PISC Publications and News Features

The archive of all news and publications on the PISC site.

Shoshana Aronowitz of the School of Nursing, Zack Meisel of the Perelman School of Medicine, and colleagues assessed the various types of prior authorization requirements for Medicaid-covered buprenorphine treatment across the 50 states, which present barriers to evidence-based treatment and overdose prevention.

Gina South of the Perelman School of Medicine, Sara Jacoby of the School of Nursing, and colleagues describe the “racial empathy gap” in care for opioid use disorder, wherein Black patients are left wanting compassionate and dignified care when seeking OUD treatment, based on interviews with patients.

“The stigma of having a substance use disorder was felt to be compounded by the stigma of being a Black patient, leading to marginalization and discrimination during healthcare encounters.”

Cassis Boateng of the School of Nursing and colleagues assessed how religiosity relates to health seeking behaviors for mental health in a recent publication. Related to the topic of religiosity, Cassis presented at SAVIR 2023 about the role of spirituality in firearm injury recovery.

“Evidence suggests that religious and spiritual leaders may be more trusted than secular mental health therapists and are often the first point of contact for individuals with mental health problems who identify as religious.”

Millan AbiNader of the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) leads Penn’s participation in the Survivor Link + Public Health AmeriCorps program to provide financial support for SP2 students to build capacity in public health agencies, promote evidence-based interventions, and educate communities about intimate partner violence (IPV). Great news came recently as the new program was awarded a second year of funding.

“In the first year of Survivor Link + Public Health AmeriCorps, members engaged in 46,502 hours of service and trained 1,559 people across 188 agencies to more effectively respond to IPV.”

Leigh Ann DiFusco, a Penn Injury Science Center postdoc in the School of Nursing, wrote a blog post for CHOP’s Center for Injury Research & Prevention about her portfolio of research – factors that make driving more difficult or risky for teens and young adults with congenital heart disease (CHD).

“Like their peers without CHD, driving may be critical for educational, employment and social purposes during adolescence and adulthood; however, the effects of CHD on daily living may impact driving abilities in different ways. Some adolescents with CHD may need more time to process or prioritize information, react less quickly to sudden changes on the road, or have problems moving their body in order to correctly operate a motor vehicle. Others may be more impulsive or have conditions such as ADHD, and their attention span might be different.”

Healthcare Innovation featured the Warm Handoff project.

“Our findings indicate that the screening and prompts help clinicians to recognize patients and increasingly initiate important care for them,” says Maggie Lowenstein.

“There is a huge group now eligible to prescribe buprenorphine, which could really expand access to treatment,” Lowenstein said. “But that only happens if people actually recognize and treat opioid use disorder. That’s where our findings come in.”

Visit the Warm Handoff project page for more details.

Congratulations to Katie Hunzinger of the Perelman School of Medicine and Kevin Rix of the School of Nursing and Perelman School of Medicine for completing their postdoctoral fellowships at the Penn Injury Science Center and beginning their next chapters as assistant professors! Katie remains local at the Department of Exercise Science at Thomas Jefferson University’s College of Rehabilitation Sciences, while Kevin returns to his alma mater at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (School of Public Health Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science and School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics).

A team of investigators, including Allison Curry, from CHOP Center for Injury Research and Prevention and the Perelman School of Medicine found that caregivers from vulnerable populations demonstrated proper child restraint use if they engaged with a Child Passenger Safety Technician/Inspection Station or their Pediatrician.

“Among caregivers from vulnerable populations, almost all who had used a Child Passenger Safety Technician or their Pediatrician to learn about child passenger safety had their children appropriately restrained. This suggests connecting caregivers to “experts” may help reduce disparities in appropriate child restraint use.”

Millan AbiNader of the School of Social Policy & Practice authored a book chapter on the definition and operationalization of rurality within the context of gender-based violence.

“Research on gender-based violence (GBV) across place has consistently demonstrated rural/urban differences in violence prevalence and risk … Although the definition of rurality is central to this line of inquiry, how it should be operationalised continues to be debated among scholars.”

Kristy Arbogast and a team of CHOP Center for Injury Research and Prevention investigators assessed the short-term neurological effects of “headers” and head kinematics using an instrumented mouthguard in youth athletes.

“There were no neurophysiological deficits for either heading group or significant differences from controls at either post-heading timepoint, and therefore, a bout of repeated headers did not result in changes in the neurophysiological measures evaluated in this study.”

A team including Maggie Lowenstein of the Perelman School of Medicine and Shoshana Aronowitz of the School of Nursing interviewed patients and identified three facilitators for a low-barrier treatment model for opioid use disorder.

  • Low-barrier treatment is a “medication first” strategy for opioid use disorder care.
  • We interviewed participants in one low-barrier model to explore patient perspectives.
  • Participants valued flexible program structure and support for social needs.
  • Harm reduction approach increased comfort with treatment initiation.
  • Climate of respect, empathy, and autonomy were also key facilitators.

Elinore Kaufman of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke on Louisville NPR member station WFPL about the difference in public response to the recent mass shooting compared to the area’s chronic gun violence.

“It’s interesting, I used to say the mass shootings are getting all the attention, it’s going to really warp our policy. But honestly, all the attention that mass shootings derive result in very, very, very little change — essentially, no change.

If we really focus on the root causes of violence? We’re going to be talking about things like wealth inequality, like generational poverty, housing and schools, social supports, all of those things that we as a society have systematically deprived Black communities and other communities of color from for a long time. These aren’t simple policy solutions, but they are powerful. And they have all kinds of other benefits, of course, beyond firearm violence.”