Associate Professor of Public Health Policy & Management
Director of Policy Research at NYU’s Global Center for Implementation Science
Jonathan Purtle is Associate Professor of Public Health Policy & Management and Director of Policy Research at NYU’s Global Center for Implementation Science.
Dr. Purtle is an implementation scientist whose research focuses on mental health policy. His work examines questions such as how research evidence can be most effectively communicated to policymakers and is used in policymaking processes, how social and political contexts affect policymaking and policy implementation, and how the implementation of policies “on the books” can be improved in practice. He is also interested in population-based approaches to mental health and how mental health can be integrated in to mainstream public health practice.
Dr. Purtle’s work has been consistently funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). He is currently leading NIMH-funded projects focused on the implementation of policies that earmark taxes for mental health services and understanding the dynamics of research evidence in mental health policymaking and a RWJF-funded project that experimentally tests different ways of communicating evidence about child maltreatment to the public and policymakers. His research is regularly published in journals such as Implementation Science, Psychiatric Services, The Milbank Quarterly, and Annual Review of Public Health. He has been the Chair of the Policy Section of the AcademyHeath/NIH Dissemination and Implementation in Heath Conference since 2017 and was awarded the 2018 Champion of Evidence-Based Interventions Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies for his work on evidence use in mental health policymaking.
BA, Psychology, Roger Williams UniversityMSc, Sociology, Universiteit van AmsterdamMPH, Drexel UniversityDrPH, Drexel University
An Examination of Factors Affecting State Legislators’ Support for Parity Laws for Different Mental IllnessesPilar, M., Purtle, J., Powell, B. J., Mazzucca, S., Eyler, A. A., & Brownson, R. C. (n.d.).
Journal titleCommunity mental health journalAbstractMental health parity legislation can improve mental health outcomes. U.S. state legislators determine whether state parity laws are adopted, making it critical to assess factors affecting policy support. This study examines the prevalence and demographic correlates of legislators’ support for state parity laws for four mental illnesses— major depression disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, and anorexia/bulimia. Using a 2017 cross-sectional survey of 475 U.S. legislators, we conducted bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regression. Support for parity was highest for schizophrenia (57%), PTSD (55%), and major depression (53%) and lowest for anorexia/bulimia (40%). Support for parity was generally higher among females, more liberal legislators, legislators in the Northeast region of the country, and those who had previously sought treatment for mental illness. These findings highlight the importance of better disseminating evidence about anorexia/bulimia and can inform dissemination efforts about mental health parity laws to state legislators.
Growing inequities in mental health crisis services offered to indigent patients in Puerto Rico versus the US states before and after Hurricanes Maria and IrmaPurtle, J., Mercado, D. L., Barajas, C. B., Rivera-González, A. C., Chavez, L., Canino, G., & Ortega, A. N. (n.d.).
Journal titleHealth Services ResearchAbstractObjective: To assess changes in the availability of mental health crisis services in Puerto Rico relative to US states before and after Hurricanes Maria and Irma. Data Sources/Study Setting: National Mental Health Services Surveys conducted in 2016 and 2020. Study design: Repeated cross-sectional design. The independent variable was mental health facility location in Puerto Rico or a US state. Dependent variables were the availability of three mental health crisis services (psychiatric emergency walk-in services, suicide prevention services, and crisis intervention team services). Data Collection/Extraction Methods: The proportion and per 100,000 population rate of facilities offering crisis services were calculated. Principal Findings: The availability of crisis services at mental health facilities in Puerto Rico remained stable between 2016 and 2020. These services were offered less at indigent care facilities in Puerto Rico than US states (e.g., 38.2% vs. 49.5% for suicide prevention, p = 0.06) and the magnitude of difference increased following Hurricane Maria. Conclusions: There are disparities between Puerto Rico and US states in the availability of mental health crisis services for indigent patients.
Heterogeneity in Disparities in Life Expectancy Across US Metropolitan AreasSchnake-Mahl, A. S., Mullachery, P. H., Purtle, J., Li, R., Diez Roux, A. V., & Bilal, U. (n.d.).
