Public Health – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Research Discipline(s): Public Health

Whole Health Educational Resource Development and Evaluation for Veterans and VA Staff

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs works towards improving the lives of veterans nationwide. Part of their efforts include the implementation of a new system of health care called Whole Health. Whole Health is a system of care that focuses on complementary and integrative health, while placing veterans and VA employees at the center of their care. There are eight areas surrounding the person at the center of care, including: Moving the Body, Surroundings, Personal Development, Food and Drink, Recharge, Family, Friends and Coworkers, Spirit and Soul, and Power of the Mind. This study aims to identify the perceptions and utilization of care modalities in the eight areas surrounding the patient. A survey, asking qualitative and quantitative questions, was distributed to veterans and VA staff. The results of this survey will help the Ann Arbor VA and VAs across the country improve veteran care. At the time of publication of this abstract, the data has been collected and preliminary analysis is in process. The specific, detailed, and final results will be available at the time of the Symposium presentation.

Whole Health Educational Resource Development and Evaluation for Veterans and VA Staff

Whole Health is a system of care utilized in Veteran’s Affairs facilities around the country. This system emphasizes holistic and integrative healthcare that seeks to consider all aspects of a patient’s life and surroundings when seeking the best course of treatment. This study aims to understand patients’ and healthcare providers’ perceptions of the Whole Health System, along with their level of utilization of the many services offered by it. A Qualtrics survey focusing on each of the 8 areas of Whole Health is currently in the process of being distributed to Veteran patients, healthcare providers, and other individuals affiliated with the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Once the results from survey participants are collected and analyzed, it is hoped that they will shed light on individuals’ perceptions and experiences with Whole Health. Gaining this information has the potential to help improve the effectiveness and accessibility of the Whole Health System for all those who benefit from it. At the time of publication of this abstract, the data has been collected and preliminary analysis is in process. Specific, detailed, and final results will be available at the time of the Symposium presentation.

Whole Health Educational Resource Development and Evaluation for Veterans and VA Staff

The Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, the largest healthcare system in the United States, has introduced a holistic model of care termed the Whole Health system of care, with a key tool in this system being the Circle of Whole Health model. Veterans at the Veteran’s Affairs (VA) Clinic in Ann Arbor, MI have been very well informed on the Circle of Whole Health, and it has been used to empower Veterans in showing them areas of strength in their lives, as well as areas that need more attention. These areas include social relationships, physical activity, nutrition, and spirituality. With the Circle of Whole Health as a guide, this study, conducted by physicians and researchers at the VA Clinic of Ann Arbor, aims to gather research regarding which/whether holistic care modalities should be implemented in the daily care routines of Veterans including yoga, acupuncture, meditation, light therapy, and diet changes.

Revitalizing Northeast Detroit through data base research

Northeastern Detroit has long been a historical focal point in Michigan. It has a rich history that stretches back over a century, however, for much of its history it’s been utilized in an industrial manner. While this industry has brought its benefits to the area, these were not without consequences. These consequences are more apparent now than ever with the struggles of truck traffic, environmental concerns, and industrial encroachment. The goal of our research was to tackle some of these concerns and promote the true needs of the diverse community. Whether through land use hearings or research on the property and zoning use of an area, our community engaged research covered all arrays of public policy advocacy.

Revitalizing Northeast Detroit through data base research

Northeastern Detroit has long been a historical focal point in Michigan. It has a rich history that stretches back over a century, however, for much of its history it’s been utilized in an industrial manner. While this industry has brought its benefits to the area, these were not without consequences. These consequences are more apparent now than ever with the struggles of truck traffic, environmental concerns, and industrial encroachment. The goal of our research was to tackle some of these concerns and promote the true needs of the diverse community. Whether through land use hearings or research on the property and zoning use of an area, our community engaged research covered all arrays of public policy advocacy.

School Climate and School Safety: Systematic Review

U.S. schools are encompassed with violence, victimization, and bullying. Addressing these concerns in regard to unique school contexts requires a multidimensional approach through an analysis of causal factors concerning school climate. This review aims to determine whether school climate is associated with improved school safety and/or reduced school violence in addition to which aspects of school climate, if any, are associated with improved school safety and/or reduced school violence? Our team will systematically review the published literature for research evaluating the relationships between aspects of school climate and school safety/school violence. We will measure school climate through aspects including school connectedness, student engagement, school belonging, school culture, etc. To systematically review the literature, we intend to use a protocol informed by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines to search research databases, screen published studies, apply inclusion and exclusion criteria, and select relevant literature for review. After reviewing the full texts of studies, our research team will develop a data extraction tool to extract the various information from studies.

