Sunscreen and Summer Reading

by Justin B. Moore, PhD, MS

Summer is has officially arrived, bringing sunshine, outdoor activities, and (hopefully) sun protective behaviors. As I’m sure you bring JPHMP Direct on your beach and mountain vacations, I wanted to highlight a few articles from the July/August issue of the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice that you might have missed, starting with an interesting article by Katherine Scott and Nicole Errett examining the content, accessibility, and dissemination of social media communications made by government agencies during a disaster response in Louisiana. In this study, the authors reviewed Facebook and Twitter posts made by public agencies involved in the response to Louisiana flooding events in the late summer of 2016. Their results indicated that situational awareness and recovery resources were the focus of most of the social media posts, with an increase in posting during the first week of the disaster, which slowly decreased over time. Issues with accessibility and engagement were identified. Based upon their findings, they suggest that public health agencies spend time establishing their social media network and implementing existing disaster communication guidelines in advance of a disaster.

A related article by Danielle Jake-Schoffman and colleagues assessed e-media use and preferences for physical activity and public health information. In this compelling study, a web-based survey was employed to assess typical use of e-media to identify and share physical activity and health information by researchers and practitioners. Interestingly, they discovered that most respondents preferred non–social media channels to receive information. Among respondents who identified as social media users, only about 1% of respondents ranked social media sources as their preferred channel for information. Their findings highlight the need to assess one’s target audience when developing dissemination and public information strategies and campaigns, as preferred information delivery methods will vary by audience.

Finally, I would like to bring your attention to an article entitled, Assessment of the Sustainability Capacity of a Coordinated Approach to Chronic Disease Prevention by Sarah Moreland-Russell and colleagues. This study conducted in state and territory health departments outlines factors that influenced the sustainability capacity of a coordinated approach to chronic disease prevention. Data were collected using a standardized assessment tool administered to a stratified sample of staff and stakeholders from public health departments who were involved in the implementation of coordinated chronic disease programs. Their findings suggest that sustainability capacity is greatest in the domains of program adaptation, environmental support, and organizational capacity. Conversely, capacity was lowest in the domains of funding stability, strategic planning, and communications. The findings of this study will be useful for programs transitioning from traditional siloed programs to coordinated chronic disease programs.

Justin B. Moore, PhD, MS, FACSM, is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice and an Associate Professor in the Department of Implementation Science of the Wake Forest School of Medicine at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, USA. Follow him at Twitter and Instagram. [Full Bio]

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