Page(s)890-899AbstractBackground: Life expectancy in the United States has declined since 2014 but characterization of disparities within and across metropolitan areas of the country is lacking. Methods: Using census tract-level life expectancy from the 2010 to 2015 US Small-area Life Expectancy Estimates Project, we calculate 10 measures of total and income-based disparities in life expectancy at birth, age 25, and age 65 within and across 377 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) of the United States. Results: We found wide heterogeneity in disparities in life expectancy at birth across MSAs and regions: MSAs in the West show the narrowest disparities (absolute disparity: 8.7 years, relative disparity: 1.1), while MSAs in the South (absolute disparity: 9.1 years, relative disparity: 1.1) and Midwest (absolute disparity: 9.8 years, relative disparity: 1.1) have the widest life expectancy disparities. We also observed greater variability in life expectancy across MSAs for lower income census tracts (coefficient of variation [CoV] 3.7 for first vs. tenth decile of income) than for higher income census tracts (CoV 2.3). Finally, we found that a series of MSA-level variables, including larger MSAs and greater proportion college graduates, predicted wider life expectancy disparities for all age groups. Conclusions: Sociodemographic and policy factors likely help explain variation in life expectancy disparities within and across metro areas.
Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health Safety Net Services for Youths: A National Survey of Agency Officials
Inter-agency collaboration is associated with increased frequency of research use in children's mental health policy makingPurtle, J., Nelson, K. L., Lengnick-Hall, R., Horwitz, S. M. C., Palinkas, L. A., McKay, M. M., & Hoagwood, K. E. (n.d.).
Journal titleHealth Services Research
Page(s)842-852AbstractObjective: To determine whether the self-report frequency of inter-agency collaboration about children's mental health issues is associated with the self-report frequency of using research evidence in children's mental health policy and program decision making in mental health agencies (MHAs). Data Sources: Primary data were collected through web-based surveys of state (N = 221) and county (N = 117) MHA officials. Design: The primary independent variable was a composite score quantifying the frequency of collaboration about children's mental health issues between officials in MHAs and six other state agencies. The dependent variables were composite scores quantifying the frequency of research use in children's mental health policy and program decision making in general and for specific purposes (i.e., conceptual, instrumental, tactical, imposed). Covariates were composite scores quantifying well-established determinants of research use (e.g., agency leadership, research use skills) in agency policy and program decision making. Data Methods: Separate multiple linear regression models estimated associations between frequency of inter-agency collaboration and research use scores, adjusting for other determinants of research use, respondent state, and other covariates. Data from state and county officials were analyzed separately. Principal Findings: The frequency of inter-agency collaboration was positively and independently associated with the frequency of research use in children's mental health policy making among state (β = 0.22, p = 0.004) and county (β = 0.39, p < 0.0001) MHA officials. Inter-agency collaboration was also the only variable significantly associated with the frequency of research use for all four specific purposes among state MHA officials, and similar findings we observed among county MHA officials. The magnitudes of associations between inter-agency collaboration and frequency of research use were generally stronger than for more well-established determinants of research use in policy making. Conclusions: Strategies that promote collaboration between MHA officials and external agencies could increase the use of research evidence in children's mental health policy and program decision making in MHAs.
Partisan differences in the effects of economic evidence and local data on legislator engagement with dissemination materials about behavioral health: a dissemination trialPurtle, J., Nelson, K. L., Gebrekristos, L., Lê-Scherban, F., & Gollust, S. E. (n.d.).
Journal titleImplementation Science
Issue1AbstractBackground: State legislators make policy decisions that influence children’s exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as child maltreatment, and their effects on behavioral health. Effective dissemination of scientific research can increase the likelihood that legislators’ decisions are aligned with evidence to prevent ACEs and their consequences, and effective dissemination requires legislators to engage with dissemination materials. Informed by the elaboration likelihood model of persuasive communication and Brownson’s Model of Dissemination Research, we tested the hypothesis that inclusion of economic evidence and local data would increase legislator engagement with dissemination materials about evidence-supported policies related to ACEs and behavioral health. Methods: A three-arm randomized dissemination trial was conducted. A university researcher e-mailed dissemination materials which contained evidence about ACEs and behavioral health problems to state legislators (two e-mails sent 2 weeks apart, 12,662 e-mails delivered to 6509 legislators). The e-mail subject lines, text, and policy brief content were manipulated across the study arms. The intervention condition received state-tailored data about rates of ACEs and state-tailored economic evidence about the costs of ACEs for public systems, the enhanced control condition received state-tailored data and not economic evidence, and the control condition received national data and not economic evidence. Outcomes were rates of e-mail views, policy brief link clicks, requests for researcher consultation, and mentions of child maltreatment terms in legislators’ social media posts. Results: For the first e-mail, the e-mail view rate was 42.6% higher in the intervention than in the enhanced control condition (22.8% vs. 14.8%) and 20.8% higher than in the control condition (22.8% vs. 18.5%) (both p <.0001). Similar results were observed for the second e-mail. These differences remained significant after adjustment for demographic differences across study conditions in individual-level models, but not multilevel models. There was a significant interaction between the experimental condition and political party (p <.0001) in which the intervention increased e-mail view rates among Democrats but not Republicans. The intervention had no effect on policy brief link clicks or requests for consultation and a mixed effect on social media posts. Conclusions: Inclusion of state-tailored economic evidence in dissemination materials can increase engagement with research evidence among Democrat, but not Republican, legislators. Dissemination strategies tailored for legislators’ political party affiliation may be needed.
