• Salty or Slightly Salty: Is Fish Species Richness Affected by an Obsolete Navigational Cut?

      Patterson, Rebecca; Mathews, Loren; Saul, Bruce; Biological Sciences, Georgia Southern University (Biology) (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-05-04)
      This item presents the abstract for a poster presentation at the 21st Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference.
    • Schizoaffective Disorder Depressive Type in “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

      German, Lindsey; English and Foreign Languages (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-05-05)
      This item presents the abstract for a poster presentation at the 21st Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference.
    • Screening for developmental delay in Georgia's family shelters: Formative evaluation of a quality improvement initiative

      So, Marvin; Agbayani, Luistita; Gutierrez, Mariel; Griffins, Josef; Emory University; Atlanta Children's Shelter; Greenbriar Children's Shelter; Interfaith Hospitality Network (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Children in families experiencing homelessness are at elevated risk for cognitive, motor, speech, and other developmental delays. Given the prevalence of family homelessness in Georgia and across the U.S., investigating the feasibility of implementing developmental screeners while families are in shelters is warranted. Methods: Three pilot shelters were selected for the development and implementation of Quality Improvement (QI) Teams, who used Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Cycles to make progress towards universally screening children for delay. We employed a formative evaluation to (1) characterize screening rates and shifts in shelter as a result of QI initiatives, and (2) identify barriers and facilitators to implementing QI interventions in family shelters. Results: Screening rates in all three shelters increased over the study period between 13-50%. Primary implementation facilitators included team members with experience in QI principles; having a medical provider on the team; possessing an “improvement culture;” and having diverse perspectives represented. Primary barriers included a lack of time or commitment in QI team leaders; medical providers with limited time in shelter; lack of training on how to represent and discuss QI data; and restrictive organizational policies. Conclusions: Family shelters demonstrate promise for implementing developmental screeners for at-risk children. Although challenges have been identified, facilitating factors are prevalent and underscore the importance of QI team preparation, composition, and cohesion. The relative availability, low-cost, and potential for impact of developmental screeners offer credence to their uptake and implementation within shelter clinical contexts.
    • A screening tool for identification of victims of commercial sexual exploitation of children

      Livings, Michelle; Greenbaum, Jordan; Lewis, Rayleen; Williams, Jeremiah; Self-Brown, Shannon; Lai, Betty; Georgia State University, Stephanie Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and sex trafficking have only recently been recognized as problems by healthcare providers. Both UNICEF (2014) and the Institute of Medicine (2013) have stressed the need for systematic research to assist healthcare providers in the identification of victims. The aim of this poster is to describe initial findings relating to the development of a screening tool to identify CSEC victims. Methods: Twenty-seven sites nationwide (e.g., emergency departments and specialized clinics) participated in a study to validate a screening tool for identifying CSEC victims in an outpatient setting. The study was conducted under approval from the Institutional Review Board at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Inclusion criteria for the study generally involved being an English-speaking adolescent aged 11-18 years. Results: Study enrollment is ongoing. Preliminary data for 210 youth were analyzed for this abstract. The sample was diverse with respect to age (M=14.59 years, SD=1.490 years) and ethnicity (56.4% Caucasian, 31.8% African American, 3.9% mixed race, and 7.8% Hispanic); the sample was predominantly female (92.8%). Of the 210 youth in the sample, 115(54.8%) have had sex. Of these 115 youth, 13(11.3%) have traded sex for money, drugs, or housing; 7(58.3%) of 12(10.4%) complied when asked by someone to have sex with another person; 8(61.5%) of 13(11.3%) performed sexual acts in public when propositioned; and 19(45.2%) of 42(36.5%) shared provocative photos when prompted. Medical providers flagged 14 youth (6.7% of total 210) as potential CSEC victims. Conclusions: The screening tool shows promise for effective identification of CSEC victims. This poster will present additional data and further quantitative analyses exploring the influences of sexual behavior, drug and alcohol use, and other factors on the risk of becoming a CSEC victim. Implications for researchers and clinicians will also be discussed.
    • Scythe & Halo Cab Co.: A Creative Activity in Podcasting

      Burgin, Madeline; Department of Communications (Augusta University Libraries, 2021-05-18)
      This item presents the abstract for a presentation at the 2021 Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference at Augusta University.
    • The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables: Nature versus Nurture and Childhood Escapism

