Branas, Charles

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 21
  • Publication
    Trauma Center-Community Partnerships to Address Firearm Injury: It can be Done
    (2004-10-25) Richmond, Therese S; Branas, Charles; Schwab, C William
    Firearm violence is often framed as a problem of the inner cities and of the criminal justice system. However, this focus may direct attention away from smaller communities that also face firearm violence, including suicide. Ten years ago, the Firearm and Injury Center at Penn (FICAP) developed and implemented a model program in three smaller cities, using trauma centers to spearhead community partnerships. This Issue Brief describes the development and implementation of these partnerships, and highlights one community’s ongoing activities to reduce firearm injury.
  • Publication
    To the Rescue: Optimally Locating Trauma Hospitals and Helicopters
    (2000-09-18) Branas, Charles; ReVelle, Charles S; Mackenzie, Ellen J
    Injury (trauma) is the leading cause of death in the United States for people younger than 45 years of age. Each day, more than 170,000 men, women, and children are injured severely enough to seek medical care. About 400 of these people will die and another 200 will sustain a long-term disability as a result of their injuries. An estimated 20-40% of trauma-related deaths could be prevented if all Americans lived in communities that were served by a well-organized system of trauma care. This Issue Brief describes a new computer model that can help State and regional policymakers decide where to place designated trauma hospitals and helicopter depots to maximize their residents’ access to trauma care.
  • Publication
    No Time to Spare: Improving Access to Trauma Care
    (2005-09-29) Branas, Charles
    Since the September 11 attacks, policymakers are paying increasing attention to the adequacy of the U.S. trauma care system to handle potential mass casualty incidents. This attention has led to questions about how well the trauma system covers the population for day-to-day trauma, such as motor vehicle accidents and gunshot wounds. Although the number of trauma centers has increased in the last decade, no national plan exists to assure that everyone has timely access to a specialized trauma center if needed. This Issue Brief summarizes a new study that estimates the proportion of residents that can reach a trauma center by ground or air ambulance within one hour of where they live, using objective measures of travel times and distances.
  • Publication
    State Helmet Laws and Motorcycle Rider Death Rates
    (2001-09-24) Branas, Charles; Knudson, Martha
    Motorcycles are the most dangerous form of motorized transportation. Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are about 3 times as likely as passenger car occupants to be injured in a crash, and 16 times as likely to die. Because the majority of these deaths are caused by head injury, safety advocates have recommended mandatory use of motorcycle helmets. Others contend that state laws mandating helmet use infringe on motorcyclists’ rights, and question whether such laws really reduce motorcycle deaths and injury. Scientific evidence cannot address the appropriate balance between personal freedom and public safety, but it can address the effectiveness of mandatory helmet laws. This Issue Brief summarizes a new analysis of the effects of motorcycle helmet laws on death rates, and points out the need to account for other potential factors when comparing death rates across states.
  • Publication
    Methods for Linking Community Views to Measureable Outcomes in a Youth Violence Prevention Program
    (2012-01-01) McDonald, Catherine C; Richmond, Therese S; Guerra, Terry; Branas, Charles; Thomas, Nicole A; TenHave, Thomas; Walker, Alia; Leff, Stephen S; Vaughn, Nicole A; Hausman, Alice J
    Background: All parties in community–academic partnerships have a vested interest prevention program success. Markers of success that reflect community’s experiences of programmatic prevention success are not always measurable, but critically speak to community-defined needs. Objective: The purpose of this manuscript was to (1) describe our systematic process for linking locally relevant community views (community-defined indicators) to measurable outcomes in the context of a youth violence prevention program and (2) discuss lessons learned, next steps, and recommendations for others trying to replicate a similar process. Methods: A research team composed of both academic and community researchers conducted a systematic process of matching community-defined indicators of youth violence prevention programmatic success to standardized youth survey items being administered in the course of a program evaluation. The research team of three community partners and five academic partners considered 43 community-defined indicators and 208 items from the youth surveys being utilized within the context of a community-based aggression prevention program. At the end of the matching process, 92 youth survey items were identified and agreed upon as potential matches to 11 of the community-defined indicators. Conclusions: We applied rigorous action steps to match community-defined indicators to survey data collected in the youth violence prevention intervention. We learned important lessons that inform recommendations for others interested in such endeavors. The process used to derive and assess community-defined indicators of success emphasized the principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR) and use of existing and available data to reduce participant burden.
  • Publication
    PhillydotMap: The Shape of Philadelphia
    (2009-10-01) Branas, Charles; Davitt, Joan K; Hillier, Amy; Cheetham, Robert; Cheetham-Richard, Rachel; Cohen, Rachel B; Decker, Joan; Heckert, Megan; Steinberg, Harris; Sullivan-Marx, Eileen; Hutchins, Jason; Tomlin, C. Dana; Kerman, Lucy; Volpe, Stella; Lechner, Zachary L; Wiebe, Douglas; McLarnon, Michael; Newlin, Heather; Scholssberg, Dina; Wormley, Diane-Louise
    This book is the outgrowth of a working group entitled, “Modeling Urban Environmental Impacts on Health, Development, and Behavior" sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Urban Research. The purpose of the working gropu was to engage faculty from across campus and to encourage their collaborative use of GIS technology in the modeling of urban form and function. These ten chapters represent a wide range of GIS applications, from community-based social services to public history to social science research.
