Journal Articles & Publications

Paruse a collection of peer-reviewed journal articles and publications that provide new insight and data relevant to the county's health priorities. Click the title to access each document. Articles are organized by publication date.

Effect of Opioid vs Nonopioid Medications on Pain-Related Function in Patients With Chronic Back Pain or Hip or Knee Osteoarthritis Pain: The SPACE Randomized Clinical Trial

March 6, 2018

In patients with stubborn back aches or hip or knee arthritis, opioids worked no better than over-the-counter drugs or other nonopioids at reducing problems with walking or sleeping. And they provided slightly less pain relief.

Published in: Journal of the American Medical Association

The Use of Language in Diabetes Care and Education

December, 2017

Language is powerful and can have a strong impact on perceptions as well as behavior. This literature supports the need for a language movement in diabetes care and education. It also provides recommendations for language used by health care professionals and others when discussing diabetes through spoken or written words.

Published in: Diabetes Care journal

Social isolation may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes developing

December 18, 2017

According to a new study from the Netherlands, people who are socially isolated are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared with people who have a larger social circle.

The study involved 2861 men and women (aged 40 to 75 years) from the southern part of the Netherlands. As reported in the article, a lack of participation in clubs or other social groups was associated with a 60% increased risk of pre-diabetes and 112% increased risk of type 2 diabetes in women, while in men it was associated with a 42% greater risk of type 2 diabetes.

Published in: BMC Public Health Journal

Coupling Policymaking with Evaluation — The Case  of the Opioid Crisis

December 14, 2017

A major challenge for policymakers is how to design effective opioid-prescription policies to stem the flood of overdoses without having to wait several years to accumulate additional evidence. One possible solution is to couple policymaking with an evaluation plan that uses existing databases with nearly real-time health data.

Published in: New England Journal of Medicine

Pilot Test of a Culturally Appropriate Diabetes Prevention Intervention for At-Risk Latina Women

October 23, 2017

Culturally tailored Diabetes Prevention Programs have shown potential as a feasible way of reducing risks associated with the development of Type 2 diabetes in at-risk Latina women.

Published in: SAGE Publications

Increase in the Incidence of Diabetes and Its Implications

April 13, 2017

Diabetes mellitus is among the most prevalent and morbid chronic diseases, affecting the health of millions of persons worldwide. According to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report for 2015, the prevalence of diabetes rose from approximately 333 million persons in 2005 to approximately 435 million persons in 2015, an increase of 30.6%.1 During the same interval, the annual number of deaths from diabetes rose from 1.2 million to 1.5 million

Published in: The New England Journal of Medicine

The Clinical Implications of Youth Sports Concussion Laws: A Review

December 21, 2016

The recent passage of state youth sports concussion laws across the country introduces clinical implications for health care professionals caring for student-athletes. Although the laws were established to provide protections for student-athletes and prevent adverse outcomes, efforts aimed at implementation have uncovered various challenges in concussion diagnosis and management. 

This review describes the various components of state youth sports concussion laws relevant to clinical practice and nuances that health care professionals should appreciate in this context. Additionally, concussion tools and strategies that can be used in clinical practice are discussed.

Published in: The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine



Diabetes Is a Community Issue: The Critical Elements of a Successful Outreach and Education Model on the U.S.-Mexico Border

December 15, 2014

The Border Health Strategic Initiative (Border Health ¡SI!) collaboratively developed a culturally relevant diabetes outreach and education program. The model included a five-week series of free diabetes education classes that assisted participants in gaining the knowledge and skills necessary to be physically active, control diet, monitor blood sugar, take medications, and be aware of complications. Central to the model was the use of community health workers — or promotores de salud — to conduct outreach, participate in patient education, and provide individual support.

Published in: CDC Preventing Chronic Disease. Preventing Chronic Disease


Focused deterrence and the prevention of violent gun injuries: Practice, theoretical principles, and scientific evidence. Annual review of public health.

First Published: December 10, 2014

This study examines deterrent strategies as a means of preventing gun violence injuries. Although more research is needed, the evidence suggests that deterrence may be an effective means of reducing overall gun violence related injuries.

Published in: Review in Advance


Health Systems Tackling Social Determinants of Health: Promises, Pitfalls, and Opportunities of Current Policies

November, 2016

Take-away points include modifications to 3 policies driving health systems toward intervening on social determinants of health:

  • The Internal Revenue Service should strengthen the Community Health Needs Assessment program by requiring nonprofit hospitals to address identified needs as part of the standard for nonprofit tax exemption. 
  • Value-based payment models should incorporate financial support for at-risk hospitals implementing strategies to address social determinants because of their influence on quality-of-care outcomes. 
  • The Accountable Health Communities program by CMS should test and evaluate models that allow health systems to fund social services directly

Published in: American Journal of Managed Care

A Brief Vestibular/Ocular Motor Screening (VOMS) Assessment to Evaluate Concussions:

October, 2014

Background—Vestibular and ocular motor impairments and symptoms have been documented in patients with sport-related concussions. However, there is no current brief clinical screen to assess and monitor these issues.

Purpose—To describe and provide initial data for the internal consistency and validity of a brief clinical screening tool for vestibular and ocular motor impairments and symptoms after sport-related concussions.

Published in: American Journal of Sports Medicine

Major depression can be prevented.

May - June, 2012

Randomized controlled trials have shown that the incidence of major depressive episodes can be significantly reduced. Meta-analyses suggest that 22% to 38% of major depressive episodes could be prevented with currently available methods. This article arguea that if major depressive episodes can be prevented, the health care system should provide routine access to evidence-based depression prevention interventions, just as it provides inoculations for other common and debilitating health problems.

Published in: American Psychologist


Postpartum Depression Prevalence and Impact on Infant Health, Weight, and Sleep in Low-Income and Ethnic Minority Women...

May, 2011

This study finds that there is a high prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptoms in very low income mothers in a predominately Hispanic sample. These symptoms have an adverse effect on the physical health of the infant children.

Published in: Maternal and Child Health Journal