Research

The Injury Prevention Center (IPC) at Connecticut Children's has two broad research goals:

  1. To design, implement and evaluate innovative interventions in the field
  2. To address the significant gap in the translation of evidence-based interventions into practical community-based programs and policy

Below is a list of current studies underway.

Connecticut Injury Surveillance System

Lapidus (PI), Campbell, Bentley, Rogers, Borrup, DiVietro, Ruiz

We collect and maintain several large databases to describe the epidemiology of injury among Connecticut residents. The data include:

  • Connecticut death certificates (1996-2012), all ages, all causes
  • Connecticut Hospital Discharge Data (1990-2012, persons <20 years, all causes, 2006-2012 all ages, all causes)
  • Connecticut Hospital Emergency Department Visits (1995-2012, persons <20 years, all causes, 2006-2010, all ages, all causes)
  • Connecticut Motor Vehicle Crash File (1999-2012)

Our geographic information system (GIS) allows us to spatially analyze and map fatal and non-fatal injuries at the county, town, census tract, census block, or street address level. Our GIS system also allows us to integrate and correlate injury data with other geographic, census, and economic data. Injury surveillance information is disseminated broadly via newsletters, fact sheets and internet web site.

Evaluation of Connecticut's Parent-Teen Driving Orientation Program

Borrup (PI), Campbell, Grasso, Lapidus, Rivera, Ruiz

This study examines the effectiveness of the mandatory two-hour parent training class for teens and parents at driving schools in Connecticut. Connecticut law requires parents of teens seeking a license to attend a two-hour informational session at a driver training school. Consisting of both observations and parent/teen surveys, investigators evaluate teaching methods, topic areas covered, and knowledge gain of participants. Results will be used to improve the quality and delivery of this parent orientation class and inform public policy around Connecticut's graduated driver licensing law.

Determining the Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence at Community Hair Salons

Joseph (PI), DiVietro, Beebe, Grasso, Borrup, Grasso, Ruiz, Lapidus. Funded by the Petit Family Foundation.

This is a study of prevalence of IPV among women receiving services at community hair salons. We hypothesize that women will disclose IPV in this setting and that acute trauma from abuse will be 0-1%, past year prevalence of IPV (physical or sexual) will be 10-15% and the lifetime prevalance of physical abuse will be 30-40%. The results of this study will provide the first estimate of IPV among women in this community setting.

Intimate Partner Violence/Dating Violence Policy and Practice at Connecticut Colleges/Universities

Lapidus (PI), DiVietro, Beebe, Grasso, Borrup

The Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) and the Injury Prevention Center at Connecticut Children's/Hartford Hospital conducted a 30-item survey to describe the current policies and practices on dating violence among colleges and universities in Connecticut. The primary findings of this report are:

  • Many colleges do note have policies, and there is no standard policy around IPV for colleges and universities within Connecticut, particularly around emotional, technological and economic abuse
  • The definition of IPV and its correlates need to be expanded within existing policies
  • Despite statistics indicating that 20-25% of women in college experience attempted or completed rape, and that these incidents are most often perpetrated by a known assailant, intimate partner violence is not viewed or treated as an important problem within either policy or procedure.

Investigating Pediatrician Beliefs and Practices in Youth Suicide Prevention

Borrup (BI), Lapidus, Rogers

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has provided clinical guidelines for assessing suicide risk and providing care to suicidal adolescents; however, research has yet to investigate pediatrician attitudes, practices, and reported barriers in response to child and/or adolescent suicidal behavior. The purpose of this study is to examine pediatrician attitudes, practices and self-reported barriers with regard to intervening to reduce child and adolescent suicidal behavior. Results from this study will be used to identify gaps in the knowledge base for practitioners working with children and adolescents endorsing suicidal ideation so that educational materials and training programs can be developed and implemented to improve indentification and management for children and youth at risk for suicide.

Hartford Hospital IPV Prevalence and Dual-Method Screening Project

Joseph (PI), Campbell, Lapidus, DiVietro, Beebe, Grasso, Borrup, Ruiz

This study project is designed to:

  • Improve identification and screening of IPV in the Hartford Hospital trauma center by implementing a dual-method screening and decision-making system
  • Collect data to inform the development of a probabilistic algorithm that will use existing patient record information to flag patients at high risk for IPV

Dual-method screening combines the benefits of computer-assisted screening with the flexibility and rapport-building potential of face-to-face health care provider assessment. This study will also provide pilot data to develop a probabilistic decision-support tool designed to flag patients who are at high risk for IPV. This model could be built into the EMR system to greatly enhance detection of IPV while allocating scarce hospital resources in an informed and efficient manner. Thus, the study will provide the health care field with a new technology capable of improving identification of IPV and promotes a data-driven approach to allocating valuable hospital resources in efficient and cost-effective ways.

The Impact of Prenatal Exposure to Family Violence on Epigenetic Processes in Newborns

Grasso (PI), Lapidus, Campbell, Ruiz. Funded by CICATS.

This pilot study will examine genotype and methylation status of FKBP5 in two samples of children recruited as newborns from Hartford Hospital. A stress-exposed group will comprise 50 newborns whose mothers endorsed exposure to domestic violence during pregnancy at pre-screening prior to enrollment. Comparison sample mothers (n = 50) will have reported no prenatal domestic violence. We will collect DNA from several sources (i.e., cord blood, peripheral blood, saliva, buccal) and will examine their degree of concordance in genotyping children and mothers and measuring FKBP5 gene methylation. The degree of FKBP5 methylation in children and mothers will be compared as a function of trauma exposure and genotype.

Research-Related Service

IPC faculty serve as peer-reviewers for scientific journals including:

  • Injury Prevention
  • Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
  • American Journal of Preventive Medicine
  • Archives for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Ambulatory Pediatrics
  • Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
  • Pediatric Emergency Care

We also serve as peer-reviewers for research and program grants including U.S. Health and Human Services (Emergency Medical Services for Children), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.