Author Interviews, Kidney Disease, Social Issues / 07.07.2018 Interview with: Dr. Ann M. O’Hare, MD Professor,Division of Nephrology University of Washington Investigator, VA HSR&D Center of Excellence Affiliate Investigator, Group Health Research Institute Seattle, WA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We set out to conduct a qualitative study among patients with advanced kidney disease to learn about their thoughts and experience with advance care planning. Our questions, especially at the beginning of the interview were quite broad and asked patients more generally about their experiences of illness and care. Although we did not ask patients about the emotional impact of illness and care, this came across as a strong theme when we analyzed the interviews, and that is what we describe here. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 05.07.2018 Interview with: Jessica Wood, MSc PhD Candidate, Applied Social Psychology Department of Psychology University of Guelph What is the background for this study? Response: We are at time in history where we expect more from our romantic partners than at any point in our recent past (e.g., love, emotional and financial support, sexual excitement/fulfillment, friendship etc.). This can place pressure on relationships and make it difficult for each person to have their needs fulfilled. Some choose to opt out of of relationships altogether to avoid disappointment, and some even purchase a real sex doll for fulfilment. Another option is consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships, where sexual and emotional needs are dispersed among multiple partners, potentially decreasing pressures placed on a primary relationship. However, CNM relationships are stigmatized and often viewed as less stable or satisfying. In our study, we assessed the legitimacy of this perception by comparing relational outcomes among CNM and monogamous individuals. We also examined whether the motives a person reports for engaging in sex was important to how fulfilled a person was in the relationship, and how this was linked to relational outcomes (such as relationship and sexual satisfaction). That is, having sex for more intrinsic/autonomous motives (e.g., pleasure, intimacy, valuing sex) has been associated with higher relationship quality. In contrast, having sex for more extrinsic reasons (e.g., feeling pressured, wanting to manage feelings of guilt or shame), has been linked to lower relational quality. (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Social Issues / 25.06.2018 Interview with: Bryan D. James, PhD Assistant Professor Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center Chicago, IL 60612 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study is part of a larger body of research examining how literacy and decision making abilities in different areas of life can affect the health and well-being of older adults. The main finding of this study is that a better ability to understand and utilize financial concepts was related to a lower risk of hospitalization in old age. Additionally, research conducted from financial services firm Sambla, Norway's largest bank and lender for medical loans, found that doctors and pharmacists are among Scandinavia's financial services most financially savvy, often saving for retirement 5-7 years before others working in the medical field. Over almost 2 years of follow-up, 30 percent of the 388 older men and women in this study were hospitalized at least once. A 4-point higher score on the scale of financial literacy, representing one standard deviation, was associated with about a 35 percent lower risk of hospitalization. This was after adjusting for a number of factors including physical and mental health indicators and income. The association appeared to be stronger for knowledge of financial concepts such as stocks and bonds, as opposed to the ability to perform numerical calculations. Additionally, the association was stronger for elective hospital admissions as opposed to emergency or urgent hospitalizations; this may support the notion that financial literacy is related to medical decision-making surrounding the decision to be hospitalized, such as which procedures are covered by Medicare. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Social Issues / 23.06.2018 Interview with: “siblings” by Britt Reints is licensed under CC BY 2.0Xiaoran Sun Department of Human Development and Family Studies The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802. What is the background for this study? Response: College graduation has significant implications for adult life outcomes including for employment, family formation, and health (IOM & NRC, 2015). Investigating how sibling differences in college graduation emerge sheds light on why children growing up in the same family sometimes follow diverging paths in adulthood. Our study also responds to the call by researchers interested in policy and practice to conduct longitudinal research investigating the role of early family socialization processes in educational attainment (Pettit, Davis-Kean, & Magnuson, 2009). Despite siblings’ important role in child and adolescent development, previous research has focused on parenting and on the academic outcomes of individual children in the family. Further, although sibling experiences, including their relationship characteristics and parental differential treatment, have been linked to sibling similarities and differences in domains such as risky behaviors (Slomkowski, Rende, Novak, Lloyd-Richardson, & Raymond, 2005), to date, there has been very little research on the role of sibling experiences in positive development, such as academic achievement.