Health and Wellness

Recorded five-minute presentations for the Undergraduate Scholarly Showcase in Category C: Health and Wellness, Projects C-01 through C-19.

Reviewers: Link to Evaluation Form


C-01: Assessing the Accuracy of Various Fitness Trackers during Different Physical Activities

Trusha Patel, Health Sciences
Lauren Buse, Health Sciences
Tristan Behling, Health Sciences
Project Advisor: Dr. Susan Kotowski
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The purpose of this project was to collect data and assess the accuracy of different fitness trackers by performing different physical activities using various fitness trackers.


C-02: Analysis of Adipose Tissue Macrophages in Obesity: Size Matters

Jillian Kirby, Biological Sciences
Project Advisor: Dr. David Hui


C-03: Cardiovascular Health Disparities in the African American Community: Implementation of Educational Programs (Group 1)

Amanda Aguilar, Nursing
Danielle Reynolds, Nursing
Taylor Phelps, Nursing
Project Advisor: Dr. Rosalind Moore
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Cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for decades. Although this is an issue that affects all races, African Americans have experienced a disproportionate amount of burden related to this disease. Some of the factors contributing to this health disparity include medication adherence, racial inequities, lack of culturally competent care and lack environmental resources (Ferdinand, 2019). The purpose of our education project is to educate leaders of Hamilton County's Public Health's WeTHRIVE! Initiative on the importance of implementing a cardiovascular disease education program within the community in which they serve. Our educational program will also share research on strategies for implementation and examples of successful programs. We will conduct a fifteen-minute educational session during a virtual meeting with Hamilton County's Public Health's WeTHRIVE! leaders. The lecture will also be paired with a pre/post test for evaluation. The lecture will contain basic knowledge on the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in African Americans and research findings for three programs that we identified as having significant results. Out of all the WeTHRIVE! leaders that completed the post-survey, ___ % stated they learned something new about how the African American community is affected by heart disease. ___% in the post-survey also reported that there was a program strategy they learned about that they would consider implementing into their own practice. The results for this study are currently pending.


C-04: Cardiovascular Health Disparities in the African American Community: Implementation of Educational Programs (Group 2)

Hanna Dolle, Nursing
Blaine Blaine, Nursing
Matt Kuhar, Nursing
Project Advisor: Dr. Othman Mohammad Othman
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Cardiovascular disease has been the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for decades. Although this is an issue that affects all races, African Americans have experienced a disproportionate amount of burden related to this disease. Some of the factors contributing to this health disparity include medication adherence, racial inequities, lack of culturally competent care and lack environmental resources (Ferdinand, 2019). The purpose of our education project is to educate leaders of Hamilton County's Public Health's WeTHRIVE! Initiative on the importance of implementing a cardiovascular disease education program within the community in which they serve. Our educational program will also share research on strategies for implementation and examples of successful programs. We will conduct a fifteen-minute educational session during a virtual meeting with Hamilton County's Public Health's WeTHRIVE! leaders. The lecture will also be paired with a pre/post test for evaluation. The lecture will contain basic knowledge on the prevalence of cardiovascular disease in African Americans and research findings for two programs that we identified as having significant results. Out of all the WeTHRIVE! leaders that completed the post-survey, 66.67% stated that they were interested implementing these interventions into the WeTHRIVE movement.  66.67% in the post-survey also reported that the presentation helped enhance their knowledge on cardiovascular disease amongst Black communities. Due to a low response rate in the post survey compared to pre survey, further research on the effectiveness of our virtual evidence-based practice project is necessary.


C-05: Do Park Characteristics Correlate with User Physical Fitness? An Assessment in the City of Cincinnati

Grace Burgner, Health Sciences
Aaron Carrol, Health Sciences
Amarah Chaudhry, Health Sciences
Project Advisor: Dr. Susan Kotowski
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The purpose of this study was three-fold: 1. To take an inventory of the parks under the jurisdiction of the City of Cincinnati in terms location, size, characteristics (e.g. play equipment, water features, green space, etc.) via an observational assessment, 2. Utilizing a survey, determine which parks residents of the Cincinnati area visit most, what factors influence their decision to visit these parks, and their perceived level of physical fitness, and 3. To determine if there is a relationship between the physical of park users and park characteristics.


C-06: Does Listening to Music Impact Performance of Physical Activities and is it Affected by Genre and Preference?