      Bertzfield, Hannah; Department of English and Foreign Languages (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-03)
      This literary analysis focuses on the protagonists of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden and Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables to examine the correlation between a child’s nature, the presence of nurture within their immediate developmental environment, and the resulting tendency to use escapism as a coping mechanism. Similar to a mild form of dissociation, escapism is a means by which the adolescent consciousness protects itself against negative external stimuli that may have damaging effects on the child’s psychological state. This is especially true when the child is subjected to severe trauma or prolonged, repetitive patterns of abuse or neglect. Regardless of the environment or the child’s socioeconomic position, nurturing is a force which counteracts the effects of negative stimuli and diminishes the subconscious need to escape. However, when nurture is absent, the likelihood of a child to utilize escapism as a means of coping with their environment is wholly contingent upon the child’s nature.
    • Sexual health education in Georgia: A role for reducing sexually transmitted infections among adolescents

      Gates, Madison L.; Walker, Veronica; Webb, Nancy C.; Georgia Regents University (Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: In Georgia, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a substantial health issue, particularly among young adults in vulnerable and minority populations. The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that sexually active adolescents and at-risk adults receive behavioral counseling and education in primary care settings, community organizations, departments of health, and schools Methods: The present approach used in Georgia for educating adolescents at high risk for STIs about these diseases was assessed. The data collected included standards for sexual health education, survey results from educators and students, and observations from a pilot study with adolescents detained by the juvenile justice system. Results: In Georgia, most health educators for middle (87.3%) and high (93.8%) schools have health and/or physical education backgrounds. They indicated a need for further education about STIs. For grades 6-12, 24% of students reported that they had not received HIV/AIDS education during the academic year. Preliminary observations from a study with juvenile detainees indicate that this population has limited knowledge about STIs, their effects and modes of transmission. Conclusion: Sexual health education, including that for HIV/AIDS, is essential to curtail the STI crisis, and educational endeavors should be culturally sensitive and evidence-based. In Georgia, many citizens, including teachers, are not adequately equipped to make informed decisions regarding STI risk. Georgia, home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is in a unique position to adapt evidence-based sexual health interventions for its population.
    • Sexual risk-taking among at-risk alcohol and drug users presenting to emergency departments

      Howell, Rebecca; Johnson, Aaron; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: Alcohol use is linked to increased sexual risk-taking, including unprotected sexual contacts, and illegal drug use is associated with an increased likelihood of sexual risk-taking and at-risk alcohol use. Risky sexual behavior is co-morbid with anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. The purpose this study was to identify factors associated with sexual risk-taking among adult, at-risk alcohol or drug users presenting to emergency departments (EDs). Methods: Data were derived from self-report surveys conducted with a random sample of ED patients screening positive for at-risk alcohol or drug use. As part of an alcohol and drug assessment completed by a health education specialist, patients were asked questions about their sexual behaviors. If warranted, patients also received a brief intervention addressing their alcohol and/or drug use. A negative binomial regression was conducted to identify risk factors associated with sexual risk-taking, defined here as unprotected sexual contacts. Results: Six of nine factors included in the model were statistically significant. White race was associated with more unprotected sexual contacts relative to non-whites. Females had fewer unprotected sexual contacts relative to males. Both the frequency of drinking days and illegal drug use days in the last 30 days were associated with unprotected sexual contacts. As patient age increased, the number of unprotected sexual contacts decreased. Mental health problems, as measured by the Global Assessment of Individual Needs (GAIN) Internalizing subscale, were associated with more unprotected sexual contacts. Conclusions: Gender, race, age, frequency of drug and alcohol use, and mental health problems are risk factors associated with unprotected sexual contacts among at-risk alcohol users. In the ED, those administering brief interventions for unhealthy alcohol and drug use may consider including safe sex education and/or providing patients with preventive measures for sexually transmitted infections, particularly to those whose assessments indicate higher frequencies of alcohol and drug use or possible mental health problems.
    • Sexually Transmitted Infections: Perceived Knowledge versus Actual Knowledge

      Ferguson, Heather; Topolski, Richard; Miller, Marc; Augusta State University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016-05-26)
      Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continue to be a serious problem, with potentially severe consequences. Past research has found that people may not seek out treatment for STIs because they do not know what symptoms to look for (Greenberg et al., 2002). The present study investigated many aspects of STI knowledge, including perceived knowledge and actually knowledge. Moreover, this study added a novel and applied aspect to the assessment of STI knowledge: visual knowledge. Overall, participants performed poorly on the actual STI knowledge, however, those who rated their knowledge as high performed significantly better than those who rated their knowledge as low. The data revealed two significant predictors of actual STI knowledge, level of STI education and number of previously contracted STIs. In addition, it was found that participants performed better on the written portion of the test than the visual portion of the test. The authors content that increased education may assist in reducing the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
    • Shelter surveillance and local public health