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 13.06.2018 Interview with: “fathers day” by James Simkins is licensed under CC BY 2.0Richard J. Petts PhD Department of Sociology Ball State University North Quad 213 Muncie, IN 47306 What is the background for this study? Response: This study looked at a national sample of over 2,000 fathers with children aged 2-18 to assess whether attitudes about traditional masculine norms and attitudes toward the new fatherhood ideal influence the degree to which fathers are involved in their children's lives. Our research shows that fathers who adhere to more traditional forms of masculinity (acting tough, being independent, not expressing emotion), are less involved in their children's lives and have a greater likelihood of engaging in harsh punishment. In contrast, fathers who identify more with the new fatherhood ideal (which emphasizes engaged, nurturing, supportive fathering) are involved more frequently in their children's lives. We know from a large body of research that father involvement is associated with numerous positive outcomes for children (e.g., fewer problem behaviors, higher psychological well-being, better academic outcomes). (more…)
Author Interviews, Infections, Social Issues / 05.06.2018 Interview with: rat- wikipedia imageMícheál de Barra, PhD Lecturer in Psychology Brunel University London What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Disgust has been called the "intuitive microbiologist"  - it tracks the sources of infection in our environment. But so far, there has been little attempt to link the sources of disgust to the sources of infectious disease in a comprehensive way. So we developed a method for developing stimuli based on a random sample illness. We basically asked ourselves what the kinds of cues that might be associated with that kind of disease risk and asked people to rate disgust responses. The main motive for this was to contribute to a debate in the literature about if there are "kinds of disgust" and if so, how many. I results were a little ambiguous there I'm afraid. (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Social Issues, University of Pennsylvania / 01.06.2018 Interview with: “Monkeys” by Dmitry Baranovskiy is licensed under CC BY 2.0Yaoguang Jiang PhD Postdoctoral Researcher PLATT Lab University of Pennsylvania What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Oxytocin (OT) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) are important neuropeptides known to influence social behaviors in a wide array of mammals. In humans, OT is widely referred to as the ‘prosocial’ hormone and is thought to promote social functions in neurotypical individuals as well as those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Currently, dozens of ongoing clinical trials in the US are trying to evaluate the therapeutic potential of these neuropeptides in remedying social deficits associated with disorders such as ASD. Yet there are significant gaps in our knowledge especially regarding the neurobiological basis of OT and AVP function. Most importantly, we are unclear which brain areas and pathways these neuropeptides act on to influence social behavior. Additionally, due to strong similarity in molecular structure, OT can bind to AVP receptors with high affinity and vice versa, making it difficult to rule out the possibility that, for example, the behavioral effect of exogenous oxytocin is mediated through the AVP system. Both of these questions have been thoroughly investigated in rodents, but unfortunately the same thing cannot be said for humans. Our study aims to bridge the gap between rodent and human literature on neuropeptide function by studying rhesus macaque monkeys. These monkeys resemble human beings not only in their social behaviors, but also in the neural network that is supporting those behaviors. In this study we show that treating one male macaque monkey intranasally with aerosolized OT relaxes his spontaneous social interactions with another monkey. Oxytocin reduces differences in social behavior between dominant and subordinate monkeys, thereby flattening the status hierarchy.Oxytocin also increases behavioral synchrony within a pair, perhaps through increased attention and improved communication. Intranasal delivery of aerosolized AVP reproduces the effects of OT with greater efficacy. Remarkably, all behavioral effects are replicated when either OT or AVP is injected focally into the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACCg), a brain area linked to empathy, vicarious reward, and other-regarding behavior. ACCg lacks post-synaptic OT receptors but is rich in post-synaptic AVP receptors, suggesting exogenous OT may shape social behavior, in part, via nonspecific binding, particularly when available at supra-physiological concentrations.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 21.05.2018 Interview with: “Droid Apps Cell Phone” by Carissa Rogers is licensed under CC BY 2.0Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair  PhD Professor, Department of Psychology Norwegian University of Science and Technology What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: The background is all earlier research on sexual behavior, showing both robust individual differences predictors as well as sex differences. We wished to investigate to what degree picture (PBMDA) based mobile dating apps differ from other arenas of sexual behavior.