Policy Makers' Priorities for Addressing Youth Substance Use and Factors That Influence PrioritiesPurtle, J., Nelson, K. L., Henson, R. M., Horwitz, S. M. C., McKay, M. M., & Hoagwood, K. E. (n.d.).
Journal titleHospital and Community Psychiatry
Page(s)388-395AbstractOBJECTIVE: Understanding public policy makers' priorities for addressing youth substance use and the factors that influence these priorities can inform the dissemination and implementation of strategies that promote evidence-based decision making. This study characterized the priorities of policy makers in substance use agencies of U.S. states and counties for addressing youth substance use, the factors that influenced these priorities, and the differences in priorities and influences between state and county policy makers. METHODS: In 2020, a total of 122 substance use agency policy makers from 35 states completed a Web-based survey (response rate=22%). Respondents rated the priority of 14 issues related to youth substance use and the extent to which nine factors influenced these priorities. Data were analyzed as dichotomous and continuous variables and for state and county policy makers together and separately. RESULTS: The highest priorities for youth substance use were social determinants of substance use (87%), adverse childhood experiences and childhood trauma (85%), and increasing access to school-based substance use programs (82%). The lowest priorities were increasing access to naloxone for youths (49%), increasing access to medications for opioid use disorder among youths (49%), and deimplementing non-evidence-based youth substance use programs (41%). The factors that most influenced priorities were budget issues (80%) and state legislature (69%), federal (67%), and governor priorities (65%). Issues related to program implementation and deimplementation were significantly higher priorities for state than for county policy makers. CONCLUSIONS: These findings can inform the tailoring of dissemination and implementation strategies to account for the inner- and outer-setting contexts of substance use agencies.
Promises and pitfalls in implementation science from the perspective of US-based researchers: learning from a pre-mortemBeidas, R. S., Dorsey, S., Lewis, C. C., Lyon, A. R., Powell, B. J., Purtle, J., Saldana, L., Shelton, R. C., Stirman, S. W., & Lane-Fall, M. B. (n.d.).
Journal titleImplementation Science
Issue1AbstractBackground: Implementation science is at a sufficiently advanced stage that it is appropriate for the field to reflect on progress thus far in achieving its vision, with a goal of charting a path forward. In this debate, we offer such reflections and report on potential threats that might stymie progress, as well as opportunities to enhance the success and impact of the field, from the perspective of a group of US-based researchers. Main body: Ten mid-career extramurally funded US-based researchers completed a “pre-mortem” or a group brainstorming exercise that leverages prospective hindsight to imagine that an event has already occurred and to generate an explanation for it — to reduce the likelihood of a poor outcome. We came to consensus on six key themes related to threats and opportunities for the field: (1) insufficient impact, (2) too much emphasis on being a “legitimate science,” (3) re-creation of the evidence-to-practice gap, (4) difficulty balancing accessibility and field coherence, (5) inability to align timelines and priorities with partners, and (6) overly complex implementation strategies and approaches. Conclusion: We submit this debate piece to generate further discussion with other implementation partners as our field continues to develop and evolve. We hope the key opportunities identified will enhance the future of implementation research in the USA and spark discussion across international groups. We will continue to learn with humility about how best to implement with the goal of achieving equitable population health impact at scale.
