Research and Technology in Public Health

Presentations available online

mobile_health

Objectives

Bring together Romanian researchers with a focus on mHealth and on research ethics

Increase research capacity: improve the ability of researchers and institutions to contribute to public health research

Who can participate?

You will benefit most from this workshop if your current or future research  involves human subjects and/or mobile technology, such as smartphone apps. In addition to researchers, we invite participants from the field of healthcare, IT or social sciences.

About the event

The format of this event comprises pre-recorded lectures and a live discussion (that took place on June 25th 2020). All recordings are available to view online. Please register in order to receive access.

All costs for participation are covered by funding from the National Institutes of Health, research grants no 5R21 TW010896-02S1 (subaward RC110285UBB) and 5R21TW010896-02S2 (RC110285UBB2).

Find out more about our research projects here (page in Romanian). For any further queries, please contact us via email at capacitybuilding@publichealth.ro.

Topics

Research Methodology and Ethics

Kristie Foley

What is ethics in research? Why is it important? The core principles of ethical research and their application. Experiences from low/middle-income countries.

Horațiu Colosi

The implications of the coronavirus pandemic on conducting ethical human subjects research. Are some changes here to stay?

Laura Cabrera

What is research on ethical issues? Qualitative and quantitative methods in research on ethical issues. Examples, case studies.

Petru Sandu

What does it mean obtaining ethics approval for human subject research? How does an Institutional Review Board (IRB) compare to an ethics commission? What is the process for an IRB submission and review?

Cristian Meghea

What are the ethical concerns and associated attitudes and perceptions related to e-cigarette use for tobacco cessation during pregnancy? Preliminary results from a Romanian study with current and former smokers and other relevant stakeholders.

Mobile Health

Ken Resnicow

Cutting edge behavioral health theories and supporting data, including self-determination theory, chaos theory, behavioral economics. The latest in mHealth, including wearables, AI (artificial intelligence), health bots.

Oana Blaga, Teodora Frățilă

Smoke-Free Together (SFT) is the first pregnancy-specific tobacco cessation app in Romania. The health theory behind SFT, the preliminary testing, where SFT is now, future SFT developments, sustainability in the Romanian health system.

Experts

Kristie Foley

Dr Foley earned her PhD from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in cancer prevention and control at Wake Forest School of Medicine. She studies how to implement and sustain best and promising practices in primary and oncology care to reduce cancer disparities. She is the Associate Director for Population Sciences and Program Leader for Cancer Prevention and Control at the Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research has been highlighted in the Tobacco Atlas and the Fogarty International Center’s Global Health Matters as a model for translating science into practice and policy to address the global burden of tobacco-induced diseases.

Ken Resnicow

Dr Resnicow is Irwin M. Rosenstock Collegiate Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, USA, University of Michigan Cancer Center Director of Health Disparities Research, and a senior leader at the Center for Health Communications Research at the University of Michigan. Dr Resnicow is an internationally recognized expert in design and evaluation of health promotion interventions and motivational interviewing (MI), and is a leading expert in conceptualizing and designing culturally sensitive community-based interventions for health promotion. He is also an expert in community-based interventions for nutrition, physical activity, and smoking prevention in minorities.

Laura Cabrera

Dr Cabrera is Assistant Professor in the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences at Michigan State University, USA. Her interests are transdisciplinary, with a focus on the ethical aspects and societal implications of neurotechnology and neuroscientific advances. She has been working on projects that explore the attitudes of the general public toward pharmacological and brain stimulation enhancing interventions, as well as their normative implications. Currently her research is focused on two main areas. On the one hand ethical issues around invasive psychiatric interventions (psychosurgery, deep brain stimulation), and on the other hand ethical and social implications of environmental changes for brain and mental health.

Cristian Meghea

Dr Meghea is Associate Professor with tenure in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Michigan State University, USA, and Associate Researcher at the Department of Public Health at Babeş-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca. His main research interest is maternal and child health, with a specific focus on the development, implementation and dissemination of  interventions to prevent and reduce smoking among young families. Dr Meghea started a research program with the aim of reducing smoking during pregnancy, supported since 2007 in partnership with the Department of Public Health. 

Horațiu Colosi

Dr Colosi holds a degree in Dental Medicine and is specialized in orthodontics and dento-facial orthopedics. He is Associate Professor in the Medical Informatics and Biostatistics Department at Iuliu Hațieganu Medical University in Cluj-Napoca, teaching courses around medical research methodology. Areas of scientific research include research ethics, dento-facial aesthetics and medical use of electromagnetic radiation. Dr Colosi is the local coordinator of a Master Degree program in Ethics and Research Methodology financed by the US National Institutes of Health and implemented at the Medical University in Cluj-Napoca.

