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Research Activities & Publications

While its health education and clinical staff focuses on health promotion and caring for its patients and community, the Health Center supported by its Research & Evaluation Unit is committed to assessing the quality of preventive and health education services we provide and identifying barriers to optimal care delivery. In these efforts, we ask important questions such as these:
How do social, cultural, and ethnic factors influence the health-seeking behavior of Asian Americans? What is the optimal screening and treatment approach to selected patient complaints? What are the unmet needs of special patient populations, such as the adult smokers or persons with mental disorders? How can we achieve optimal results at less cost?

Research is the systematic collection of data to answer questions like these. Results from rigorously designed research help practitioners, health advocates, policy makers, and community members make evidence-based health care decisions. CBWCHC is committed to promoting community-based research, involving patients and providers in the community in the entire research process.

Here are some recent publications/presentations authored by CBWCHC staff:

  • Using the PHQ-9 for Depression Screening and Treatment monitoring for Chinese Americans in Primary Care
    Authors: Chen TM, Huang FY, Chang C, Chung H
    Publication: Psychiatric Services, 2006; 57(7)976-981
    Summary: This is an evaluation of the clinical utility of routine administration of PHQ-9, a 9-item depression screening/monitoring tool, in a community health center serving primarily Chinese immigrants with limited English proficiency. This study was sponsored by the National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health.
  • Complementary alternative medicine use among Chinese Americans: Findings from a community mental health service population
    Authors: Fang L, Schinke SP
    Journal: Psychiatric Services, 2007; 58(3):402-404
    Summary: This cross-sectional questionnaire study assessed the prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine use among patients of the CBW mental health unit, and explored demographic and health correlates of such practice.

  • Design and evaluation of a tobacco-prevention program targeting Chinese-American youth
    Authors: Ferketich AK, Kwong K, Shek A, Lee M
    Journal: Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2007; 9(2):249-256
    Summary: This paper presents the design and delivery of a bilingual, culturally tailored tobacco prevention curriculum implemented in a junior high school in New York City with a large number of Chinese American students. The curriculum was developed by the health educators at CBWCHC, and supported by a grant from the American Legacy Foundation.

  • Identifying and Addressing the Culturally Specific Prenatal Health Needs and Concerns of Pregnant Chinese-American Immigrants
    Poster Presentation
    Authors: Sze R, Bernstein L, Hong D, Lee R, Weiss EE
    Venue: American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, October 25-29, 2008
    Summary: Chinese Americans, due to cultural, linguistic, educational, or financial barriers, lack access to basic health care services and health education. Our collaboration with a nonprofit focusing on prenatal health literacy sought to address this need by producing a Chinese-language version of Baby Basics, a prenatal health guide written at a 3rd and 5th grade level and targeting at-risk pregnant women. The translation project provides a lens through which we can examine linguistic and cultural influences on health materials and explore the culture of pregnancy that Chinese immigrants bring to this country.

  • Use of EMR in Provision of Quality Pediatric Health Care in an Urban Community Setting
    Authors: Au L, Yeh G, Paek H-M, Chao E, Ko D, Chan E, Cheung G, Mak T, Sim S-C
    Venue: National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) 2009 Community Health Institute & Expo
    Summary: Electronic Medical Records (EMR) was adopted in a busy ambulatory health center pediatric unit in mid-2006. In order to determine the effectiveness of interventions, national, state, and local childhood vaccination rates are used to compare health center rates. Analysis showed that childhood vaccination rates as well as documentation for immunization entry and coding have improved after the implementation of EMR. Staff satisfaction is high due to improved tracking and recall of patients.

  • Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Chinese American children in New York City
    Authors: Au L, Kwong K, Chou J, Tso A, Wong M
    Journal: Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 2009, 11(5): 337-341
    Summary: In this study, the prevalence of overweight and obesity in a Chinese American pediatric population (6-19 years) was determined through a chart review of patients from CBWCHC. Overall, 24.6% of the children studied were overweight or obese (defined as BMI > 85th percentile for age and sex). Among US born boys aged 6-12 years, the combined prevalence of overweight and obesity was found to be as high as 40%. Further studies are needed to understand the complex interplay of factors that contribute to obesity in pediatric immigrant groups.