      Erickson, Amber; Georgia Department of Public Health (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: One of the core responsibilities of the Epidemiology Program at the Georgia Department of Public Health is to detect and respond to population health events through traditional and novel surveillance. One type of event that we have planned for over the years has been conducting disease surveillance during a mass sheltering event. Methods: Mid-day on October 5, 2016, the North Central Health District (NCHD) Emergency Preparedness Program notified the District Health Emergency Alert and Response Team that we would be receiving evacuees from the coast of Georgia and Florida due to Hurricane Matthew and that our District Operations Center (DOC) would be staffed 24/7 for the remainder of the event. The District Epidemiology Program’s responsibility during this event was shelter surveillance and although planning had been done for this type of surveillance it was unclear as to what exactly that would look like during a real event. Results: The NCHD had 6 American Red Cross (ARC), and a few Good Samaritan shelters open during the Hurricane Matthew evacuation and shelter event. The ARC shelters housed >550 evacuees and all hotels were occupied. The district had ~130 district and county staff (~40% of total district/county staff) work the event and had assistance from the state and other districts. The DOC was staffed 24 hours per day continuously from October 5-11.However, pre- and post-planning occurred before and after those dates. Conclusions: This presentation will provide an overview of the importance of shelter surveillance during a mass sheltering event, review the NCHD DOC Shelter Surveillance Protocols developed by the NCHD District Epidemiologist, and examine the lessons learned from this event from a local epidemiology perspective.
    • Social and behavioral implications of National Collegiate Athletic Association sickle cell trait screening: The athletes’ perspective

      Lawrence, H Raymona; Scott, Alison; Haywood, Carlton; Robinson, Kayin; Mason, Mondi; Georgia Southern University, The College of William and Mary, Johns Hopkins University, University of Georgia, City and County of Denver Department of Environmental Health (Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: In August 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) implemented a policy mandating sickle cell trait (SCT) testing for all Division I collegiate athletes. Subsequently, all Division II-III athletes were also compelled to undergo SCT testing. This decision has met with controversy among healthcare providers, researchers, and sickle cell advocates. However, there is little information concerning the athletes’ perspective of this policy. The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a qualitative study that explored college athletes’ perceptions of sickle cell trait SCT, NCAA policies on SCT testing, and potential implications of SCT screening. Methods: The participants were eighteen male and female athletes (ages 18-24), members of NCAA-governed teams who were on the study campus from April-August 2010. Athletes participated in focus groups that gathered their perceptions of the SCT, the NCAA SCT policy, and social and behavioral implications of a SCT diagnosis. Results: Athletes lacked knowledge of the SCT and the implications of a positive screening test result, desired health education about SCT, were conflicted about sharing health information, and feared loss of playing time if found to carry the SCT. Conclusions: The study revealed athletes’ perceptions of the SCT and mandated NCAA SCT testing that should be addressed by college health professionals.
    • Social and Economic Determinants of Infant Ill Health in 159 Georgia Counties: A Comparison Study

      Peden, Angela; Scott, Alison; Peden, John G.; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2009)
      Prematurity and low birth weight (LBW) are important causes of infant morbidity in Georgia and the United States. Georgia county-level data were used to explore the relationships between prematurity and LBW and two social and economic determinants of health: race and poverty status. Spearman rank correlations and Friedman and Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used. Prematurity and LBW were positively associated with poverty status and the presence of large African American populations. While causation cannot be inferred from correlative data, this analysis highlights the need to consider the role of social and economic factors in infant morbidity. It also highlights the need to target interventions and services to geographic areas most in need.
    • Social networks as predictors of colorectal cancer screening in African Americans