Oana Blaga

Dr Blaga is Lecturer in the Department of Public Health at Babeș-Bolyai University, where she has been in implementing cohort studies, randomized controlled trials, and other projects focused on maternal and child health since 2011. Her training includes a Master’s Degree in research design and data analysis, a six-month Fogarty Fellowship at the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa, as well as participation in the Global mHealth Research Training Institute (2016). Dr Blaga’s doctoral thesis explored aspects of behavioral economics and public health policy around tobacco control.

Petru Sandu

Dr Sandu works at the Romanian National Institute of Health, in the Cluj Regional Public Health Center, as an MD specialized in Public Health and Management. Alongside his medical training and expertise in health policy, he holds a degree in Physical Education and Sports. This domain also reflects in his research activity, the most recent project implemented focusing on increasing student participation in Physical Education activities. His expertise in research ethics was widened during a two-year Fogarty fellowship at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, and Dr Sandu is currently part of the Ethical Institutional Review Board of the Department of Public Health at Babeș-Bolyai University.

Support team

Teodora Frățilă

Teodora is a final year medical student at Iuliu Hațieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca and a research technician at the Department of Public Health at Babeș-Bolyai University. Over the past 2 years, she has been gaining experience in the implementation of randomized controlled trials around pregnancy smoking cessation and mobile health, managing subject recruitment and participation. She also took an active part in the development of a mobile health intervention in the Smoke-Free Together project, in the team led by Drs Meghea and Blaga. Teodora has 5 years of experience in organizing and promoting healthcare conferences and training events.  

Marina Dascăl

Marina earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health at Babeș-Bolyai University and is currently enrolled in a Psychology of Public and Clinical Health Master’s programme. Since 2017, she has been working in the Department of Public Health at Babeș-Bolyai University, gaining experience in the administrative and research aspects of randomized controlled trials on smoking cessation during pregnancy and on preventing postpartum relapse. Marina is familiar with the target group of pregnant subjects and mothers, as her experience includes succesful participant recruitment, data management and analysis, as well as scientific publications. 

Our past trainings

2019

During this 3-day practical team-based workshop taking place between June 25-27th 2019 in Cluj-Napoca, participants were introduced to Behavioral Change theories, the development and tailoring of App Content, App Functionalities through sensors and AI, as well as study designs and considerations for the implementation and evaluation of mHealth-based interventions.

During the last 2 days, teams received guidance and mentorship on the development of a mobile app that would change a particular behavior of their choice (eg. nutrition, smoking, exercise, psychological factors).

The end result was a powerpoint presentation of the app wireframe by each team, based on which the trainers and other teams offered additional feedback.

This event was organized by the project “Mobile Health Intervention for Family Smoking Cessation in Romania” 
Funder: National Institutes of Health 
Project code: 1R21TW010896-01 
Project Partners: Michigan State University, Babeș-Bolyai University, University of Michigan, Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

This training took place on June 27th 2019. It reunited healthcare professionals, psychologists and other behavioral and social sciences professionals, as well as public health students. Participants were introduced to the basic concepts and applicability of Motivational Interviewing in their professional, and even daily life. 

This was followed by practical exercises in phrasing Motivational Interviewing (MI) dialogue on smoking cessation and other behavioral changes, according to the OARS principles of MI (open questions, affirmation, reflective listening, and summary reflections).

This event was organized by the project “Mobile Health Intervention for Family Smoking Cessation in Romania” 
Funder: National Institutes of Health 
Project code: 1R21TW010896-01 
Project Partners: Michigan State University, Babeș-Bolyai University, University of Michigan, Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

2018

This 2-day capacity building program took place in Cluj-Napoca between May 22-23rd 2018. It was comprised of 4 independent and corresponding workshops for each of them, held by Prof Ken Resnicow of the University of Michigan and Prof Kristie Foley of Wake Forest University.

The lectures and workshops were adressed to both postgraduate and graduate students involved in public health or  healthcare research, and provided them with a basic understanding of Research Methods, Health Promotion Randomized Controlled Trials and Study Design, Principles of Research Ethics and their applications. 

The lectures and workshops further explored techniques and tools that are particularly useful in health promotion and public health interventions, such as the use of mHealth and its principles, or constructing the intervention on a solid foundation of Behavior Change theories

A Motivational Interviewing basic lecture and an in-depth workshop were also included, in order to better explore the ambivalence of participants in behavior change interventions and offer the practitioner a new approach towards the issue.

This event was organized by the project “Mobile Health Intervention for Family Smoking Cessation in Romania” 
Funder: National Institutes of Health 
Project code: 1R21TW010896-01 
Project Partners: Michigan State University, Babeș-Bolyai University, University of Michigan, Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Contact

For any further questions, please contact the organizers at capacitybuilding@publichealth.ro.