Kaylie Anstead, Health Sciences
Jessica Bean, Health Sciences
Khushali Dalal, Health Sciences
Project Advisor: Dr. Susan Kotowski
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Individuals are always looking for ways to increase the effectiveness of their workouts, and listening to music may be one way of doing so. The purpose of this study was to determine whether listening to music increases performance during various physical tasks such as running, doing sit-ups, or doing bench presses. Participants completed three different trials of each activity while not listening to music, while listening to music in their favorite genre, and while listening to music in their least favorite genre. Number of repetitions completed was recorded for the bench press and sit-ups, while time to complete one mile was recorded for running. Heart rate and a rating of perceived exertion were recorded for all trials


C-07: Exploring the Relationship Between Core Strength and Postural Control: A Pilot Study

Zach Belmont, Health Sciences
Kevin Messerly, Health Sciences
Darius Montero, Health Sciences
Project Advisor: Dr. Rachel Gleason
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The relationship between core strength and postural control has numerous implications for health through the lifespan. However, a definitive battery of tests to determine the relationship between core strength and postural control has not previously been established. Therefore, the purpose of this pilot study was to determine which core strength measures correlate with postural control to provide future researchers with effective outcome measures. Core strength was determined by trunk flexion/extension holds and side planks. An evaluation of postural control utilized functional reach, y-balance test, and manual muscle tests for both hip extensors and abductors. The strongest correlations were displayed by plank hold time and backward functional reach (R= -.59) and back extension hold time and forward functional reach (R= -.47). This indicates that isometric core strength may not be predictive of dynamic postural control. However, these findings are limited by a small sample size and low inter-tester reliability. Study participants were all active 4th-year college students. Therefore, this data may not be applicable to other populations who pose a greater fall risk. For future studies, it is recommended that a larger sample size composed of elderly participants is used to analyze an at-risk target population. Furthermore, it is recommended that force plate and EMG tests be used to gain more precise data about muscle activation and balance. The variability of the data gathered alludes to the necessity for future research to determine a concrete relationship between the aforementioned variables.


C-08: Exploring the Ways in which Emotional and Psychological Abuse Affect the Mental Health of Women

Cierra Scott, Social Work
Project Advisor: Dr. Anjanette Wells
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Domestic violence is a significant social problem that affects millions of women across the U.S. This research study focuses on the emotional and psychological aspects of domestic violence, which impacts the mental health of women.  Few studies emphasize the importance of the causes and consequences of emotional and psychological abuse from domestic violence. For this reason, this qualitative study will focus on women and their personal experiences, feelings, attitudes dealing with emotional and psychological abuse. A survey link was emailed to 42 participants. Results indicate that most women in the sample experienced emotional and psychological abuse. Approximately 77.5% stated they had low self-esteem; 72.5% stated that they had experienced severe anxiety, and 62.5% reported suffering from depression. Furthermore, this research will also identify needed support and resources.


C-10: How Social Media Interacts with Our Brains: Influencing Behavior and Cognition

Lauren Miracle, Neuropsychology
Project Advisor: Dr. Annette Stowasser
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As social media, social networking sites, and generally being online become increasingly integral parts of our lives, it is important to investigate how social media platforms and near constant involvement in an online environment interacts with our brains and influences our behaviors. This presentation reviews various recent studies done on how social media interacts with our brains through activation in reward circuitry. Further, this presentation speculates how the computer algorithms with which social media platforms are built manipulate our reward circuitry. This presentation investigates how this interaction with reward circuitry can cause habitual "checking behaviors," as well as how it can lead to excessive and problematic social media use. Finally, this presentation surveys how excessive social media use can affect ability on cognitive tasks. The goal of this presentation is to educate our social media reliant society on the importance of balanced and controlled social media use to avoid adverse cognitive and behavioral effects from problematic and excessive use of these platforms.


C-11: Improving Willingness to Vaccinate Among Parents (Group 1)

Christabel Pieters, Nursing
Grace Wells, Nursing
Ryan Benson, Nursing
Project Advisor: Dr. Mohammad Othman
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Infant and childhood vaccine rates are not high enough to control vaccine preventable diseases, with outbreaks occurring even in high-income countries. The goal of our educational intervention is to increase the parents' knowledge level about the importance of vaccination and through identification of available resources to help overcome perceived barriers. Our team is conducting a remote educational intervention, because of the current pandemic, by sending out emails to the parents of students that contain a pretest questionnaire, a short presentation, and a posttest questionnaire, to assess their readiness to vaccinate their children. The pretest questionnaire will assess the current knowledge base parents have, perceived barriers and willingness to vaccinate their children and the post-intervention survey identifies if they are more or less willinging to vaccinate, if they can identify ways to overcome barriers, and their gained knowledge. The short presentation covers the benefits of vaccines, vaccination schedules, how vaccinations work, local walk-in vaccination clinics, how to enroll in the school-based vaccine clinic, and ways to cover the cost of vaccines. We hope that after the educational intervention, the willingness to vaccinate children will increase.


