Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, November 30, 2012

What I'm doing right now

Just in case people are curious about what I do for a living, here are my recent and current activities.

1. I just got a paper accepted and revised the page proofs. It's a focus group study of people living with HIV about their experience communicating with their doctors about adherence to antiretroviral medications. It's an open access journal so as soon as it's on-line I'll give y'all a link.

2. I revised and resubmitted another paper, about a new system I developed for coding and analyzing clinical encounters. The system is also part of the basis for . . .

3. An award from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study how features of clinical communication in chronic kidney disease and heart disease are related to patients' understanding and recall of the information they get and the treatment decisions that are made in a visit. Right now we're finishing up the interview guides and protocols and waiting for IRB* approval.

4. I finished drafting a paper on racial and ethnic differences in patient-provider communication in HIV care, based on our system for coding and analyzing interactions, and sent it to a co-author.

5. I'm in the middle of a study called Explanatory Models and Decision Heuristics in HIV Care. I did a whole bunch of semi-structured interviews with people living with HIV, to find out what they understand and believe about HIV and HIV treatment, and how that affects whether they take their pills and so on. Now my mission is to develop a structured survey that can be given in waiting rooms to find out what conversations people really need to have with their docs and/or nurses. (It turns out, BTW, that people who tried this with kidney disease found out that 1/3 of people living with chronic kidney disease  do not know that the kidneys make urine. Really.)

6. I'm supposed to be analyzing data from another survey I was involved in, concerning people's perception of risk from near-highway pollution. Need to get cracking.

7. I'm working on a proposal about communication between providers and families, and how well families follow medication and infection control protocols, for kids who have hematopoetic stem cell transplants (AKA bone marrow transplants, although they don't literally transplant bone marrow.)

8. Two more papers I'm supposed to be writing . . . will get a round tuit.

I probably forgot a couple of things. In fact I know I did. Anyhow if anyone has questions about any of the above, or would like to learn more, let me know.

* Institutional Review Board. They're supposed to protect the rights and interests of human research subjects, but they can often be a source of petty bureaucratic annoyance.

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