Sandy Hook Promise Evaluations

While schools have employed systems for students to report incidents of bullying, drugs, mental health, safety concerns, etc. they are often not anonymous, despite being advertised as so. Often times students are directed to report their concerns to a teacher/counselor directly or to fill out a form of some kind that they ultimately need to deliver to a teacher/counselor, thus defeating the point of “anonymous” reporting. This study aims to investigate how the number and demographics of student reports change when an actual Anonymous Reporting System (ARS) is introduced. This experiment included a school district in Pennsylvania where half of the schools implemented the ARS and taught the students how to use it while the other half of schools carried on with their normal reporting system. At the conclusion of the study, all of the tips were coded and categorized on the basis of type (sexual harassment, drugs, mental health, etc), race, gender, grade/age, and whether or not the victim was the one who reported or if it was a witness. After a careful analysis of the data, we expect to see a higher number of tips related to nonviolent bullying and harassment compared to other types of tips, including violence. This knowledge of how an ARS can be more effective for certain types of tips is part of a growing understanding of how to improve school safety and will lead to new standard legislation and implementation regarding reporting in schools.

An Analysis of Types of Tips Collected Using an Anonymous Reporting System (ARS) in K-12 Schools

While schools have employed systems for students to report incidents of bullying, drugs, mental health, safety concerns, etc. they are often not anonymous, despite being advertised as so. Often times students are directed to report their concerns to a teacher/counselor directly or to fill out a form of some kind that they ultimately need to deliver to a teacher/counselor, thus defeating the point of “anonymous” reporting. This study aims to investigate how the number and demographics of student reports change when an actual Anonymous Reporting System (ARS) as part of the Safe2Say Something (S2SS) initiative is introduced. This experiment included a school district in Pennsylvania where half of the schools implemented the ARS and taught the students how to use it while the other half of schools carried on with their normal reporting system. At the conclusion of the study, all of the tips were coded and categorized on the basis of type (sexual harassment, drugs, mental health, etc), race, gender, grade/age, and whether or not the victim was the one who reported or if it was a witness. After a careful analysis of the data, we expect to see a higher number of tips related to nonviolent bullying and harassment compared to other types of tips, including violence. This knowledge of how an ARS can be more effective for certain types of tips is part of a growing understanding of how to improve school safety and will lead to new standard legislation and implementation regarding reporting in schools.

School Climate Systematic Review

For this creation of a systematic review about school climate, a team of around a dozen people began to research school climate and how it pertains to violence in a school setting. The main research question is “to figure out how school climate is associated with improved school safety and/or reduced school violence and which aspects of school climate are associated with that” in order to help schools across the nation become more safe for everyone. To conduct this systematic review, the team was tasked with first beginning to narrow down studies to use in the overall review. The team gathered thousands of studies by searching a few key words and then read the titles and abstracts and began to weed a majority of them out based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. The team also used an online application called Covidence to do this. This is by far the longest step as it takes a lot of reading and careful consideration. Next, the team read the entirety of the studies that were chosen to keep and started analyzing them more in depth to continue to narrow down the studies that will be included in the systematic review. Later, the team extracted data from the specific studies to draw conclusions based on the research other people have conducted. The final step is the creation of the systematic review with all of the findings summarized.

Improving Mental Health, Manhood, and Social Support for Black Boys: The YBMen Project

Conversations about mental health and masculinity and subsequent support in these realms is disproportionately low among Black males ages 18 to 30, and notably so at predominantly white, tertiary education institutions. Developed in 2008 by Dr. Daphne C. Watkins at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work, The Young Black Men, Masculinities, and Mental Health (YBMen) Project was founded as an online social support and health education research initiative. Seeking to provide a safe space for young Black collegiate men to discuss mental health and identity concerns, the online format was shaped to decrease barriers to honest discussion. Given the historical reluctance of Black men ages 18-30 to discuss mental well-being and masculinity related issues in face to face settings, The YBMen Project in its current form mindfully considers the cultural sensitivity and gender norms influencing this trend to create a virtual space more suited to their needs. Targeting Black men in preclinical stages of mental health distress, the project focuses on attending to young Black men with a desire to express emotional and psychological needs within a cultural milieu that has not previously proven conducive to this process. Beginning its first phase in 2013, the YBMen Project has spread to multiple midwest college campuses to both implement and test the efficacy of the program in addressing a hegemonic view of Black masculinity and its related mental health issues. In the context of the previous work done on other campuses, this sub-study examines the feasibility of effecting the YBMen Project on the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus and discusses the impact of Covid-19’s virtual world on the availability of resources for Black males at UM and perceptions of receptivity to an online e-health intervention. This research will address the willingness, needs, and methods best suited for the mental health and social support needs of Black men at the University of Michigan (UM) with respect to the intersectionality of their culture and identity.

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