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Using meta-research to foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive collaborative research networks

Stevens, Elizabeth R; Brody, Abraham A; Epps, Fayron; Sloan, Danetta H; Sherman, Scott E
Fostering diverse, equitable, and inclusive collaborative research networks is important for advancing the field of aging research. Despite sizeable investment in research consortia and career development programs, there has been only moderate progress toward diversifying the research workforce studying aging. Without critically examining what works and what does not, continuing to place more resources into these same strategies may not result in a substantial improvement in diversity or the creation of collaborative networks. Using meta-research to rigorously evaluate potential strategies to promote diversity and collaboration may yield important insights that can be used to improve upon current efforts. For this reason, we sought to describe meta-research and highlight how its principles can be used to achieve the aging research community's collaboration and diversity goals.
PMID: 36585905
ISSN: 1532-5415
CID: 5409772

Implementation of a relapse prevention program among smokers undergoing arthroplasty: lessons learned

Wilker, Olivia G; Stevens, Elizabeth R; Gold, Heather T; Haber, Yaa; Slover, James D; Sherman, Scott E
BACKGROUND:Surgery is a potent motivator to help people quit smoking to reduce the risk of complications. Many patients who smoke receive tobacco cessation counseling prior to surgery and are able to quit, but do not receive the same resources after surgery and often resume smoking. METHODS:We present a case study describing the recruitment process, study components, and lessons learned from StayQuit, a comprehensive relapse prevention program designed to prevent relapse after arthroplasty. Lessons learned were examined post hoc to determine challenges related to program implementation, using existing study procedures and information collected. RESULTS:While a comprehensive postoperative relapse prevention program may be beneficial to patients, implementation of StayQuit is unlikely to be feasible under current circumstances. The primary challenges to successful implementation of StayQuit focused on themes of lack of engagement in the preoperative Orthopedic Surgery Quit Smoking Program (OSQSP) and an environment unfavorable to in-person enrollment on the day of surgery. CONCLUSIONS:Postoperative relapse prevention programs may be beneficial for patients who quit smoking prior to elective surgery. To help guide implementation, it is important to consider surgeon behavior, the collaboration of clinical and non-clinical teams, and best practices for study enrollment in surgical settings.
PMID: 36852876
ISSN: 1445-2197
CID: 5428832

Youth E-Cigarette Use and Functionally Important Respiratory Symptoms: The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study Waves 3 and 4

Stevens, Elizabeth R; Xu, Shu; Niaura, Raymond; Cleland, Charles M; Sherman, Scott E; Mai, Andi; Karey, Emma; Jiang, Nan
Respiratory effects of e-cigarette use among youth are not fully understood. This study investigated the longitudinal association between e-cigarette use and a validated index of functionally important respiratory symptoms among US youth. Data from Waves 3-4 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study were analyzed. The sample included youth (aged 12-17) without asthma at baseline (Wave 3), who completed a follow-up survey (Wave 4), and were not missing data for analytic variables (n = 3899). Exposure was e-cigarette use status (never, former, or current) at baseline. The outcome was a respiratory symptom index based on responses for seven wheezing items at Wave 4. An index of ≥2 was defined as having functionally important respiratory symptoms. Lagged logistic regression models examined the association between baseline e-cigarette use and functionally important respiratory symptoms at follow-up by combustible tobacco use status (never or ever), and controlling for baseline covariates. At baseline, 13.7% of participants reported former e-cigarette use, and 4.3% reported current use. Baseline e-cigarette use did not increase the odds of having functionally important respiratory symptoms at follow-up regardless of combustible tobacco use status. Future research on larger populations of e-cigarette users with longer follow-up periods will improve our understanding of the respiratory risks associated with e-cigarette use among youth.
PMID: 36430043
ISSN: 1660-4601
CID: 5382882

Behavioral Economics and Tobacco Control: Current Practices and Future Opportunities