Public Opinion About Adverse Childhood Experiences: Social Stigma, Attribution of Blame, and Government Intervention
Scaling Interventions to Manage Chronic Disease: Innovative Methods at the Intersection of Health Policy Research and Implementation ScienceMcGinty, E. E., Seewald, N. J., Bandara, S., Cerdá, M., Daumit, G. L., Eisenberg, M. D., Griffin, B. A., Igusa, T., Jackson, J. W., Kennedy-Hendricks, A., Marsteller, J., Miech, E. J., Purtle, J., Schmid, I., Schuler, M. S., Yuan, C. T., & Stuart, E. A. (n.d.).
Journal titlePrevention ScienceAbstractPolicy implementation is a key component of scaling effective chronic disease prevention and management interventions. Policy can support scale-up by mandating or incentivizing intervention adoption, but enacting a policy is only the first step. Fully implementing a policy designed to facilitate implementation of health interventions often requires a range of accompanying implementation structures, like health IT systems, and implementation strategies, like training. Decision makers need to know what policies can support intervention adoption and how to implement those policies, but to date research on policy implementation is limited and innovative methodological approaches are needed. In December 2021, the Johns Hopkins ALACRITY Center for Health and Longevity in Mental Illness and the Johns Hopkins Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy convened a forum of research experts to discuss approaches for studying policy implementation. In this report, we summarize the ideas that came out of the forum. First, we describe a motivating example focused on an Affordable Care Act Medicaid health home waiver policy used by some US states to support scale-up of an evidence-based integrated care model shown in clinical trials to improve cardiovascular care for people with serious mental illness. Second, we define key policy implementation components including structures, strategies, and outcomes. Third, we provide an overview of descriptive, predictive and associational, and causal approaches that can be used to study policy implementation. We conclude with discussion of priorities for methodological innovations in policy implementation research, with three key areas identified by forum experts: effect modification methods for making causal inferences about how policies’ effects on outcomes vary based on implementation structures/strategies; causal mediation approaches for studying policy implementation mechanisms; and characterizing uncertainty in systems science models. We conclude with discussion of overarching methods considerations for studying policy implementation, including measurement of policy implementation, strategies for studying the role of context in policy implementation, and the importance of considering when establishing causality is the goal of policy implementation research.
Selecting evidence to frame the consequences of adverse childhood experiences: testing effects on public support for policy action, multi-sector responsibility, and stigmaGollust, S. E., Nelson, K. L., & Purtle, J. (n.d.).
Journal titlePreventive Medicine
Volume154AbstractWhile clinical and public health researchers have produced a high volume of research evidence about the consequences of ACEs, there is limited research on public understanding of ACEs or how to most effectively communicate about this body of science. The objective of this study was to determine which messages describing evidence about the consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) affect public perceptions. We conducted an online experiment with a nationally-representative sample of U.S. adults in July–August 2020. Participants were randomized to control groups receiving messages describing ACE prevalence or resilience, or treatment groups receiving messages describing consequences of ACEs on mental health and substance use, economics, racial equity, or biology. We compared respondents' perceptions of prevention policies and likelihood of policy engagement, attributions of multi-sector responsibility, and blame and stigma across experimental groups. Messages about economic consequences increased respondents' support for policy and attributions of multi-sector responsibility relative to control groups, while also increasing parental blame. The message describing racial equity lowered respondents' perceptions of importance of state policy action and attributions of responsibility to health care. None of the messages affected stigmatizing attitudes. Describing the economic consequences of ACEs on public systems boosts public support for policy action. More research is needed on how the public responds to messaging connecting systemic racism with childhood adversity and health.
Simulating the role of knowledge brokers in policy making in state agencies: An agent-based modelCombs, T., Nelson, K. L., Luke, D., McGuire, F. H., Cruden, G., Henson, R. M., Adams, D. R., Hoagwood, K. E., & Purtle, J. (n.d.).
