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Helping Parents Make More Time for Tummy Time

UTSHC faculty members Anne Zachry, PhD, OTR/L, and Lauren Woods, PhD, OTR/L have recently released the results from their study exploring some of the most common barriers to tummy time. The goal of the study was to develop a more in-depth understanding of why tummy time is, or is not, being carried out by parents and what changes need to be made to encourage parents to participate in daily tummy time sessions. Their findings have been published in the Journal Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention.

Tummy time involves placing a young infant on their stomachs, in a prone position, for play when awake and supervised for several minutes each day. Tummy time has been positively associated with numerous development milestones including social skills, problem solving, communication and other cognitive measures. However, many parents do not fully understand the importance of tummy time in their infant’s development They can be discouraged when infants resist being placed on their stomachs for play, which may cause them to less likely to engage their babies in tummy time on a regular basis.

According to Dr. Zachry, “Many young infants resist tummy time. They often fuss and cry when placed on the stomach for play. We wanted to apply an integrated theoretical framework to design a program to help babies tolerate being positioned on the stomach and to support parents when implementing tummy time.” 

To conduct their research, Dr. Zachry and Dr. Woods used a qualitative study design using a 23-question open-ended survey to learn more about parental perspectives related to tummy time and its implementation. Data was collected and coded by the researchers to identify major themes, including the most common barriers and facilitators parents encountered when engaging their babies in tummy time.

Prior to this study, only a limited number of investigations have examined how parental perspectives impact the effectiveness of interventions to promote tummy time. However, by better understanding the parental behaviors that influence implementation of tummy time, Dr. Zachry and Dr. Woods believe that more effective tummy time interventions can be designed. 

According to Dr. Zachry, “Occupational therapists and other healthcare providers can use this paper to implement evidence-informed strategies to promote parental implementation of tummy time.”

By using the strategies identified in the study, healthcare providers create more robust interventions focused on helping parents better understand the importance of tummy time and develop tactics to encourage them to participate in this important developmental activity more consistently with their babies. 

 

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Using Big Data to Narrow in on Long-Covid
madlock brown

Memphis, Tenn. (May 17, 2022) – Charisse Madlock-Brown, PhD, MLS, a faculty member in Health Informatics and Information Management at UTHSC, is part of a team of health information specialists using big data and machine learning to look for clues to unlock some of the mysteries around long-Covid. 

Using anonymized data gathered in the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C), Dr. Madlock-Brown and her colleagues are sifting through millions of electronic health records to identify recurring patterns of symptoms that may indicate different sub-types of long-Covid. SO far, the data has revealed at several clusters of co-occuring diagnosis in long-Covid patients, including cardiopulmonary, neurologic, and metabolic diseases. “Eventually, the idea is to characterize the subtypes of long Covid that health care providers should expect to see in their clinics,” says Dr. Madlock-Brown.

The N3C is a groundbreaking centralized database funded with a $25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Since its founding in the early days of the pandemic, the federal database has amassed health information from 13 million patients, including nearly 5 million Covid patients. Medical providers began using the recently created diagnostic code assigned to post-Covid conditions. The use of this diagnostic code can help simplify the identification of long-Covid patient records, which the researchers hope, will translate into more efficient ways to recruit patients to participate in research trials related to long-Covid. 



May 26, 2022