Our research team is dedicated to understanding the connections between families, healthcare teams, and technology (particularly serious games) in improving medication use, health outcomes, and overall wellbeing for vulnerable and under-served populations, with a predominant focus on adolescents and young adults.
We apply an interdisciplinary approach to investigating key issues on medication safety and family health. Our current projects focus on creating innovative methods for use in schools, homes, and clinics to educate youth and parents about prescription opioid safety.
MedSMA℞T Families is a novel family-based intervention that utilizes a game-based participatory approach to facilitate parent-teen communication about medication safety in the homes, schools, and other relevant community settings where medication misuse might occur. Our MedSMA℞T Families intervention also incorporates the co-creation of a personalized family medication safety plan by parents and their teens to proactively foster family conversations about safe and responsible management of medications. Click here to learn more.
Our team focuses on creating effective, engaging, and interactive serious game interventions that promote safe medication use, improved health outcomes, and positive health behavior change.
MedSMA℞T: Adventures in PharmaCity is a serious game designed to convey information and teach skills about appropriate and responsible use of medications. The current prototype focuses on prescription opioid safety among adolescents and young adults. Our team is working closes with schools and clinics to inform the development of our digital intervention. Click here to learn more.
OutSMA℞T Cancer is a theoretically driven game-based intervention created to educate adolescents and parents/guardians about evidence-based strategies for cancer prevention such as HPV vaccination. Using a participatory design approach, we are developing a serious game intervention (OutSMA℞T Cancer) to increase youth and their families awareness about cancer prevention strategies. OutSMA℞T Cancer provides developmentally-appropriate cancer prevention education. Click here to learn more and read a recent article about OutSMA℞T Cancer!
In order to reduce cancer health disparities, it is imperative that youth understand cancer etiology, risk factors, and health behaviors that can be modified to reduce lifetime cancer risks. Using participatory design techniques and involving adolescents as community stakeholders, we directly engage diverse youth from urban and rural communities to develop interactive and effective approaches for increasing awareness about cancer and cancer prevention.
Check out our latest publications on cancer education among teens!
- Exploring middle school students’ perspectives on utilizing serious games for cancer prevention education: a focus group study. JMIR Serious Games. Accepted for publication October 12, 2021.
- Adolescents’ perceptions about cancer and preferences for cancer education. Cancer Control. 2021;28:1-12. https://doi.org/10.1177/10732748211036057
- Exploring youth perceptions about cancer prevention and preferences for education: a qualitative study. J Cancer Educ. 2021. Available online August 13, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13187-021-02077-0
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are the most used tobacco product among our nation’s youth, with over 3.5 million adolescents currently using e-cigarettes despite efforts by schools, public health campaigns, and legislation to reduce use. Two underutilized stakeholders in the fight against adolescent e-cigarette use are parents and community pharmacists. However, little education targeted towards these two groups is readily available. Pharmacists are the most accessible healthcare professionals in the community and have expressed a need for tailored educational resources to better counsel parents and youth on the health risks associated with e-cigarette use. Prior research has also shown that positive parental influence may be a protective factor against youth vaping. Through partnership with Wisconsin PATCH (Providers and Teens Communicating for Health), a community of youth, adults, and providers working toward improving health, and Forward Pharmacy, a community pharmacy with 5 locations in Wisconsin, we aim to garner youth, parent, and community pharmacist perspectives to:
- elucidate how parents and pharmacists can contribute to curbing adolescent e-cigarette use
- assess the usefulness of existing e-cigarette educational resources through interviews
The opinions, priorities, and preferences of stakeholders will inform adaptations of educational materials on e-cigarettes. The long-term goal is to effectively engage parents, youth, and pharmacists in reducing adolescent e-cigarette use.
The role of the pharmacist is key to optimizing the health outcomes for people living with cystic fibrosis (CF). Our current project focuses on applying a human factors approach to investigating the role of pharmacists and team-based care in improving medication management for people living with CF.
Check out our latest publications on the pharmacist role in improving medication management for people living with CF!
- Using a work system framework to investigate pharmacists’ roles in cystic fibrosis management. J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2022;27(3):270-276. doi:10.5863/1551-6776-27.3.270
- Characterizing medication management and the role of pharmacists in caring for people living with cystic fibrosis: A work system approach. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2021;61(5):547-554. doi:10.1016/j.japh.2021.04.006
- Opportunities for outpatient pharmacy services for patients with cystic fibrosis: perceptions of healthcare team members. Pharmacy. 2019;7(2)34. doi: 10.3390/pharmacy7020034
- Pharmacists’ role in supporting people living with cystic fibrosis. J Am Pharm Assoc. 2018;58(3):246-249. doi: 10.1016/j.japh.2018.01.006