C-12: Improving Willingness to Vaccinate Among Parents (Group 2)

Matthew Shook, Nursing
Mitch Johnson, Nursing
Nicholas Siegert, Nursing
Project Advisor: Dr. Mohammad Othman
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Infant and childhood vaccine rates are not high enough to control vaccine preventable diseases, with outbreaks occurring even in high-income countries. The goal of our educational intervention is to increase the parents' knowledge level about the importance of vaccination and through identification of available resources to help overcome perceived barriers. Our team is conducting a remote educational intervention, because of the current pandemic, by sending out emails to the parents of students that contain a pretest questionnaire, a short presentation, and a posttest questionnaire, to assess their readiness to vaccinate their children. The pretest questionnaire will assess the current knowledge base parents have, perceived barriers and willingness to vaccinate their children and the post-intervention survey identifies if they are more or less willinging to vaccinate, if they can identify ways to overcome barriers, and their gained knowledge. The short presentation covers the benefits of vaccines, vaccination schedules, how vaccinations work, local walk-in vaccination clinics, how to enroll in the school-based vaccine clinic, and ways to cover the cost of vaccines. We hope that after the educational intervention, the willingness to vaccinate children will increase.


C-13: Listen Up Ladies: A Guide to Intimate Partner Violence, Your Risks as a Victim and a Perpetrator (Group 1)

Teresa Kinder, Nursing
Kayla Nort, Nursing
Becka Hornbeck, Nursing
Project Advisor: Dr. Paul Lewis
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Intimate Partner Violence is an epidemic that affects all of us. In prior years, studies on intimate partner violence have been focused around males as the perpetrators, but this is a bidirectional problem and research needs to be done by looking at the broader scale of concern.  According to research, 58% of women between the ages of 17-44 have reported experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). Among college aged people, between 17-39% report violence with their current or former partner. We will present to a community of sorority women the risks of becoming a victim, the risks for becoming a perpetrator and signs to look for in a relationship that may lead to or already be considered IPV. We will also provide local and domestic resources that can be used for victims of IPV. Our data is currently pending the results of our questionnaire and presentation, results will be updated accordingly.


C-14: Listen Up Ladies: A Guide to Intimate Partner Violence, Your Risks as a Victim and a Perpetrator (Group 2)

Kathleen Slaven, Nursing
Arielle Keller, Nursing
Project Advisor: Dr. Paul Lewis
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Intimate Partner Violence is an epidemic that affects all of us. In prior years, studies on intimate partner violence have been focused around males as the perpetrators, but this is a bidirectional problem and research needs to be done by looking at the broader scale of concern.  According to research, 58% of women between the ages of 17-44 have reported experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV). Among college aged people, between 17-39% report violence with their current or former partner. We will present to a community of sorority women the risks of becoming a victim, the risks for becoming a perpetrator and signs to look for in a relationship that may lead to or already be considered IPV. We will also provide local and domestic resources that can be used for victims of IPV. Our data is currently pending the results of our questionnaire and presentation, results will be updated accordingly.


C-15: Measuring How the Brain Responds to External Motivation During Physical Activity Using Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS)

Rose Porter, Health Sciences (Exercise and Movement Sciences)
Hannah Kowalski, Health Sciences (Exercise and Movement Sciences)
Project Advisor: Dr. Dan Carl
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Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a tool that measures cortical hemodynamic activity in the brain and is used for the purpose of functional neuroimaging. It measures the amount of oxygenated hemoglobin in the blood and is used to see how different areas of the brain are active during different tasks. fNIRS can be worn in a cap that allows the subject to participate in everyday activities like walking. This study is looking at how external motivation influences brain activity during a walking task. Subjects are told to perform 20 walking trials where they walk from point A to point B as fast as possible. The subject will walk for 10-20 seconds with a 20 second rest in between each burst. For half of the trials, the participant is encouraged as well as the timer being shown to them. The other half of the trials, the room is quiet and no timer is shown. During the walking trials, the fNIRS system is collecting data on brain activity and the levels of oxygenated hemoglobin. Subjects tended to walk at a faster pace when motivation was involved. The protocol is not meant to focus on a specific health condition but is designed to produce fundamental knowledge about brain function that could be helpful for treating different health conditions in the future.