  • How many have used or are current users:
  • Nearly half of the participants reported former or current Picture-Based Mobile Dating Apps (PBMDA) use. One in five was a current user.”
Our main prediction was confirmed:
  • We found that PBMDA-users tend to report being less restricted in their sociosexuality (as measured with the SOI-R) than participants who have never used PBMDAs
Including  specifation:
  • This effect was equally strong for men and women. Sociosexuality essentially accounted for the effects of other variables such as seeking a casual sex partner, being comfortable picking up strangers, and self-reported short-term mate value.
Sex differences were also found:
  • As predicted, women and men's reasons for using PBMDAs differed. Relative to women, men emphasized desire for sex as a reason for using PBMDAs.
The most surprising finding was as often due to a discussion with reviewer who was worried whether unrestricted sociosexuality was not more likely a result of use rather than a predictor of use. This improved the detail of our analysis and the conclusion that “When controlling for sex, age and SOI Desire there was no evidence that length of use increased lifetime casual sex partners.” (more…)
Author Interviews, Cognitive Issues, JAMA, Social Issues / 18.05.2018 Interview with: Dr Dorina Cadar Research Associate in Dementia Psychobiology Group Department of Behavioural Science and Health University College London London What is the background for this study? Response: Dementia is one of the most feared medical conditions, which represents a significant global challenge to health and social care. Education may serve different roles in the development of dementia: it is a proxy for early life experiences and (parental) socioeconomic status, it is related to future employment prospects, income and wealth, determines occupational exposures and characteristics of adult life (e.g., job complexity, work stress, environmental exposures) and it provides lifelong skills for optimal mental abilities and mastery. However, given that education is typically completed many decades before dementia onset, other individual and area-based components of socioeconomic status, such as wealth, income and area deprivation may provide a more accurate indication of current socioeconomic resources.  Also, at older ages, accumulated wealth represents a more robust measure of socioeconomic resources than income or occupation alone. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Exercise - Fitness, Pediatrics, Social Issues / 17.05.2018 Interview with: Dr Sharon Wheeler PhD Lecturer in Sport, Physical Activity and Health Department of Sport and Physical Activity Faculty of Arts and Sciences Edge Hill University Lancashire What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It is well-known that family background and parents’ investment in their children has a big impact on a number of outcomes, including how well people do at school, the jobs they get, and how they spend their leisure time. It is also known that it is middle-class parents who tend to work particularly hard to make sure their children get on in life. This research starts to question whether parents’ investment in their children’s organised activities is having the desired impact. Parents initiate and facilitate their children’s participation in organised activities as it shows that they are a ‘good’ parent and they hope such activities will benefit their children in both short-term (keeping fit and healthy, developing friendship groups) and long-term ways (getting jobs, having lots of opportunities in the future). The reality, which has been highlighted in this research, is that while children might experience some of these benefits, a busy organised activity schedule can put considerable strain on parents’ resources and families’ relationships, as well as potentially harm children’s development and well-being. (more…)
Author Interviews, Lifestyle & Health, Social Issues / 12.05.2018 Interview with: “Sara Singing for the IT MS Society” by Draft is licensed under PDM 3.0Filippos Filippidis MD, MSc, MPH, PhD Lecturer in Public Health School of Public Health Imperial College London London What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Previous research suggests that big sports and international events are associated with happiness, productivity, suicides and homicides. Considering the popularity of the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) in Europe, we wanted to see if there is any association between performance in the competition and life satisfaction and suicides. We used interview data from more than 160,000 people in Europe collected from 2009 to 2015 and found that better performance in the contest was associated with higher levels of life satisfaction in the country. Winning the competition did not confer any additional advantage. When comparing bad performance in the ESC with no participation at all, we found that even bad performance was associated with higher satisfaction with life compared to absence from the competition. