. The concept-mapping process included three types of participants (scientists, funders, and practitioners) from several public health areas (e.g., tobacco control, heart disease and stroke, physical activity and nutrition, and injury prevention). RESULTS: The literature review identified 85 relevant studies focusing on program sustainability in public health. Most of the papers described empirical studies of prevention-oriented programs aimed at the community level. The concept-mapping process identified nine core domains that affect a program’s capacity for sustainability: Political Support, Funding Stability, Partnerships, Organizational Capacity, Program Evaluation, Program Adaptation, Communications, Public Health Impacts, and Strategic Planning. Concept-mapping participants further identified 93 items across these domains that have strong face validity—89% of the individual items composing the framework had specific support in the sustainability literature. CONCLUSIONS: The sustainability framework presented here suggests that a number of selected factors may be related to a program’s ability to sustain its activities and benefits over time. These factors have been discussed in the literature, but this framework synthesizes and combines the factors and suggests how they may be interrelated with one another. The framework presents domains for public health decision makers to consider when developing and implementing prevention and intervention programs. The sustainability framework will be useful for public health decision makers, program managers, program evaluators, and dissemination and implementation researchers.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Public health, Health, Epidemiology, Population health, Health education, Program management

8

Increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables is a central component of improving population health. Reasons people give for choosing one food over another suggest health is of lower importance than taste. This study assesses the impact of using a simple descriptive label to highlight the taste as opposed to the health value of fruit on the likelihood of its selection. Participants (N=439) were randomly allocated to one of five groups that varied in the label added to an apple: apple; healthy apple; succulent apple; healthy and succulent apple; succulent and healthy apple. The primary outcome measure was selection of either an apple or a chocolate bar as a dessert. Measures of the perceived qualities of the apple (taste, health, value, quality, satiety) and of participant characteristics (restraint, belief that tasty foods are unhealthy, BMI) were also taken. When compared with apple selection without any descriptor (50%), the labels combining both health and taste descriptors significantly increased selection of the apple (‘healthy & succulent’ 65.9% and ‘succulent & healthy’ 62.4%), while the use of a single descriptor had no impact on the rate of apple selection (‘healthy’ 50.5% and ‘succulent’ 52%). The strongest predictors of individual dessert choice were the taste score given to the apple, and the lack of belief that healthy foods are not tasty. Interventions that emphasize the taste attributes of healthier foods are likely to be more effective at achieving healthier diets than those emphasizing health alone.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Public health, Health, Nutrition, Population health, Healthy diet, Health education