C-16: Pilates in Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Practices

Jennifer Whitacre, Pre-Occupational Therapy
Jacob Neltner, Pre-Physical Therapy (Exercise and Movement Sciences)
Sidney Coolidge, Pre-Occupational Therapy
Project Advisor: Dr. Rachel Gleason
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Pilates in a form of exercise used by many to stay in shape, tone their bodies and improve flexibility. Lately, Pilates has implemented into therapeutic practices to help patients improve their injuries and pains. The purpose of this study was to survey practicing professionals to see if they currently use pilates in their treatment, to what extent and with that diagnoses. The survey was made through REDcap and sent to certified professionals via email. The emails were obtained through the University of Cincinnati Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy clinical educational databases. Currently the survey is being filled about by participants, once completed the survey answers will be analyzed using REDcap.


C-17: Systematic Review of Self-Regulated Anthropometric Measurements: An Intervention for Weight Loss Management

Trinity Patterson, Nursing
Project Advisor: Dr. Jamie Leslie
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Weight loss is traditionally attempted by diets, strenuous exercises, and surgical procedures. The success of those interventions is typically measured by a scale, but what about a tape measurement?  Using the traditional methods to track weight loss or prevention can discourage individuals because numbers don't always match the effort. However, the scale isn't the only way to measure progress because inches can be lost too. Our theory is that regularly measuring specific body parts could allow individuals independence in their care and a different perspective on their weight loss progress. This systematic review was conducted to analyze the data available concerning self-regulated anthropometric interventions. Specifically, we want to know if measuring waist circumference is a common tool used to prevent obesity, and if not, could it be? Using several research databases, we found one related and seventy-nine potential articles correlated to our question. The articles chosen were based on their mentions of anthropometrics or measurements of waist circumference. Our findings so far revealed a lack of interventions specific to anthropometrics. Focusing solely on waist circumference limited our results because a majority of the measurements mentioned were of height and weight. From our findings, we hope to provide data about the use of anthropometrics in obesity and weight-loss interventions. Also, we want to learn if this is an area that needs to be further investigated. Giving individuals another way to manage their weight will support them in becoming more involved and satisfied with their health.


C-18: Comparison of the OMNI and Borg Perceived Exertion Scales During Performance of the Chester Step Test

Kellie McCauley, Health Sciences
Emily Heinzelman , Health Sciences
William Hennessy , Health Sciences
Project Advisor: Dr. Susan Kotowski
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The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale is a well-known and validated method to assess the intensity of a physical activity. It is based in psychophysics and the perception of physical sensations such as heart rate, respiration rate, sweating and muscle fatigue as they relate to how hard one feels they are working.  There is a high correlation between the Borg RPE scale and actual heart rate. The are several different OMNI Scales, all based on a 0-10 scale, which are another method of assessing physical activity intensity. OMNI scales are activity specific and have been developed for multiple different activities such as walking, biking, weightlifting, and so forth. There were three main golas of this project: 1. to determine the correlation of the OMNI scale to the Borg scale during a traditional 2-minute Chester Step Test, 2. to determine the correlation of the scales during a modified 1-minute Chester Step Test, and 3. to determine if the OMNI scores are an accurate predictor of actual heart rate. Subjects with a BMI < 30 were recruited in two age groups (< 30 years old, and 30-60 years old) were recruited to perform both the 1 and 2-minute interval step tests. Each participant wore a heart rate monitor and gave their heart rate, Borg and OMNI scores at the end of each interval during the step test.


C-19: Do adolescents Grieve according to Kubler Ross?

Isabella King, Social Work
Project Advisor: Dr. Anjanette Wells
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Grieving children experience an adverse childhood experience that will affect them for the rest of their lives. One of the most mainstream - and highly debated - grief process models is the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross model. However, little to no research is conducted on the validity of the Kubler-Ross model among the under 18 population. This study analyzes the descriptive words that adolescents ages 12-18 use to describe their grieving process at a length of at least a year post loss. It will then be compared to the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross model of grief, to detect similarities or differences in the process of grief. The information will be utilized to further understanding of the grieving process of the adolescents served by Companions on a Journey, school-based grief groups.