Research

Category archives for Research

Researcher Douglas Wiebe first started studying gun violence as a doctoral student, investigating how having a firearm in one’s home affected the risk of injury. The work only heightened his interest in exploring gun violence from a public health perspective. Eventually, he decided to officially take on a question he’d been mulling over for almost a decade: Among people who’ve experienced a violent assault, are there any commonalities in their experiences just prior to the incident, and can we map those experiences in a way that reveals optimal intervention opportunities?

In a recent study, Harvard public health researchers decided to test a few dozen types of electronic cigarettes for diacetyl, a flavoring chemical associated with a severe respiratory disease known as “popcorn lung.” The researchers found diacetyl in a majority of the e-cigarettes they tested. News outlets jumped on the findings, with some announcing that e-cigarettes could cause the often-debilitating respiratory disease.

ANSI’s Nail Gun Safety Standard ignores safety research, ANSI process criticized

ANSI new safety standard for nails guns ignores a decade of injury research. It’s process largely excluded those directly affected—consumers and workers—and was dominated by groups with an interest in the unsafe status quo.

Take a quick look around your home and chances are you’ll find at least one product with an ingredient simply described as “fragrance.” But what exactly does that mean and is there anything harmful in the ubiquitous chemical cocktails we refer to as fragrance? Maybe. But the real answer is that it’s hard to know for sure — and that, say advocates, is bad for public health.

In 2011, a group of researchers embarked on a national study to measure burnout among physicians. They found that 45 percent of U.S. doctors met the criteria for burnout, which manifests as emotional exhaustion, a loss of meaning in one’s work, feelings of ineffectiveness, and a tendency to see people as objects rather than fellow humans. Less than a handful of years later, the problem has gotten significantly worse.

I usually shy away from getting too personal in my work. But in the spirit of Thanksgiving and as a new mom, I was thinking about things for which I’m particularly grateful. One of the first things that came to mind as a public health reporter? Vaccines. So, in that vein, let’s celebrate some new and promising numbers on the worldwide effort to eliminate measles.

Public health insurance programs often get a bad rap, despite a growing positive evidence base on their patient care, quality and outcomes. Earlier this month, another study emerged that found Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program not only outperform private insurance when it comes to children’s preventive care, they can serve as a model of comprehensive children’s coverage.

It’s not surprising that food insecurity has a negative health and academic impact on young children — numerous studies have come to that conclusion. However, a new study has begun to dig a little deeper into the topic, zeroing in on the lingering aftermath of the Great Recession, when food insecurity and child poverty reached record levels, and examining the particular effects of transitioning from not worrying about having enough food to living in a household with limited or uncertain access to food.

For the first time since 2006, cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are on the rise, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency reports that while the sexually transmitted diseases continue to impact young people and women most severely, the recent increases were driven by rising disease rates among men.

According to a new, first-of-its-kind survey of the nation’s public health workforce, 38 percent of workers are planning to leave their current positions before the next decade. On its face, that’s a deeply worrisome number. But Brian Castrucci is an optimist — “where there is change, there is opportunity,” he says.