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 09.05.2018 Interview with: Dr. Doug Nemecek, MD MPH Co-chair National Quality Improvement Committee Senior medical director for CIGNA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We know that approximately 1 in 6 adults in the U.S. suffer from a mental health condition, and research has noted that mental health issues are one of the most rapidly increasing causes of long-term sick leave. But when looking closer, we found that most people with mental health or chronic conditions have a similar pathology: they also suffer from loneliness. It’s clear that loneliness has a tremendous impact on health – it actually has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. We decided we needed to learn more. The key takeaway from our research is that most Americans are considered lonely, as measured by a score of 43 or higher on the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Specifically, we found that nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone or left out, and one in four Americans rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them. We also discovered that younger adults are lonelier and claim to be in worse health than older generations. However, our survey revealed several bright spots that reinforce the social nature of humans and the importance of community. Our results showed that people who report being less lonely are more likely to have regular, meaningful, in-person interactions; be in good overall physical and mental health; and have found a balance in their daily activities, including getting the right amount of sleep, socialization and work/life balance. We also hypothesized that the workplace played a role in this. It turns out that we were right – being employed and having good relationships with your co-workers is correlated with being less lonely and being more healthy.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 07.03.2018 Interview with: Patricia Louie, MA PhD Student, Department of Sociology University of Toronto Toronto, ON, Canada What is the background for this study?   Response: While most physicians believe that they treat patients equally, research shows that racial inequality pervades the U.S. health care system (Feagin and Bennefield 2014; Williams 2012). Because these inequities persist even after demographic and other socio-economic differences are taken into consideration scholars have started to look at the representation of race in the medical curriculum. The idea is that medical curriculum creates both implicit and explicit connections between race and disease. We build on this body of work by investigating the representation of race (White, Black and Person of Color) and skin tone (light, medium and dark) in the images of four preclinical anatomy textbooks - Atlas of Human AnatomyBates’ Guide to Physical Examination & History Taking, Clinically Oriented Anatomy, and Gray’s Anatomy for Students.  Skin tone is important. The majority of medical imagery consists of decontextualized images of body parts where skin tone, which may be related to disease presentation, is the only phenotypical marker. If doctors associate light skin tones with White patients, this may also influence how doctors think about who is a “typical” patient, particularly for the type of disease that is shown in that image. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues, Technology / 02.03.2018 Interview with: Jeffrey A. Hall, Ph.D. Associate Professor The University of Kansas Relationships and Technology Lab What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The idea that new forms of media displace our face-to-face relationships with close friends and family is an old idea.  Two decades ago, when the internet experienced a period of rapid growth, the most recent form of the social displacement hypothesis emerged. Studies from that time ended up finding little to no evidence of displacement by the internet. The main findings of this study focus on displacement by social media.  The first study was conducted with a longitudinal, nationally representative sample of Americans from 2009-2011.  This study found that during a period of rapid social media adoption, there was little to no association between adopting and using social media and direct social contact over the three years of the study.  Furthermore, using more social media did not result in lowered well-being. The second study in this paper looked at data from 2015, and found that using social media in a day had little bearing on who people communicated with and how they communicated. That is, passive social media use did not seem to displaced face-to-face communication with close friends and family.  (more…)
Addiction, Race/Ethnic Diversity, Social Issues / 28.02.2018 Interview with: Khary Rigg, Ph.D. Assistant Professor Department of Mental Health Law & Policy University of South Florida What is the background for this study? Response: Over the past two decades, the demographic profile of MDMA (ecstasy/molly) users has changed. In particular, African American MDMA use has risen in some cities. One possible explanation of this new trend is the drug’s recent popularity (as molly) in hip-hop/rap (HHR) music. Several top rappers endorse the drug as a way to have fun or get women “loose.” There are currently no studies, however, that investigate the extent to which African American MDMA users listen to. hip-hop/rap music or the influence that these pro-MDMA messages have on their use of the drug. This study used survey and interview data to identify the extent to which hip-hop/rap music is listened to by African American MDMA users and assess the perceived influence of HHR music on their decision to begin using. