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Do you have an interest in the health of San Antonio and the South Texas region?  We invite faculty, staff, students to become members of the ReACH Center.  Membership is free provides the opportunity to get involved with shaping the future of population health, clinical and translational research in South Texas!  For more information and to sign up click here!

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ReACH Center Population Health Postdoctoral Fellowship

With funding from the UT System Collaborative on Population Health Innovation and Improvement and the Center for Research to Advance Community Health (ReACH), UT Health San Antonio is creating a new 2-year post-doctoral fellowship in population health. Eligible applicants are individuals who have received a doctoral degree and who are pursuing additional research and training in order to have better skills to pursue a career in academia, research or any other field.  For more information click here.

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7411 John Smith Road

Suite 1050

San Antonio, TX

78229

 

Tel: 210-562-5551

Fax: 210-562-5560

2017-2018 ReACH/IIMS Pilot Grant Increasing E-Cigarette Awareness and Counseling Among South Texas Dentists, Patients and Communities

Project Team

  • PI: Rahma Mungia, BDS, MSc, DDPHRCS - Assistant Professor, Department of Periodontics at UT Health San Antonio
  • Academic Co-investigator: Meredith Buchberg, MPH - Research Area Specialist Senior, Department of Periodontics at UT Health San Antonio
  • Community Co-investigator: Michael Thompson - Bexar County Translational Advisory Board
  • Academic Mentor: Melissa Valerio, PhD - Campus Dean and Associate Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas School of Public Health San Antonio Regional Campus

Project Abstract

Background: Electronic cigarettes, also referred to as e-cigs or vape pens, are battery-powered devices that deliver a smoke-like aerosol (i.e., vapor) that the user inhales, producing an experience that resembles the act of smoking a conventional cigarette. E-cigarettes were introduced in the U.S. market in 2007. Since then, their use has increased substantially. Although the prevalence of conventional cigarette smoking among U.S. adults decreased from 19.3% to 17.8% between 2010 and 2013, the use of e-cigarettes increased from 1.8% to 13.5%. These trends may indicate a shift from conventional cigarettes to other nicotine/tobacco products that are perceived as less harmful or as potential cessation aids. As the use of e-cigarettes rises, healthcare providers should be prepared to provide consistent, evidence-based advice to their patients regarding this emerging issue.

Purpose: 1) To quantitatively and qualitatively assess psychosocial factors (knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, misconceptions) relating to e-cigarette use in South Texas, identify local populations most at-risk for initiation of e-cigarette use and better understand how dental practitioners address e-cigarette use in their practices. 2) To develop a) continuing education materials for dental practitioners that will increase their self-efficacy and capacity to counsel their patients about e-cigarette use and the risks associated with use and, b) bilingual awareness materials targeted to populations most at risk in South Texas (as identified in Aim 1) that can be distributed within dental offices and community organizations.

Methods: A brief electronic survey that will be administered to dental practitioners in South Texas. Results from the survey will inform the development of an interview guide for focus groups. The research team will conduct 3-4 focus groups with 6-8 individuals per group. Focus groups will include representation from community stakeholders identified by the Bexar County Translational Advisory Board. Results: Qualitative and quantitative results will be used to develop continuing education materials that are clinically relevant for dental practitioners and patient education materials that appropriate and appealing.

Conclusion: Little or no research exists about dental practitioners’ knowledge of e-cigarettes and their attitudes towards providing counseling for patients. The results from the study will gain a deeper understanding of the needs relating to e-cigarette awareness and develop culturally tailored materials for populations in South Texas.

Presentations and Publications