      Alema-Mensah, Ernest; Smith, Selina; Claridy, Mechelle D; Ede, Victor; Ansa, Benjamin E.; Blumenthal, Daniel S.; Morehouse School of Medicine, Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Early detection can reduce colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality by 15%–33%, and screening is widely recommended for average-risk adults beginning at age 50 years. Colorectal cancer mortality rates are higher in African Americans than in whites, while screening rates are somewhat lower. Individual social networks can reduce emotional and/or logistical barriers to health-promoting but distasteful procedures such as CRC screening. The aim of this study was to examine social network interactions, and their impact on CRC screening among African Americans. We hypothesized a positive association between social network index (SNI) scores and CRC screening. Methods: In a community intervention trial with four arms, we previously demonstrated the efficacy of a small group educational intervention to promote CRC screening among African Americans. This intervention outperformed a one-on-one educational intervention, a reduced out-of-pocket expense intervention, and a control condition. In the present analysis, we compared the SNI scores for participants in the small group intervention cohort with a comparison group comprised of the other three cohorts. Social networks were assessed using the Social Network Index developed by Cohen. Results: Small group participants had a significantly higher network diversity score (Mean difference 0.71; 95% CI, 0.12-1.31; p=0.0017) than the comparison group. In the second component of the SNI score - -the number of people talked to over a two week period -- the small group intervention cohort also scored significantly higher than the comparison group. (Mean difference, 9.29; 95% CI, 3.963-14.6266; p=0.0004). Conclusions: The findings suggest that social interaction and support was at least partially responsible for the relatively high post-intervention screening rate in the small group intervention participants. Education in small groups could foster strong social networks. Strong and positive network diversity and a large number of people in social networks may enhance CRC screening rates among African Americans.
    • Social, Economic and Health Costs of Unintended Teen Pregnancy: The Circle of Care Intervention Program in Troup County, Georgia

      Brace, Andrea M.; Hall, Michael; Hunt, Barry P.; Center for Community Studies; Mississippi State University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2008)
      Unintended teenage pregnancy in the United States is a public health concern with ramifications that include a variety of social, economic and health costs. It has been estimated that adolescents giving birth before the age of 18 cost the United States at least $9.1 billion dollars annually (NCPTUP, 2008). Latest available national data indicate a slight increase in rates of unintended teen pregnancy after a 15 year period of steady decline. The unintended teen pregnancy rate in Troup County, Georgia in 2006 was 51.9/1,000 which was higher than the national average of 41.9/1,000(Kids Count, 2008). The purpose of this study was to review the Circle of Care intervention program, a collaborative multi-agency teen pregnancy prevention program. The Circle of Care program was developed in 1997 through the efforts of multiple community partner organizations. These organizations included the local school system, the Division of Family and Children Services, Public Health, Troup County Family Connection, the local teen clinic, the local hospital and other organizations. Participants in the Circle of Care program receive multiple services, including case management, a family assessment, parenting classes, home visits from the case manager, family planning assistance, services from the teen health clinic and the Division of Family and Children Services. Preliminary data indicate that Circle of Care participants gained social, economic and health benefits from participation in the program including: higher rates of high school enrollment, no repeat pregnancies, and no reported incidences of child abuse or child neglect. Projected cost savings from these outcomes are also reported. Preliminary examination of the Circle of Care program supports the efficacy of multi-level, collaborative efforts to reduce unintended teen pregnancy and subsequent social, economic and health risks. Future research should examine longer term outcomes of this program.
    • Solo practice physicians in Georgia

      Mutiso, Fedelis; Akowuah, Emmanuel; Opoku, Samuel; Apenteng, Bettye; Georgia Southern University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Office-based physicians can practice in a solo or group setting. Solo physician practices are staffed by a single physician who is responsible for all the care of the patients. Physicians in solo practices are also responsible for the infrastructure, personnel and investment cost of their practices. Further, evidence suggests that physicians in solo practices are more likely to be dissatisfied with their medical career compared to those in group practices. Given these challenges, current trend suggests a shift away from solo physician practices. However, there are still physicians in solo practices in Georgia but little is known about them. This study attempts to characterize the physicians working in solo practices and in so doing, add to the growing knowledge of the healthcare workforce in Georgia. Methods: The 2014 Physician Compare data were used for this study. This database contains information on individual physician level characteristics including gender, credential, primary specialty and practice type. The data were linked to the 2014 Area Resource File to provide information on the rural/urban location of physician practices. Physician practices were classified as rural or urban based on the Economic Research Service classification. Chi square and t-tests were carried out to examine the characteristics of physicians practicing in solo practices. Statistical analyses were conducted in StataMP 14. Results: Of the 13,499 Georgia physicians studied, 1448 physicians were in solo practices. The majority of these physicians were in urban areas (78.30%; p<0.001), male (72.18% p<0.001), had primary care specialties (46.31% p<0.001) and more experience in practice (27.6 years; p<0.001). In addition, almost three quarters did not use electronic health records (71.97% p<0.001) and the majority did not report on quality measures to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (66.7%; p<0.001). Conclusions: There are a large number of physicians in solo practices in Georgia. Given the challenges facing these physicians, it is important for Georgia to consider approaches to decrease the burden on physicians working in solo practices.
    • The Spaces They Occupied: Women as the Determiners of Success in the French Revolution