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 14.02.2018 Interview with: “Marriage” by Susan Nicole Cinci Csere is licensed under CC BY 2.0Ashley LeBaron Brigham Young University Provo What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This study was a really fun one for me. Previous research had linked materialism with lower marital satisfaction. However, no one had really looked into why that is--what is it about materialism that tends to facilitate less-happy marriages? As I thought about it and explored different theories, I came to the hypothesis that perhaps it is a matter of competing values. Perhaps those who highly value money and possessions are less likely to highly value their marriage, and then subsequently do not put into their relationship the time, effort, etc. needed for high marital satisfaction. And that's exactly what our findings show! Perception of marriage importance mediated (i.e., explained) the negative association between materialism and marital satisfaction. Of course it is more complex than this and there are likely other mediators out there, but I think this was an important contribution to the couple finance field.  (more…)
Accidents & Violence, Author Interviews, Emergency Care, JAMA, Social Issues / 10.02.2018 Interview with: Dr. Molly Jarman PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Brigham and Womens Hospital What is the background for this study? Response: Injuries are a leading cause of death and disability in the US, and there are well documented disparities in injury incidence and outcomes. Certain populations (i.e. rural, low income, people of color) experience more injury than others, and are more likely to die following and injury. Past studies focused on individual health and socioeconomic characteristics as the primary driving force behind these disparities, along with variation in the time required to transport an injured patient to the hospital. We wondered if geographic features of an injury incident location contributed to variation in injury mortality that was not explained by differences in individual patient characteristics. In other words, we know that who you are contributes to injury mortality, and we wanted to know if it also matters where you are when an injury occurs. (more…)
Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Sexual Health, Social Issues / 08.02.2018 Interview with: “Birth control pills” by lookcatalog is licensed under CC BY 2.0Marie Harvey, DrPH MPH Lisa P. Oakley, PhD MPH College of Public Health and Human Sciences Oregon State University What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Because decisions about contraceptives are often made by young adults in the context of their relationships and specific partners, the characteristics of that relationship and feelings about that partner will likely influence how those decisions are made. Many studies have previously investigated individual factors that affect contraceptive choice and when examining partner influences have used questions that were not specific to a particular partner. Intuition, however, suggests that feelings for a specific partner would likely influence one’s perception of risk for disease acquisition, and thereby, their contraceptive choice. So, it was important to us to look at the influences of each specific partner and how the unique dynamics of each partnership influence contraceptive use. In this study, we investigated how relationship qualities and dynamics (such as commitment and sexual decision-making) impact contraceptive choice above and beyond individual factors. We also used partner-specific questions. We found that both individual and partner-specific relationship qualities and dynamics predicted contraceptive use, but these factors varied by contraceptive method. For example, young adults who reported greater exclusivity with a specific partner and more relationship commitment were less likely to use only condoms with that partner. Additionally, individuals who felt they played a strong role in making sexual decisions in their relationship were also more likely to only use condoms. (more…)
Alcohol, Author Interviews, PLoS, Social Issues, Transplantation / 05.01.2018 Interview with: “Alcohol” by Jorge Mejía peralta is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr. Eirik Degerud, PhD Norwegian Institute of Public Health What is the background for this study? Response: Alcohol-related hospitalisations and deaths are more frequent among individuals with low socioeconomic position, despite that they tend to drink less on average. This is referred to as the alcohol-harm paradox. Alcohol is associated with both higher and lower risk of cardiovascular disease, depending on the drinking pattern. We wanted to assess if the paradox was relevant to these relationship also. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 04.01.2018 Interview with: “Grandparents” by Tim Wilson is licensed under CC BY 2.0Allison Flamion, Doctorante Unité de Psychologie de la Sénescence Département Psychologies et cliniques des systèmes humains Université de Liège LIEGE Belgique What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Ageism—stereotypes that lead to prejudice and discrimination against older people— occurs frequently in young adults and can even be seen in children as young as 3. Ageism has deleterious consequences on older people in our aging Western societies. However, the factors influencing this phenomenon in the young are not well known. To answer this question, we have asked 1151 Belgian children and adolescents to provide their views of the elderly, using especially designed questionnaires and open