• Can summer camp improve childhood asthma management? Outcomes from Augusta Area Asthma Camp

      Flakes, Terrill; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Childhood asthma is the most common chronic condition in the U.S., affecting 8.6% of children.1 Asthma is particularly an issue in Georgia where 16.2% of children have been diagnosed with this condition.2 Research suggests an association between pediatric asthma education and a decrease in emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and improved quality of life (QOL).3,4 The Augusta Area Asthma Camp, a free week-long educational day camp, was created to address a critical need for asthma education in the community by increasing parent and child knowledge and self-management of asthma symptoms while providing typical summer camp activities in a safe environment. Yet camp effectiveness has not been evaluated. This study explored differences in parent and child related asthma outcomes before and after attending Asthma Camp. Methods: In summer 2016, children attending Asthma Camp along with their parents/legal guardian were consented and asked to complete pre- and post-camp surveys that collected information about asthma control, education, self-management of symptoms, and physical activity. Paired samples t-tests were used to determine pre- and post-camp differences. Results: Children (n=43) ranged from 6-13 years (M=8.53, SD=1.80) with the majority Black (65.1%), male (62.8%), from single parent (41.5%), low-income (73.1%), and nonsmoking households (84.65%). Child asthma education scores were low both before (65%, SD=0.22) and after (69%,SD=0.11) camp. Children reported a significant increase in the number of physically active days/week pre (M=3.66, SD=1.99) to post (M=5.48,SD=1.33) camp t(28)=-4.14,p=0.00. While we noticed slight improvement in child symptoms (preM=5.38,SD=1.30; postM=5.66,SD=1.24), activity limitations (preM=5.90,SD=1.16; postM=6.01,SD=1.13), emotional function (preM=5.57,SD=1.68; postM=5.68,SD= 1.84), and total QOL (preM=5.47,SD=1.25; postM=5.76,SD=1.24) and parent management strategies (preM=3.19,SD=0.52; postM=3.31,SD=0.92) and support (preM=0.50,SD=0.57; postM=0.55,SD=0.59), differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Asthma camp can increase child physical activity and shows promise for improving asthma education, self-management, and parental support. A larger sample and more sensitive measures may improve our ability to detect changes in the participants.
    • Student involvement in curriculum development enhances medical education

      Griffeth, Jacline; Sawyer, Alexandra; Johnson, Nolan; Hashmi, Osama; Gupta, Neha; Swartz, Sarah; Martin, Kathryn; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: During the 2014 annual review of the curriculum for first year medical students at the Medical College of Georgia, the public health module was noted as an area that needed improvement. To address this concern, a Public Health Curriculum Workgroup was formed for the purpose of identifying specific areas to improve and developing a more robust and integrative curriculum. A small cohort of medical students with public health backgrounds were invited to be members of this workgroup and participate in the development and delivery of public health content to the next cohort of first year medical students. We hypothesized that having this type of student participation results in a more clinically relevant and engaging curriculum. Methods: The curriculum workgroup met weekly to establish learning objectives, prioritize topics, and design interactive activities. The student members contributed to both curricular planning and content delivery. First year medical students completed course evaluations following the public health curriculum. These evaluations included five Likert scale questions and three narrative feedback response questions. Evaluation data before and after student involvement in the curriculum was examined. Results: Student evaluations of the overall quality of the public health curriculum increased 38% from 2014-2016. The measure of how well the content contributed to development as a future physician increased 36%. There was a 33% increase in how well the instructional materials aided understanding of topics. Theming of narrative evaluation comments showed that student involvement in the curriculum was well received. In 2016, 28.4% of narrative comments cited student presentations as the most valuable aspect of their public health experience. Conclusions: Involving medical students with public health backgrounds in curriculum development and content delivery of a public health module for first year medical students led to improvements in overall quality, clinical relevance, and instructional materials.
    • Trends in HIV testing among adults in Georgia: Analysis of the 2011-2015 BRFSS data

      Ansa, Benjamin; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Georgia is ranked fifth highest among states for rates of HIV diagnosis. About 4% of persons living with HIV infection in the United States reside in Georgia, and almost 19% of these people do not know their HIV status. The present study examined the trends and associated factors of HIV testing among adults in Georgia between 2011 and 2015. Methods: The 2011-2015 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data were analyzed. Results: A total of 31,094 persons aged ≥18 years were identified who responded to the question “Have you ever been tested for HIV?” Overall, there were 11,286 (44.2%) respondents who had been tested for HIV, with a slight decrease in percentage from 45.6% in 2011 to 43.7% in 2015 (APC= -0.98, not significant). Factors associated with HIV testing were being female (p=0.004), black (p<0.001), younger than 55 years (p<0.001), single (p<0.001), attaining education level above high school (p<0.001), and earning annual income of $50,000 or less (p=0.028). Conclusions: Overall in Georgia, there has been a slight decline in the temporal trend of HIV testing, and more than half of adults have never been tested for HIV.