263164 Translating findings to practice: Visualizing relationships between fiscal crisis cuts and maternal child health (MCH) outcomes

Monday, October 29, 2012

Erin Abu-Rish, BA/BSN, MA, RN , School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Betty Bekemeier, PhD, MPH, FAAN , Psychosocial and Community Health, University of Washington School of Nursing, Seattle, WA
Jerald Herting, PhD , School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: Washington State's declining revenues have forced difficult programmatic decisions. Local health department (LHD) budgets have been particularly hard hit, with some of the largest cuts made to MCH services. This project explores: 1) predictive relationships between recent cuts and MCH outcomes, and 2) characteristics of visual displays preferred by practice/policy-stakeholders. Methods: A sample of nine public health leaders were interviewed regarding their perceptions of the impact of LHD cuts on MCH services and outcomes. Interview notes and recordings were examined for themes related to potential research questions and theorized linkages. Questions and linkages are being explored through secondary data analysis (e.g. pooled time series regression) using 2005-2010 linked individual-level birth records (n>400,000) and budget data from Washington's 35 LHDs. Visual displays of findings are being developed for stakeholder review to maximize ease of interpretability and utility in translating new evidence to practice. Results: Interviewees believe LHD cuts are having negative health impacts on MCH clients. Datasets reflecting MCH outcomes (e.g. prenatal care timing, birth weight) and LHD/MCH funding data are being linked and analyzed during winter/spring 2012. Visual displays will continue to be iteratively developed with and for stakeholders. Final results will be presented at APHA-SA. Conclusions: Extensive LHD budget cuts are perceived to be negatively impacting the health of mothers and children in Washington State. Preliminary findings substantiate perceptions of decreased funding as well as worsening MCH outcomes. Use of visual displays designed with stakeholder input is anticipated to support decision-making thereby speeding translation of findings to practice.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Objective 1)Compare trends in public health funding/budget levels and maternal child health outcomes (e.g. timing of initiation of prenatal care, birth weight, etc.) from 2005-2010. Objective 2)Identify significant predictive relationships between budget and health outcome variables. Objective 3)Demonstrate characteristics of strong visual displays of findings preferred by practice and policy partners.

Keywords: Practice-Based Research, Maternal and Child Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a third year PhD student studying impacts of policy changes on health outcomes and health disparities. I have completed extensive coursework in research methods and statistics as well as study of maternal child health epidemiology and approaches to data visualization. I am currently an NIH-funded Multidisciplinary Predoctoral Clinical Research Training Program (TL1) Trainee and am mentored by two active practice-based public health services and systems researchers.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.