Journal titleHealth Services Research
Page(s)122-136AbstractObjective: To model children's mental health policy making dynamics and simulate the impacts of knowledge broker interventions. Data sources: Primary data from surveys (n = 221) and interviews (n = 64) conducted in 2019–2021 with mental health agency (MHA) officials in state agencies. Study design: A prototype agent-based model (ABM) was developed using the PARTE (Properties, Actions, Rules, Time, Environment) framework and informed through primary data collection. In each simulation, a policy is randomly generated (salience weights: cost, contextual alignment, and strength of evidence) and discussed among agents. Agents are MHA officials and heterogenous in their properties (policy making power and network influence) and policy preferences (based on salience weights). Knowledge broker interventions add agents to the MHA social network who primarily focus on the policy's research evidence. Data collection/extraction methods: A sequential explanatory mixed method approach was used. Descriptive and regression analyses were used for the survey data and directed content analysis was used to code interview data. Triangulated results informed ABM development. In the ABM, policy makers with various degrees of decision influence interact in a scale-free network before and after knowledge broker interventions. Over time, each decides to support or oppose a policy proposal based on policy salience weights and their own properties and interactions. The main outcome is an agency-level decision based on policy maker support. Each intervention and baseline simulation runs 250 times across 50 timesteps. Principal findings: Surveys and interviews revealed that barriers to research use could be addressed by knowledge brokers. Simulations indicated that policy decision outcomes varied by policy making context within agencies. Conclusions: This is the first application of ABM to evidence-informed mental health policy making. Results suggest that the presence of knowledge brokers can: (1) influence consensus formation in MHAs, (2) accelerate policy decisions, and (3) increase the likelihood of evidence-informed policy adoption.
State Policies that Impact the Design of Children’s Mental Health Services: A Modified Delphi StudyNelson, K. L., Powell, B. J., Langellier, B., Lê-Scherban, F., Shattuck, P., Hoagwood, K., & Purtle, J. (n.d.).
Journal titleAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Page(s)834-847AbstractTo identify the state-level policies and policy domains that state policymakers and advocates perceive as most important for positively impacting the use of children’s mental health services (CMHS). We used a modified Delphi technique (i.e., two rounds of questionnaires and an interview) during Spring 2021 to elicit perceptions among state mental health agency officials and advocates (n = 28) from twelve states on state policies that impact the use of CMHS. Participants rated a list of pre-specified policies on a 7-point Likert scale (1 = not important, 7 = extremely important) in the following policy domains: insurance coverage and limits, mental health services, school and social. Participants added nine policies to the initial list of 24 policies. The “school” policy domain was perceived as the most important, while the “social” policy domain was perceived as the least important after the first questionnaire and the second most important policy domain after the second questionnaire. The individual policies perceived as most important were school-based mental health services, state mental health parity, and Medicaid reimbursement rates. Key stakeholders in CMHS should leverage this group of policies to understand the current policy landscape in their state and to identify gaps in policy domains and potential policy opportunities to create a more comprehensive system to address children’s mental health from a holistic, evidence-based policymaking perspective.
State-Level Social and Economic Policies and Their Association With Perinatal and Infant OutcomesWebster, J. L., Paul, D., Purtle, J., Locke, R., & Goldstein, N. D. (n.d.).
Journal titleMilbank Quarterly
Page(s)218-260AbstractPolicy Points State-level social and economic policies that expand tax credits, increase paid parental leave, raise the minimum wage, and increase tobacco taxes have been demonstrated to reduce adverse perinatal and infant health outcomes. These findings can help prioritize evidence-based legislated policies to improve perinatal and infant outcomes in the United States. Context: Rates of preterm birth and infant mortality are alarmingly high in the United States. Legislated efforts may directly or indirectly reduce adverse perinatal and infant outcomes through the enactment of certain economic and social policies. Methods: We conducted a narrative review to summarize the associations between perinatal and infant outcomes and four state-level US policies. We then used a latent profile analysis to create a social and economic policy profile for each state based on the observed policy indicators. Findings: Of 27 articles identified, nine focused on tax credits, eight on paid parental leave, four on minimum wages, and six on tobacco taxes. In all but three studies, these policies were associated with improved perinatal or infant outcomes. Thirty-three states had tax credit laws, most commonly the earned income tax credit (n = 28, 56%). Eighteen states had parental leave laws. Two states had minimum wage laws lower than the federal minimum; 14 were equal to the federal minimum; 29 were above the federal minimum; and 5 did not have a state law. The average state tobacco tax was $1.76 (standard deviation = $1.08). The latent profile analysis revealed three policy profiles, with the most expansive policies in Western and Northeastern US states, and the least expansive policies in the US South. Conclusions: State-level social and economic policies have the potential to reduce adverse perinatal and infant health outcomes in the United States. Those states with the least expansive policies should therefore consider enacting these evidence-based policies, as they have shown a demonstratable benefit in other states.
The impact of Medicaid funding structures on inequities in health care access for Latinos in New York, Florida, and Puerto Rico
What social norms are associated with parenting programs?