Littman, Dalia; Sherman, Scott E; Troxel, Andrea B; Stevens, Elizabeth R
Despite considerable progress, smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. To address the considerable health and economic burden of tobacco use, the development of improved tobacco control and treatment interventions is critical. By combining elements of economics and psychology, behavioral economics provides a framework for novel solutions to treat smokers who have failed to quit with traditional smoking cessation interventions. The full range of behavioral economic principles, however, have not been widely utilized in the realm of tobacco control and treatment. Given the need for improved tobacco control and treatment, the limited use of other behavioral economic principles represents a substantial missed opportunity. For this reason, we sought to describe the principles of behavioral economics as they relate to tobacco control, highlight potential gaps in the behavioral economics tobacco research literature, and provide examples of potential interventions that use each principle.
PMID: 35805833
ISSN: 1660-4601
CID: 5278442

A targeted approach to using e-cigarettes for harm reduction in adults

Stevens, Elizabeth R; Sherman, Scott E
Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the US. While e-cigarettes (EC) are undeniably harmful when used by adolescents and nonsmokers, the perpetuation of the increasing negative perceptions of EC and widespread false belief that EC are equal or more harmful than combustible cigarettes (CC) represents a significant missed public health opportunity. EC have great potential to serve as a mechanism for smoking harm reduction among hard-to-treat populations of smokers who have failed to quit with currently available treatments. In this paper, we outline why we need to overcome the hostile EC research environment to explore the potential use of EC as a harm-reduction strategy in hard-to-treat populations.
PMID: 35130449
ISSN: 1097-9891
CID: 5167132

Electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction strategy among patients with COPD: protocol for an open-label two arm randomized controlled pilot trial

Stevens, Elizabeth R; Lei, Lei; Cleland, Charles M; Vojjala, Mahathi; El-Shahawy, Omar; Berger, Kenneth I; Kirchner, Thomas R; Sherman, Scott E
BACKGROUND:Smoking cessation is the most effective means of slowing the decline of lung function associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). While effective smoking cessation treatments are available, they are underutilized and nearly half of people with COPD continue to smoke. By addressing both nicotine and behavioral dependence, electronic cigarettes (EC) could help people with COPD reduce the harm of combustible cigarettes (CC) through reductions in number of Cigarettes per Day (CPD) or quitting CC completely. The purpose of this pilot study is to identify barriers and facilitators to the use of and assess the preliminary effectiveness of EC as a harm reduction strategy among people with COPD. METHODS:In an open-label two-arm randomized controlled trial pilot study, 60 patients identified as smokers with a COPD diagnosis via electronic health records from a large urban health center are randomized in a 1:1 ratio to either standard care [counseling + nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)] or counseling + EC. The NRT arm will receive nicotine patches and nicotine lozenges for 12 weeks. The EC arm will receive EC for 12 weeks. Both cohorts will receive counseling from a licensed mental health counselor. Using ecological momentary assessment, participants will report their use of CC in both arms and EC use in the EC arm daily via text message. Primary outcomes will be feasibility and acceptability of intervention, and secondary outcomes will be reduction in CPD and change in COPD symptoms as measured by COPD Assessment Tool (CAT) score at 12-weeks. EC displacement of CC. To explore attitudes towards the use of EC as a harm-reduction strategy for patients with COPD, interviews will be performed with a sample of participants from both study arms. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS:Despite decades of availability of smoking cessation medications, nearly half of people with COPD still smoke. This study aims to address the unmet need for feasible and effective strategies for reducing CC use among those with COPD, which has the potential to significantly improve the health of people with COPD who smoke. Trial Registration Identifier: NCT04465318.
PMID: 34991693
ISSN: 1940-0640
CID: 5107362

Understanding Racial and Ethnic Differences in Switching from Combustible Cigarettes to E-Cigarettes in COPD Patients [Meeting Abstract]

