ICHP Affiliate Member Presents Research on mHealth Tool at Academy Health

Stephanie Staras, MSPH, Ph.D.

Stephanie Staras, MSPH, Ph.D., gave a presentation about improving the implementation of an mHealth application within pediatric clinical care at the 10th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Arlington, Virginia on December 5th. The conference was sponsored by Academy Health.

Staras, an associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes & Policy (HOP) and a faculty member at the Institute for Child Health Policy, is working with several other researchers from HOP and Florida State University to assess how best to implement a tablet application within pediatric clinic care based on existing workflow.

Staras pointed out that many mHealth interventions are not successfully implemented in clinical practice because of a failure to consider how the intervention will fit into existing clinical workflows.

“Existing mHealth workflow studies generally assess changes in clinic workflow only after the technology has been implemented,” she said. “This study evaluates workflow before the mHealth technology is introduced to help researchers and clinicians identify the best timing and personnel to use for implementation.”

In 2016, Staras received a 2-year, $371,550 Developmental R21 grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to fund research on methods for improving compliance with the HPV vaccine, including a tablet-based patient education and screening system developed by Staras and her team for use by teens and their parents in pediatric clinics. (Read more here.) Staras also is one of two HOP faculty members who participated in an NCI-sponsored fellowship program that trains scientists in methodologies for conducting dissemination and implementation (D&I) research. D&I research is designed to shorten the time it takes for research findings to be incorporated into cancer treatments and cancer prevention interventions, a process that can take 10-20 years using traditional methods. (Read more here.)

Other members of the research team include Natalie Rich, a medical student at the University of Florida; Esaa Samarah, a research coordinator in HOP]; Lindsay A. Thompson, M.D., M.S., associate professor of pediatrics and health policy at the University of Florida and assistant director of clinical research at UF’s Institute for Child Health Policy; Michael J. Muszynski, M.D., associate dean for clinical research and regional campus dean of Florida State University’s Orlando Regional Campus, and Betsy A. Shenkman, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Health Outcomes and Policy, director of UF’s Institute for Child Health Policy, and associate director of Cancer Population Sciences at the UF Health Cancer Center.