      Stewart, Keturah; History, Anthropology, & Philosophy (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-05-04)
      This item presents the abstract for an oral presentation at the 21st Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference.
    • Spiritual health: The often-overlooked dimension of health

      Riley, Clarence; Imoyera, Peter; Samples, Oreta; Green, Gregory; Fort Valley State University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: Spiritual health, one of the six dimensions of health (physical, social, intellectual, emotional, environmental, and spiritual), is often overlooked and has become less prominent in the literature and in public forums. This once-touted dimension of health is now seldom considered. Methods: A review revealed that literature on spiritual health is sparse and, when found, is dated. Results: The existing literature indicates that spiritual health relates to various aspects of well-being, including medical/physical health, mental/psychological health, and educational/intellectual health. It is likely that the decline of consideration of spiritual health is due to the decrease in public discussion of spiritual matters and to the tendency of our society to focus on “political correctness.” Conclusions: Although the fear of alienating others by political incorrectness is foremost in the minds of many, this does not negate the fact that spiritual health is of benefit and can lead many to experiencing a better standard of health. It is our contention that spiritual health is often overlooked but has benefits that need not be concealed by political correctness. Spiritual health should be returned to the mainstream of public health, where its benefits can be enjoyed by those who choose to use them.
    • The state of accreditation readiness in Georgia: A case study

      Peden, Angela; Shah, H Gulzar; Toal, Russell; Alexander, Dayna S.; Wright, Alesha; Anderson, Ashton; Marshall, A Nandi; Uhlich, Scott; Jones, Jeffery; Georgia Department of Public Health; et al. (Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: Georgia’s public health districts first began exploring the idea of national public health accreditation in 2008 when Cobb & Douglas Public Health included accreditation in their strategic plan. In May 2015, Cobb & Douglas Public Health was the first Georgia public health district to achieve national accreditation status. This article discusses the current state of accreditation readiness in Georgia and explores strengths and barriers to accreditation. Methods: This study utilized a case study approach in order to examine PHAB accreditation efforts in Georgia within a real-life context. Data came from three sources: nine Accreditation Readiness Assessments, a PHAB Pre-Application Technical Assistance Survey, and state-wide Accreditation Readiness Survey. Results: The Accreditation Readiness Assessments resulted in several lessons learned about common strengths and barriers to accreditation. Strengths included a dedicated staff and supportive Boards of Health. Barriers included accreditation fees and a lack of personnel time. The PHAB Pre-application TA Survey revealed that the majority of those surveyed would recommend TA to other agencies pursuing PHAB accreditation (91%). The Accreditation Readiness Survey revealed that 14 of 18 GA public health districts are either PHAB accredited (1 district), actively pursuing PHAB accreditation (2 districts), or planning to apply (11 districts). This includes 116 of the 159 Georgia counties (73%). Conclusions: The results of this case study show that 72% of Georgia’s public health districts are engaged in accreditation-related activities. This includes activities such as accreditation readiness assessment, community health assessment, QI council and plan development, strategic planning, and policy review.
    • STD services delivery arrangements in Georgia county health departments

      Williams, Karmen S; Shah, Gulzar H; Peden, Angie; Livingood, Bill; Willams & Williams Consulting Group, Georgia Southern University, University of Florida (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Uniformity, standardization, and evidence-based public health practice are needed to improve the efficiency and quality of services in local health departments (LHDs). Among the highest priority and most common public health services delivered by LHDs are services related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine potential variations in the delivery of sexually transmitted disease (STD) services among county health departments (CHD) in Georgia, to determine if potential variations were due to varied administrative practices, and to understand delivery arrangements so that future cost studies can be supported. Methods: Web-based surveys were collected from 134 county health departments in Georgia in 2015. Results: Screening for gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis occurred in all the surveyed CHDs. Sixty-eight percent of the CHDs had one or more staff who performed investigations for persons already screened positive for STDs. Partner notification services provided by the CHD staff occurred in only 35 percent of the surveyed CHDs. Conclusions: Variances regarding diagnostic methodologies, work time expenditures, and staff responsibilities likely had an influence on the delivery of STD services across Georgia’s CHDs. There are opportunities for uniformity and standardization of administrative practices.
    • Stress Coping Mechanism and the Effects of Academic Stress

      Quick, Erin (Augusta University Libraries, 2020-05-04)
      This item presents the abstract for an oral presentation at the 21st Annual Phi Kappa Phi Student Research and Fine Arts Conference.