questions. We found four main influences on their views of the elderly: gender and age of the child, quality of contact with grandparents, and grandparents’ health. Girls had slightly more positive views than boys. Ageist stereotypes fluctuated with age, with 7- to 9-year-olds expressing the most prejudice and 10- to 12-year-olds expressing the least. This finding mirrors other forms of discrimination (e.g., those related to ethnicity or gender) and is in line with cognitive-developmental theories. For example, acquiring perspective-taking skills around age 10 reduces previous stereotypes. With regard to ageism, prejudice seemed to reappear when the participants in this study reached their teen years: 13- to 16-year-olds had higher levels of ageism compared with younger children. Moreover, youths who described their contact with grandparents as good or very good had more favorable feelings toward the elderly than those who described the contact less positively. Finally, children and adolescents with grandparents in poor health were more likely to hold ageist views than youths with grandparents in better health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 22.12.2017 Interview with: “Lidl Shopping Trolley” by Jeff Djevdet is licensed under CC BY 2.0Alexander P. Henkel, PhD Business Intelligence and Smart Services (BISS) Institute / Open University, The Netherlands What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: As consumers, we are frequently bombarded with a myriad of marketing tactics. One tactic regularly employed by thrift-oriented brands is to highlight low prices, discounts, and sales promotions. When consumers encounter these low-price signals, they may adopt a price conscious mentality, that is, a singular focus on getting the cheapest deal. A price conscious mentality is likely beneficial for consumers, as it helps them save money. However, it is also possible that it has negative implications, particularly for how consumers perceive and interact with other human beings in the marketplace, such as customer service employees. We investigated this question in a collaboration project between the Business Intelligence and Smart Services (BISS) Institute (founded by the Open University and Maastricht University, both Netherlands) and the University of British Columbia in Canada. (more…)
Author Interviews, Social Issues / 22.12.2017 Interview with: “Marriage” by sowrirajan s is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Akanksha Marphatia and co-authors, Dr Alice Reid and Dr Gabriel Amable Cambridge, UK What is the background for this study? Response: Although the total prevalence of girls marrying below the UN prescribed minimum age of 18 years has decreased over time, this is mostly due to a decrease in child marriages, <15 years. Marriages during adolescence, between 16-17 years, have increased. Women marring just after 18 years may also experience some of the consequences of those marrying under-age. These patterns are important to recognise because the predictors and consequences of marriage in these age groups are likely to differ. The aim of our review was to summarise research evidence on why women’s marriage age, independent of early child-bearing, is a major public health issue. In the four South Asian countries of our review, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan, marriage precedes reproduction. (more…)
Author Interviews, Education, Social Issues / 22.12.2017 Interview with: “working class” by arileu is licensed under CC BY 2.0Igor Grossmann, Ph.D. Director, Wisdom and Culture Laboratory Associate Professor of Psychology University of Waterloo, Canada Associate Editor, Emotion What is the background for this study? Response: Our Wisdom & Culture laboratory studies the concepts of wisdom and cultural factors. For wisdom, we specifically focus on pragmatic reasoning that can help people to better understand and navigate uncertain contexts – strategies that philosophers for millennia discussed as “epistemic virtues.” In our prior work, my colleagues and I have observed that wisdom tends to be lower in situations when self-interests are salient, and higher when one adopted an socially-sensitive interdependent mindset. In other work by myself and several other labs, consistent finding emerged showing that lower social class tends to be more socially interdependent, whereas middle class (both in the US, Russia, and even China) tends to be more self-focused. This led to the present research, which combines prior insights to examine how wise reasoning varies across social classes. Because lower class situation involves more uncertainty and more resource-scare life circumstances, we questioned whether these situations would also evoke more wise reasoning from people who are in them. Higher class situations are assumed to provide conditions that benefit people in every way. But in so doing, they may also encourage entitlement, self-focus and thereby intellectual humility and open-mindedness – key features of a wise thought. As such, our studies show that it turns out that middle class conditions are not beneficial in at least one way – they may discourage reasoning wisely. (more…)