  • Factors associated with reverse-migration separation among a cohort of low-income Chinese immigrant families in New York City
    Authors: Kwong K, Chung H, Sun L, Chou J, Taylor-Shih A
    Journal: Social Work in Health Care, 2009, 48(3): 348-359
    Summary: This study sought to examine the practice of and factors associated with reverse-migration-sending American-born children to China to be raised by extended family members and bringing them back when they reach school age. Reasons leading to and perceived impact of reverse-migration separation were also explored.

  • Characteristics associated with emergency contraception use in Asian American adolescents
    Authors: Christie E, Blouin K, Au L, Shek A, Chan LC, Sim S-C
    Venue: APHA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, November 7-11, 2009
    Summary: In Asian communities where the topic of sex is rarely discussed, emergency contraception (EC) is likely to be misunderstood and underutilized as a contraceptive option, particularly in teenagers. This study was undertaken to characterize adolescent EC users as well as to explore the circumstances prompting EC use at Charles B. Wang Community Health Center.

  • Assessment and planning to improve access to health services, quality of care and continuity of care for elderly Chinese immigrants Authors: Yu SP, Sim S-C, Lee R
    Venue: APHA Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, November 7-11, 2009
    Summary: In NYC, Asian American elderly is the fastest growing segment of the elderly population-projected to double between now and 2020. As seniors age, they will increasingly need supportive health and social services to remain functional so they can age in the community and delay institutional care. A needs assessment was conducted to identify service gaps that will inform the development of a program to improve access to health services, quality of care and continuity of care for Chinese seniors.

  • A health center controlled network's experience in ambulatory care EHR implementation Authors: Egleson N, Kang JH, Collymore D, Esmond W, Gonzalez L, Pong P, Sherman L
    Journal: Journal of Healthcare Information Management, 2010, 24(2): 28-33
    Summary: Implementing a full-featured Electronic Health Record (HER) system requires several necessary tasks, including stakeholder buy-in, contract negotiation, workflow redesign, equipment purchases, preloading charts and trainings. METCHIT, a health center controlled network, used a collaborative approach to implement electronic medical records. This article covers the experience, benefits and lessons learned by a group of four Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) that took a cooperative, mentorship approach to implementation.

  • Assessment of barriers to physical activity among Chinese American youth in NYC Authors: Zhou D, Sim S-C, Au L, Hom L, Yee S
    Venue: APHA Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, November 6-10, 2010
    Summary: A needs assessment was conducted with parents/caretakers and youth at Charles B. Wang Community Health Center to understand barriers to physical activity. Survey and focus group findings indicated that time spent on competing activities, physical environment, cost and lack of knowledge about available resources were major barriers to physical activity. Needs assessment findings were used to inform the development of initiatives that will improve access, affordability and use of physical activity resources in the NYC Chinatown community.

Other Research and evaluation activities:

The Research & Evaluation unit is currently completing a 4-year NIH-funded research project evaluating the effectiveness of a collaborative depression care model (CD-Care). This model consists of physician intervention regarding depression care, proactive patient follow-ups by care managers, and mental health care consultation support.

In addition, the Center constantly conducts program evaluation on a host of health promotion activities in order to assess the effectiveness and to continuously improve our services. See special projects and teen resource center for a sample of these programs.

For more information on these and other research-related activities, please contact:

Shao-Chee Sim, PhD
Chief Strategy Officer
268 Canal Street
Phone) 212.379.6999 ext 2508
Email) ssim@cbwchc.org

Esther Kim, MPH
Research & Evaluation Associate
268 Canal Street
Phone) 212.379.6999 ext 2521
Email) ekim@cbwchc.org