The Center for Health Promotion engages in a variety of research and community projects. Below is an overview of some of our current projects; check back often to get the latest updates. If you are interested in more information about a project or would like to support our work, we have provided email links to contact our principal investigators directly.
The Colorado Asthma Toolkit Program brings asthma specialists from National Jewish Health to train regional primary care clinicians to successfully diagnose and manage asthma. The program, which began in 2007, has been extremely well received and has trained over 120 primary care practices in both urban and rural settings. With a focus on the practical adoption of current evidence-based guidelines, the program continues to evolve in order to train more practices to provide the best possible care to their asthma patients.
Key components to the Colorado Asthma Toolkit Program:
- The training starts with a 90-minute online course, followed by a one-day group training. Each practice receives an EasyOne spirometer and patient education materials at no cost.
- National Jewish Health trainers follow up with an in-practice visit to continue spirometry practice, review cases, and answer questions.
- Training is free and scheduled at each practice’s convenience.
Wellness and Walking
The purpose of this study is to learn more about the effectiveness of a program that promotes wellness by enhancing daily activity levels in patients with COPD. The program incorporates an initial consultation, activity monitor and pedometer, goal setting, and goal reinforcement. Our objective is to develop a program to promote lung health by studying daily physical activity.
Biofeedback is a treatment method that can teach people how to control physiological processes within their bodies. In this study, we record various biological signals, including heart rate, brain waves, and breathing patterns. Participants are taught to use this information to gain more control over processes related to their asthma. The purpose of this study is to learn whether biofeedback therapy helps treat asthma, and if so, how it works.
The Well-Being Campaign: Support and Empowerment for a Healthy Lifestyle
In this project, we seek to sustainably improve clinical weight management practices through practice redesign, professional education and the transfer of expertise in two primary care clinics. The program will offer to providers and patients multiple resources related to obesity and its subsequent effect on chronic disease, including trainings on guideline-concordant therapy, the delivery of our FitLogix® weight management tools to 2,000 individuals who are obese or at risk for obesity and the implementation of “practice redesign” teams at each clinical system to build independent, sustainable weight management programs.
Colorado Consortium for Health Behavior Change
Health behaviors, such as physical inactivity, overeating and smoking, are major factors in the development and course of cardiopulmonary illness that have proven relatively difficult to change. The role of change agent incorporates many disciplines. This project brings together a diverse consortium of highly experienced clinical researchers who actively work at promoting health behavior change in patients with cardiopulmonary illness.
Although theories of health behavior and models of how to change health behaviors receive some degree of attention within the research community, the Consortium takes a unique approach to studying health behavior change theories. We recognize that promoting good health is difficult and we believe that it is not the job of a single discipline. We examine theoretical models from multiple perspectives, taking the best aspects from each to develop a cohesive, multidisciplinary model of health behavior change. Prevention and intervention efforts to date have been only partially effective, costly, and not easily translated into “real world” settings. The Consortium’s activities have been carefully planned to lead to the creation of new collaborative research teams that will develop more robust prevention and intervention efforts with greater reach, effectiveness and adoptability.
The goal of Project BREATHE (Building Research to Enhance Apnea Treatment Through Health Education) is to identify methods that may help patients to respond positively to positive airway pressure (PAP) treatment, the most common treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The long-term objective of this line of research is to identify brief, behavioral interventions that enhance treatment adherence in OSA, thus improving outcomes. Identifying these methods may be an important way to better care for patients with OSA, but these techniques can also be employed with other chronic health conditions and are currently being adapted into a treatment for patients with COPD.
The study has been active for over 10 years with NIH funding. We have found that the most effective methods for changing patient’s views about their therapy often involve tailoring the messages we give patients to their own interests and helping patients manage their own ambivalence about their health. We believe that a personal approach is critical to helping patients and that our current healthcare system does not easily incorporate this personalization. Our work has led to additional studies that promise to improve the response patients have to this difficult therapy. We believe that we are close to developing an automated, yet personalized, approach that can be incorporated easily into our current healthcare system to optimize treatment response in these patients.
Chronic insomnia is quite common and is associated with increased health care costs, impaired functioning and significantly increased risk for developing serious psychiatric disorders. There are many therapies for insomnia including well-supported pharmacological and psychological/behavioral therapies. It remains unclear, however, how these therapies should be employed to produce the most effective insomnia remission rates. This multi-site trial will examine insomnia remission rates produced by these therapies, when employed individually and in various sequences, to determine optimal strategies for insomnia management.
The Social Environment, Psychological Distress and Clinical Outcomes in COPD
The purpose of this study is to investigate connections between key aspects of the social environment (such as family relationships) and psychological and physical well-being in individuals with COPD. This study focuses on married couples in which one of the spouses has COPD.
Helping Alphas Succeed With Oxygen Therapy
This study will develop and test an intervention to help individuals with alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD)-associated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) use their oxygen therapy as prescribed. Oxygen therapy helps patients with COPD live longer. However, people who are supposed to use oxygen often say that they have a hard time using their oxygen, especially because they feel embarrassed about using oxygen in public. Less than 50% of people who are prescribed oxygen use it as much as they should.
There is no established method to help people use their oxygen therapy. Motivational interviewing is a therapeutic approach that has helped people use other medical treatments as prescribed, but so far this approach has not been used for oxygen therapy. Motivational interviewing helps people by changing attitudes and beliefs that are related to their medical treatment. Through motivational interviewing, people with oxygen therapy can explore both the pros and cons of using their oxygen, confront their ambivalence, and gain confidence in their ability to use oxygen even when they experience challenges such as feeling embarrassed about using it in public.
This project is the first step in a series of studies with the goal of helping people with AATD-associated COPD use their oxygen as prescribed. We expect that an intervention based on motivational interviewing will help people use their oxygen as prescribed by changing their attitudes and beliefs. This project has two goals: 1) to develop the intervention and the measures of attitudes and beliefs, and 2) to do a small study to see if the intervention works.