“If I was to post something, it would be too vulnerable:” University students and mental health disclosures on instagramBudenz, A., Klassen, A., Purtle, J., Yom-Tov, E., Yudell, M., & Massey, P. (n.d.).
Journal titleJournal of American College Health
Page(s)615-624AbstractObjective: Assess Instagram use for mental health disclosure in university students to assess the potential for Instagram use as mental health support-seeking. Participants: Twenty-one students using mental health services while attending a private, Mid-Atlantic university between 6/2017-12/2017. Methods: Collected qualitative interview and Instagram data and analyzed them in parallel. Instagram data supplemented interview themes and were coded and analyzed quantitatively to define features of participants’ Instagram use. Results: Participants displayed aversions to posting mental health disclosures on Instagram, citing public and self-stigma as barriers to disclosure. Despite this, participants reported instances in which their Instagram posts directly or indirectly reflected their lived experiences. Some also maintained second anonymous accounts for fuller disclosure. Conclusions: Given the benefits of mental health disclosures to well-being and the predilection for social media use in university students, student and university-led initiatives to promote social media environments conducive to disclosures could have widespread mental health benefits.
Academic-Policy Partnerships in Evidence-Based Practice Implementation and Policy Maker Use of Child Mental Health ResearchCervantes, P. E., Seag, D. E., Nelson, K. L., Purtle, J., Hoagwood, K. E., & Horwitz, S. M. C. (n.d.).
Journal titleHospital and Community Psychiatry
Page(s)1076-1079AbstractOBJECTIVE: Strategies are needed to improve policy makers' evidence-informed decision making and the availability of evidence-based, state-supported services. This study examined whether academic-policy partnerships could promote these outcomes. METHODS: Data from two national surveys of state mental health agency representatives were used to compare barriers to implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and policy makers' use of child mental health research in states with strong academic-policy partnerships in workforce training or in program implementation/evaluation (IE) with barriers in states with no or limited partnerships in these areas. RESULTS: Strong IE partnerships were associated with more confidence in research use and fewer issues with provider readiness and capacity but with more issues with EBP fidelity. Strong training partnerships were associated with fewer endorsements of lack of time as a barrier to research use. CONCLUSIONS: Academic-policy partnerships had some benefit for states' research use and EBP implementation. Because these partnerships may reduce barriers, further research should explore characteristics of effective collaborations.
Association between local public housing authority policies related to criminal justice system involvement and sexually transmitted infection ratesPurtle, J., Tekin, E., Gebrekristos, L. T., Niccolai, L., & Blankenship, K. M. (n.d.).
Journal titleHealth and Justice
Issue1AbstractThe policies of U.S. local public housing authorities influence which populations have access to stable housing, an important resource for health. We assessed whether the restrictiveness of local public housing authority policies related to people with criminal justice histories—a population at high risk for HIV/STIs—were associated with HIV/STI rates at the local-level. An ecological analysis was conducted using data from 107 local public housing authority jurisdictions. The independent variable was a score that quantified the presence/absence of eight policies related to the ability of people with criminal justice histories to obtain and retain public housing. The dependent variables were county-level rates of HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia. Ordinary least squares regression with state fixed effects was used. We find that the restrictiveness of housing authority policies towards people with criminal justice histories were significantly associated with higher HIV and gonorrhea rates, but not syphilis or chlamydia. For example, local housing authorities with a policy score more restrictive than the median score had an additional 6.05 cases of HIV per 100,000 population (32.9% increase relative to the mean rate) and 84.61 cases of newly diagnosed gonorrhea (41.3% increase). Local public housing authority policies related to people with criminal justice histories could affect HIV/STI risk at the population-level. These policies should be considered in studies and interventions at the intersection of housing, health, and justice involved populations.
Changes in legislator vaccine-engagement on Twitter before and after the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemicEngel-Rebitzer, E., Stokes, D. C., Buttenheim, A., Purtle, J., & Meisel, Z. F. (n.d.).
Journal titleHuman Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics
Page(s)2868-2872AbstractWidespread SARS-CoV-2 vaccine uptake will be critical to resolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. Politicians have the potential to impact vaccine sentiment and uptake through vaccine-related communication with the public. We used tweets (n = 6,201), abstracted from Quorum, a public affairs software platform, to examine changes in the frequency of vaccine-related communication by legislators on the social media platform, Twitter. We found an increase in vaccine-related tweets by legislators following the arrival of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States. In the pre-COVID-19 era the majority of vaccine-related tweets were generated by Democrat and state senators. The increase in tweets following the arrival of COVID-19, however, was greater among Republican and federal legislators than Democrat or state legislators. This suggests that legislators who were previously less engaged in public discussion of vaccination, became engaged following the arrival of SARS-CoV-2, which may have implications for COVID-19 vaccine uptake among their followers.
