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Yelena Wu, PhD, co-led the Scale-Up Counts study. Right: Tammy Stump, PhD, lead author of the article about the study. credit: Huntsman Cancer Institute

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Yelena Wu, PhD, co-led the Scale-Up Counts study. Right: Tammy Stump, PhD, lead author of the article about the study. credit: Huntsman Cancer Institute

An examination of the Scaled-Up Counts program was recently published in the journal pediatrics, The analysis was led by Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator and Associate Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Utah (U) Yelena Wu, and Huntsman investigator David Vetter, Ph.D., MS. Cancer Institute and the US Professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences.

The SCALE-UP Counts program was designed to promote COVID-19 testing through collaboration , especially those that serve historically marginalized populations. This was done using two-way texting, meaning staff, parents or guardians could respond. Scale Up Counts sought to make it easier for schools to access COVID-19 testing and provide guidance to families and staff on when to get tested.

Wu’s research usually focuses on in children, adolescents and young adults. However, during the pandemic, Vetter, along with Adam Hersh, MD, Ph.D., Guilherme Del Fiol, MD, Ph.D., Kim Kafingest, ScD, Jonathan Chipman, Ph.D., and Ben Haaland, Ph.D. D. D., she used her expertise to advise local K-12 schools on COVID-19 testing policies and logistics.

Tammy Stump, PhD, visiting instructor at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, helped lead a special article describing preliminary findings from the Scale Up Counts study. An analysis from the Scale-Up Counts program and an excerpt led by Stump suggest that texting can increase participation in public health programs.

“Text messaging and health navigation are feasible ways to deliver health screening messages to staff in K-12 schools,” Stump says. “We found that 99% of employees had a valid cell phone number for the program, and less than 4% opted out of the program. At the time of these analyses, four months after the program began, 19% of employees had The pass was somehow connected to the scaled-up count system.”

These results not only show that the program helped schools and families cope with the epidemic, but may also help researchers understand how to increase participation Future prevention, screening, and education initiatives.

“We wanted to see whether the use of readily available technology increases public participation in health programs,” says Wu. “COVID-19 was a unique opportunity to test this while providing an important service to our communities in Utah.”

Wu’s team will continue to evaluate the reach and participation of the SCALE-UP program, as well as the cost-effectiveness of using texting to communicate health information to large groups of people.

“Text messaging appears to be an effective and low-resource opportunity to meet people wherever they are,” says Stump. “This is important as we look at how we can make public health initiatives more accessible.”

more information:
Tammy K. Stump et al, Early access to an information technology approach to support COVID-19 testing in schools, pediatrics (2023). doi: 10.1542/peds.2022-060352e

Journal Information:

Provided by Huntsman Cancer Institute

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