  • Publication
    Acute Alcohol Consumption, Alcohol Outlets, and Gun Suicide
    (2011-01-01) Branas, Charles; Richmond, Therese S; Ten Have, Thomas; Wiebe, Douglas
    A case-control study of 149 intentionally self-inflicted gun injury cases (including completed gun suicides) and 302 population-based controls was conducted from 2003 to 2006 in a major US city. Two focal independent variables, acute alcohol consumption and alcohol outlet availability, were measured. Conditional logistic regression was adjusted for confounding variables. Gun suicide risk to individuals in areas of high alcohol outlet availability was less than the gun suicide risk they incurred from acute alcohol consumption, especially to excess. This corroborates prior work but also uncovers new information about the relationships between acute alcohol consumption, alcohol outlets, and gun suicide. Study limitations and implications are discussed.
  • Publication
    Hospital-Reported Pneumococcal Susceptibility to Penicillin
    (2004-01-01) Branas, Charles; Metlay, Joshua P.; Fishman, Neil O.
    Geographic variation in drug susceptibility among isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae has influenced national treatment guidelines for community-acquired pneumonia. Whether individual hospital susceptibility data provide reliable and valid information for providers is unclear. We examined the geographic and temporal variability in hospital-reported rates of pneumococcal susceptibility. We surveyed all 52 hospitals that provided acute adult care in the five counties surrounding Philadelphia and collected data on levels of penicillin susceptibility among all pneumococcal blood isolates from 1998 to 2000. In 1998, pneumococcal nonsusceptibility to penicillin varied from 0% to 67% of all blood isolates across the 33 hospitals with ≥10 isolates in that year. Hospital location did not correlate with the level of reported pneumococcal susceptibility (p = 0.8). In addition, correlations were not significant in reported pneumococcal susceptibility to penicillin within individual hospitals during the 3 years.
  • Publication
    Perceived Effectiveness of Acupuncture: Findings From the National Health Interview Survey
    (2008-12-01) LaRiccia, Patrick J; McMurphy, Suzanne; Gallo, Joseph J; Xie, Daiwei; Branas, Charles
    Background: Knowledge of perceived benefit from acupuncture treatment is important to predict who is using acupuncture, to inform physicians of the possible benefits of acupuncture, to determine where rigorous research should be focused, and to help policy makers predict future demand. Objectives: To determine the proportions of survey respondents who reported perceived effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for specific conditions; and to determine the association of specified demographic variables with perceived effectiveness. Design, Setting, and Participants: Publicly available data from 31,044 noninstitutionalized US adults who participated in the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, a cross-sectional in-home computer-assisted interview. Outcome Measures: The proportions of participants reporting “any help” and “great help” for perceived effectiveness across conditions treated and per condition treated; and the association of the subgroups within age, sex, and body mass index (BMI), along with the subgroups Asian race and Chinese ethnicity, with “any help” of acupuncture treatment across conditions treated. Results: Of the 1,274 respondents who reported having consulted an acupuncturist, 329 had used acupuncture in the last 12 months; 276 had used acupuncture to treat a specific condition. A total of 86% of respondents reported being helped by acupuncture, while 45% reported being greatly helped across conditions treated. In an examination of specific conditions treated, the range for “any help” was 98% to 67%, and 98% to 7% in the “great help” outcome. Older age and obesity were negatively associated with perceived effectiveness statistically but not clinically. Asian race and Chinese ethnicity were not statistically significantly associated with perceived effectiveness. Conclusions: Acupuncture is perceived to be effective by most respondents who used it to treat a specific condition. Older age and obesity are negatively associated with perceived effectiveness, but not at a clinically significant level. A larger sample of Asian and Chinese subgroups is needed to determine if there is an association of these subgroups with perceived benefit.
  • Publication
    The Case for Enhanced Data Collection of Gun Type
    (2004-01-01) Richmond, Therese S; Branas, Charles; Cheney, Rose Ann; Schwab, C William
    Background: National surveillance systems have differentiated long guns into rifles and shotguns but fail to do so for handgun type. We sought to determine whether specific gun type data could be collected and whether knowledge of specific gun types (rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver) could be used to distinguish gun homicide victims with respect to important injury parameters such as number of wounds. Methods: Data on gun fatalities over a 5-year period in three communities were abstracted from medical examiner/coroner, police, and crime laboratory records. Results: Gun type was obtained for 92% of 490 guns linked to 405 gun homicides. Handguns were associated with more wounds per gun than long guns (p = 0.001) and more entry wounds per gun than long guns (p = 0.002). Among handguns, pistols were associated with more wounds per gun (p < 0.001) and entry wounds per gun (p = 0.001) than revolvers. These same associations were not found among specific long gun types (i.e., rifles and shotguns). Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that information about gun type can be obtained and that significant differences exist in wounds per gun between long guns and handguns and between pistols and revolvers. Classification of long guns into rifles and shotguns and handguns into pistols and revolvers should be included in local, regional, and national data collection systems.