Determinants of using children’s mental health research in policymaking: variation by type of research use and phase of policy processPurtle, J., Nelson, K. L., Horwitz, S. M. C., McKay, M. M., & Hoagwood, K. E. (n.d.).
Journal titleImplementation Science
Issue1AbstractBackground: Research use in policymaking is multi-faceted and has been the focus of extensive study. However, virtually no quantitative studies have examined whether the determinants of research use vary according to the type of research use or phase of policy process. Understanding such variation is important for selecting the targets of implementation strategies that aim to increase the frequency of research use in policymaking. Methods: A web-based survey of US state agency officials involved with children’s mental health policymaking was conducted between December 2019 and February 2020 (n = 224, response rate = 33.7%, 49 states responding (98%), median respondents per state = 4). The dependent variables were composite scores of the frequency of using children’s mental health research in general, specific types of research use (i.e., conceptual, instrumental, tactical, imposed), and during different phases of the policy process (i.e., agenda setting, policy development, policy implementation). The independent variables were four composite scores of determinants of research use: agency leadership for research use, agency barriers to research use, research use skills, and dissemination barriers (e.g., lack of actionable messages/recommendations in research summaries, lack of interaction/collaboration with researchers). Separate multiple linear regression models estimated associations between determinant and frequency of research use scores. Results: Determinants of research use varied significantly by type of research use and phase of policy process. For example, agency leadership for research use was the only determinant significantly associated with imposed research use (β = 0.31, p < 0.001). Skills for research use were the only determinant associated with tactical research use (β = 0.17, p = 0.03) and were only associated with research use in the agenda-setting phase (β = 0.16, p = 0.04). Dissemination barriers were the most universal determinants of research use, as they were significantly and inversely associated with frequency of conceptual (β = −0.21, p = 0.01) and instrumental (β = −0.22, p = 0.01) research use and during all three phases of policy process. Conclusions: Decisions about the determinants to target with policy-focused implementation strategies—and the strategies that are selected to affect these targets—should reflect the specific types of research use that these strategies aim to influence.
Does rental assistance improve mental health? Insights from a longitudinal cohort study
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child and adolescent mental health policy and practice implementationPalinkas, L. A., De Leon, J., Salinas, E., Chu, S., Hunter, K., Marshall, T. M., Tadehara, E., Strnad, C. M., Purtle, J., Horwitz, S. M., McKay, M. M., & Hoagwood, K. E. (n.d.).
Journal titleInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue18AbstractBackground: The impact of the 2019 coronavirus pandemic on the mental health of millions worldwide has been well documented, but its impact on prevention and treatment of mental and behavioral health conditions is less clear. The COVID-19 pandemic also created numerous challenges and opportunities to implement health care policies and programs under conditions that are fundamentally different from what has been considered to be usual care. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on implementation of evidence-based policy and practice by State Mental Health Authorities (SMHA) for prevention and treatment of mental health problems in children and adolescents. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 29 SMHA representatives of 21 randomly selected states stratified by coronavirus positivity rate and rate of unmet services need. Data analysis with SMHA stakeholders used procedures embedded in the Rapid Assessment Procedure—Informed Community Ethnography methodology. Results: The need for services increased during the pandemic due primarily to family stress and separation from peers. States reporting an increase in demand had high coronavirus positivity and high unmet services need. The greatest impacts were reduced out-of-home services and increased use of telehealth. Barriers to telehealth services included limited access to internet and technology, family preference for face-to-face services, lack of privacy, difficulty using with young children and youth in need of substance use treatment, finding a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant platform, training providers and clients, and reimbursement challenges. Policy changes to enable reimbursement, internet access, training, and provider licensing resulted in substantially fewer appointment cancellations or no-shows, greater family engagement, reduction in travel time, increased access for people living in remote locations, and increased provider communication and collaboration. States with high rates of coronavirus positivity and high rates of unmet need were most likely to continue use of telehealth post-pandemic. Despite these challenges, states reported successful implementation of policies designed to facilitate virtual services delivery with likely long-term changes in practice. Conclusions: Policy implementation during the pandemic provided important lessons for planning and preparedness for future public health emergencies. Successful policy implementation requires ongoing collaboration among policy makers and with providers.