Bonafont, Reyes B V; Stevens, E; Nicholson, A; Lei, L; Vojjala, M; Sherman, S
Background: Electronic cigarettes (EC) have been proposed as a harm-reducing alternative in smokers with COPD. Racial and ethnic differences can affect the extent to which smokers in the general population switch from combustible cigarettes (CC) to EC. To help design a targeted intervention for smokers with COPD, we conducted a mixed methods study assessing the relationship between race/ethnicity and switching from CC to EC; and evaluated whether it is mediated by social norms, risk perception, and overall opinions of CC and EC.
Method(s): We recruited patients with COPD, aged 21 to 75, listed as current smokers in the NYU Langone Health electronic health record by phone, mail, and My Chart. Smokers who had moderate COPD (based on the COPD Assessment Test score (CAT)), who smoked >=5 CC a day at least 4 days a week and were interested in quitting were eligible. We randomized participants to EC or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) for switching from CC. Over 12 weeks, participants received 5 counseling sessions and were asked about their COPD symptoms, CC use, NRT/EC use, and nicotine withdrawal symptoms. We used Ecological Momentary Assessment (four text messages/day) to assess current EC/NRT and CC use. We analyzed the influence of race and ethnicity on switching, considering social norms, risk perception, media influence and overall opinions of tobacco and EC as possible mediators. We conducted in-depth interviews to gain descriptive explanations of study experience and reasons for switching or lack thereof. We used chi squared tests to compare categorical variables and analysis of variance for continuous ones.
Result(s): Among the 48 participants, the average age was 60 (STD 8.2) years and 54% were female. Races/ethnicities were 8% Black; 8% Hispanic/Latino; 81% White; and 3% Other/Not Reported. There was a trend towards decreased dyspnea and COPD symptoms, as well as decreased CC use, in the EC arm compared to the NRT arm. We are still collecting the qualitative data on switching perceptions.
Conclusion(s): Understanding the extent to which racial and ethnic differences in switching from CC to EC can be attributed to social norms, risk perception, media influence, and overall opinions of tobacco and EC; may allow us to design a more effective, more engaging smoking cessation intervention
ISSN: 1531-5487
CID: 5252392

Exclusive and Dual Cigarette and Hookah Smoking Is Associated with Adverse Perinatal Outcomes among Pregnant Women in Cairo, Egypt

El-Shahawy, Omar; Labib, Kareem; Stevens, Elizabeth; Kahn, Linda G; Anwar, Wagida; Oncken, Cheryl; Loney, Tom; Sherman, Scott E; Mead-Morse, Erin L
This study assessed the prevalence of prenatal smoking, factors associated with prenatal smoking, and its association with birth outcomes in a sample of pregnant women in Egypt. Pregnant women were recruited during their last trimester from antenatal clinics in Cairo from June 2015 to May 2016. Participants completed an interviewer-administered survey that assessed tobacco use and attitudes, and exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) was measured. Gestational age at delivery and offspring birth weight were collected via a postnatal phone interview. Two hundred pregnant women ages 16-37 years participated. More than a quarter (29.0%) of women reported smoking (cigarettes, hookah, or both) during their current pregnancy, and hookah was more popular than cigarettes. Most women who smoked prior to their current pregnancy either maintained their current smoking habits (46.6%) or switched from dual to hookah-only smoking (46.6%). Current smokers during pregnancy had a higher mean (±SD) exhaled CO level (2.97 ± 1.45 vs. 0.25 ± 0.60 ppm, p < 0.001) and had babies with a lower mean birth weight (2583 ± 300 vs. 2991 ± 478 g, p < 0.001) than non-smokers. Smokers during pregnancy had greater odds of premature birth and/or low birth weight babies compared to non-smokers. Dual cigarette-hookah smokers had the highest risk. Additional focused programs are required to prevent women of childbearing age from initiating tobacco use and empower women to stop tobacco use during the preconception and gestational periods.
PMID: 34948585
ISSN: 1660-4601
CID: 5090792

Rounding up the usual suspects: confirmation bias in epidemiological research

Braithwaite, R Scott; Ban, Kaoon Francois; Stevens, Elizabeth R; Caniglia, Ellen C
PMID: 33928375
ISSN: 1464-3685
CID: 4873822

The Influence of Community and Leadership Support on Implementation Research Behaviors

Stevens, Elizabeth R
ISSN: 2662-9275
CID: 5428842