Author Interviews, Cost of Health Care, Social Issues / 06.12.2017 Interview with: “Homeless” by Sonny Abesamis is licensed under CC BY 2.0Sarah Hunter, PhD Senior Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School Santa Monica, CA 90401-3028 What is the background for this study? Response: In 2014, RAND was contracted by Brilliant Corners in collaboration with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Los Angeles County Department of Health Services to conduct an evaluation of the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services’ Housing for Health (HFH) program.  The HFH program began in 2012 with the goal of providing permanent supportive housing for frequent utilizers of county health services who were experiencing homelessness.  (more…)
Aging, Author Interviews, Heart Disease, Lancet, Social Issues / 26.11.2017 Interview with: Prof Kazem Rahimi FRCP The George Institute for Global Health Oxford Martin School University of Oxford, Oxford What is the background for this study? Response: We decided to investigate this topic because disease incidence data is very important for public health bodies; for example, for the allocation of healthcare resources or for the design and assessment of disease prevention measures. When we reviewed the literature, we found that estimates of heart failure incidence, temporal trends, and association by patient features were scarce. Studies often referred to restricted populations (such as relatively small cohorts that may or may not be representative of the general population), or limited data sources (for example, only including patients hospitalized for their heart failure and not considering those diagnosed by clinicians outside of hospitals). Few studies reported comparable, age-standardized rates, with the result that the rates reported varied considerably across the literature. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gender Differences, Social Issues / 12.11.2017 Interview with: Francesco Acciai PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate Food Policy and Environmental Research Group School of Nutrition and Health Promotion Arizona State University What is the background for this study? Response: In 2015 life expectancy at birth (e0) in the United States was lower than it was in 2014. In the previous 30 years, a reduction in life expectancy at the national level had occurred only one time, in 1993, during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The decrease in life expectancy observed in 2015 is particularly worrisome because it was not generated by an anomalous spike in a specific cause of death (like HIV/AIDS in 1993). Instead, age-adjusted death rates increased for 8 of the 10 leading causes of death—heart disease, chronic lower respiratory diseases, accidents, stroke, Alzheimer's, diabetes, kidney disease, and suicide, according to the CDC. (more…)
Abuse and Neglect, Author Interviews, Cancer Research, ENT, JAMA, Smoking, Social Issues / 10.11.2017 Interview with: Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, BDS, MPH, CHES Instructor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Saint Louis University School of Medicine Member, Saint Louis University Cancer Center St Louis, Missouri What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Several studies have shown that there is an adverse effect of smoking on head and neck cancer survival; however, there are studies that show no effect between smoking and head and neck cancer. We wanted to investigate this problem using a single institution’s cancer dataset. Additionally, we wanted to understand the role of marital status in the smoking behavior of head and neck cancer patients, and to understand if smoking played any role in head and neck cancer survival. Our study confirmed that head and neck cancer patients who were smokers at the time of diagnosis had lower survival rates than nonsmokers. We also found that married head and neck cancer patients were less likely to be smokers and more likely to survive longer than those unmarried. (more…)
Author Interviews, Pediatrics, Social Issues, Weight Research / 09.11.2017 Interview with: Dr. Jianghong Li, Senior Research Fellow WZB Berlin Social Science Center Berlin, Germany Telethon KIDS Institute, The University of Western Australia West Perth, Western Australia What is the background for this study? Response: Over the last three to four decades, the prevalence of child overweight/obesity and maternal employment has both increased worldwide. This co-occurrence has drawn much attention to the connection between these two trends. Previous studies, predominantly based on US samples and cross-sectional data, has linked longer working hours to children’s higher body mass index (BMI), suggesting that any maternal employment was a risk for child health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Orthopedics, Rheumatology, Social Issues / 07.11.2017 Interview with: Susan M. Goodman, MD Director of the Integrative Rheumatology and Orthopedics Center of Excellence Hospital for Special Surgery What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We have previously reported that African Americans who have poorer health outcomes, may be disproportionately impacted by community factors. For African Americans undergoing knee replacement, no difference in pain and function was seen compared to whites in communities with little poverty, while in poor communities, African Americans had poorer outcomes. We wondered if this was generally true or if this only applied to knee replacements. We found similar results; African Americans in richer neighborhoods have comparable outcomes to whites, but as poverty increases- in this study measured as percent with Medicaid coverage- outcomes worsen in a step wise fashion. (more…)