Linking Data on Constituent Health with Elected Officials’ Opinions: Associations Between Urban Health Disparities and Mayoral Officials’ Beliefs About Health Disparities in Their CitiesPurtle, J., Joshi, R., Lê-Scherban, F., Henson, R. M., & Diez Roux, A. V. (n.d.).
Journal titleMilbank Quarterly
Page(s)794-827AbstractPolicy Points Mayoral officials’ opinions about the existence and fairness of health disparities in their city are positively associated with the magnitude of income-based life expectancy disparity in their city. Associations between mayoral officials’ opinions about health disparities in their city and the magnitude of life expectancy disparity in their city are not moderated by the social or fiscal ideology of mayoral officials or the ideology of their constituents. Highly visible and publicized information about mortality disparities, such as that related to COVID-19 disparities, has potential to elevate elected officials’ perceptions of the severity of health disparities and influence their opinions about the issue. Context: A substantive body of research has explored what factors influence elected officials’ opinions about health issues. However, no studies have assessed the potential influence of the health of an elected official's constituents. We assessed whether the magnitude of income-based life expectancy disparity within a city was associated with the opinions of that city's mayoral official (i.e., mayor or deputy mayor) about health disparities in their city. Methods: The independent variable was the magnitude of income-based life expectancy disparity in US cities. The magnitude was determined by linking 2010-2015 estimates of life expectancy and median household income for 8,434 census tracts in 224 cities. The dependent variables were mayoral officials’ opinions from a 2016 survey about the existence and fairness of health disparities in their city (n = 224, response rate 30.3%). Multivariable logistic regression was used to adjust for characteristics of mayoral officials (e.g., ideology) and city characteristics. Findings: In cities in the highest income-based life expectancy disparity quartile, 50.0% of mayoral officials “strongly agreed” that health disparities existed and 52.7% believed health disparities were “very unfair.” In comparison, among mayoral officials in cities in the lowest disparity quartile 33.9% “strongly agreed” that health disparities existed and 22.2% believed the disparities were “very unfair.” A 1-year-larger income-based life expectancy disparity in a city was associated with 25% higher odds that the city's mayoral official would “strongly agree” that health disparities existed (odds ratio [OR] = 1.25; P =.04) and twice the odds that the city's mayoral official would believe that such disparities were “very unfair” (OR = 2.24; P <.001). Conclusions: Mayoral officials’ opinions about health disparities in their jurisdictions are generally aligned with, and potentially influenced by, information about the magnitude of income-based life expectancy disparities among their constituents.
Newspaper Coverage of Adverse Childhood Experiences and Toxic Stress in the United States, 2014–2020: Consequences, Causes, and SolutionsPurtle, J., Bowler, S., Boughter-Dornfeld, M., Nelson, K. L., & Gollust, S. E. (n.d.).
Journal titleTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Page(s)313-323AbstractNews media can shape public opinion about child adversity and influence the translation of research into public policy. Research about adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and toxic stress has increased dramatically in recent years, but little is known about how these concepts are covered in news media. We reviewed how newspapers in the United States have portrayed the consequences of, causes of, and solutions to address ACEs and toxic stress, examined trends in newspaper coverage, and assessed differences in coverage of ACEs versus toxic stress. Quantitative content analysis was conducted of 746 newspaper articles mentioning “adverse childhood experience(s)” and/or “toxic stress” published in 25 U.S. newspapers between January 1, 2014, and May 30, 2020. κ statistics of interrater reliability were calculated, and variables with κ ≥.60 were retained for quantitative analysis. We found that newspaper coverage of ACEs and toxic stress increased dramatically between 2014 and 2018 and then sharply declined. Only 13.3% of articles mentioned both ACEs and toxic stress. There were many statistically significant (p <.05) differences in the causes, consequences, and solutions identified in articles focused on ACEs versus toxic stress. Coverage of both concepts predominantly focused on consequences for individuals, not society. However, 54.6% of articles identified a structural cause of ACEs and/or toxic stress. Increased volume in newspaper coverage about ACEs and toxic stress could increase public awareness about the relationship between childhood adversity and adult outcomes. There is a need to portray ACEs and toxic stress as complementary concepts more coherently in news media.