OSU Design Teams Create New Olentangy River Corridor Vision

Last month, the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture hosted professional designers, students and community leaders for the Olentangy River Charrette. Thursday night, the designs for the corridor sparked by those sessions will be revealed.

A dozen current Knowlton School architecture, landscape architecture and city and regional planning students worked over a two-day period with representatives from architecture and design firms NBBJ, West 8, REALM, TLS Landscape Architecture and MKSK.

Ohio State, the Columbus Downtown Development Corp., the Columbus Partnership, Nationwide Realty Investors, MORPC and the City of Columbus sponsored the design challenge. The results could have a long-term impact on the perception of the city.

Each of the team leaders recognized incorporating the river was central to this design challenge.

The river as an amenity is a change in the way the city was designed. The two-mile corridor featured a mix of retail, roads and residential. Connecting it all in a holistic fashion requires a new kind of thinking.

Some of the teams were challenging the way we get around the corridor, including the reliance on cars and buses.

Having a bold vision is critical to help re-imagine the corridor.

OSU Researchers Find Restriction of “Aggressive” Punishment Helps ADHD Children

Cutting back on yelling, criticism and other harsh parenting approaches, including physical punishment, has the power to calm children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a new study.

Researchers from The Ohio State University evaluated physiological markers of emotional regulation in preschool children with ADHD before and after a parent and child intervention aimed at improving family relations. Changes in parenting – including less yelling and physical discipline – led to improvements in children’s biological regulation.

Reductions in negative parenting were found to drive improved biological function in children. Increases in positive parenting had no effect.

The researchers also observed each parent and child during a 30-minute play session in the family home and video-recorded positive and negative parenting approaches. Positive parenting included praise, encouragement and problem-solving. Negative parenting included critical statements, physical discipline and commands that gave children no opportunity to comply.

Less-harsh parenting also was linked to improved behavior in children, a finding that bolsters previous research in this area.

OSU Research Offers Insight into Opioid Crisis

One effective way to combat Ohio’s growing opioid crisis is to prioritize treatment in underserved areas across the state because those are among the areas struggling most with opioid abuse, says an analyst with the C. William Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy at The Ohio State University.

According to a report released by researchers with the Swank program, medication-assisted treatment is the most clinically effective and cost-efficient method for reducing opioid addiction, abuse and overdose death.

But in Ohio, which now leads the nation in opioid-related overdose deaths with a record 4,050 drug overdose deaths reported in 2016, a 33 percent increase from 2015, according to the Ohio Department of Health, some 60 percent of those abusing or dependent on opioids lack access to such treatment, Partridge said.

The report says medication-assisted treatment has shown to be a clinically effective and cost-efficient approach to treating opioid addiction, with three common medications used in the treatment of opioid addition: methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone.

Yet, Ohio has only 26 certified methadone treatment centers and 377 doctors who are certified to prescribe buprenorphine.

Opioid drugs, including prescription painkillers and heroin, killed more than 33,000 people nationwide in 2015, more than any year on record, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 3,050 overdose deaths in Ohio in 2015, with 58.2 percent of the deaths blamed on the use of fentanyl and its derivatives, an opioid 50 times stronger than heroin, officials said.

The annual cost of opiate abuse, addiction and overdoses to Ohio is estimated to be between $6.6 billion to $8.8 billion, the report said. The total social and economic costs of the opioid crisis are similar to what the state spends on K-12 education.

Another key finding from the report is that there is a robust and direct correlation between unemployment rates and opiate overdoses and deaths. Individuals living in high-employment regions of the state tend to also have high levels of opioid abuse.

OSU Led Survey Finds Depression Among Nurses Increases Likelihood of Errors

Depression is common among nurses and is linked to a higher likelihood they’ll make medical errors, new research suggests.

The study found that more than half of nurses who took part in a national survey reported sub-optimal physical and mental health. Nurses in poorer health had a 26 to 71 percent higher likelihood of reporting medical errors than did their healthier peers. Depression stood out as a major concern among the 1,790 U.S. nurses who responded to the survey, and as the key predictor of medical errors.

The study, which appears online in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, also found that nurses who perceived their workplace as conducive to wellness were more likely to report good health.

The National Academy of Medicine has prioritized clinician well-being in its recently launched action collaborative, acknowledging that burnout, compassion fatigue, depression and poor work-life balance affect a large percentage of doctors, nurses and other health professionals.

The new research is the first large-scale national study to link nurses’ well-being to self-reported medical errors, limiting long shifts and providing easy-to-access, evidence-based resources for physical and mental health, including depression screenings, could go a long way toward improving nurses’ wellness and decreasing the chances that mistakes will be made.

The data came from a survey conducted by the American Academy of Nursing’s million hearts sub-committee of the health behavior expert panel. The survey included 53 questions and was offered through nursing organizations and 20 U.S. hospitals. Only responses from nurses who were in clinical practice were included in the study. The majority of participants were white women and the average age of participants was 44, which closely resembles the demographics of the nursing workforce nationwide.

Socio-economics May Lead to Premature Cellular Aging, OSU Research Finds

Pregnant women who had low socioeconomic status during childhood and who have poor family social support appear to prematurely age on a cellular level, potentially raising the risk for complications, a new study has found.

Researchers at The Ohio State University examined blood from pregnant women to evaluate the length of telomeres – structures at the end of chromosomes that are used by scientists as a measure of biological (as opposed to chronological) age. Shorter telomeres mean an older cellular age.

The researchers also asked the moms-to-be about stressors, including low socioeconomic status and trauma during their childhood and current social support.

They found that women who reported low socioeconomic status as kids and who struggled with family support as adults were biologically older, as indicated by shorter telomeres.

This study didn’t examine birth outcomes, but prompted the researchers to wonder if this rapid biological aging could put a woman at greater risk of premature delivery, gestational hypertension, preeclampsia and other problems.

The study included a racially diverse group of 81 pregnant women who were 25 years old on average. They were evaluated during each trimester of pregnancy and again about two months after delivery. Measures of trauma and low socioeconomic status during childhood, along with the measure of current social support, came from questionnaires the women filled out.

Family social support – but not support from partners or friends – emerged as a strong predictor of telomere length, as did low socioeconomic status during childhood.

Advanced maternal age is defined by doctors as 35 or older. It is well-understood that older mothers are at higher risk of having babies with medical and developmental challenges, and it is possible that this applies to moms with advanced cellular age as well.

Telomeres are caps on the ends of chromosomes that shorten as cells replicate – part of the natural aging process. Mitchell compared them to the plastic covering on the end of a shoelace.

The good news: Telomeres can also lengthen, lowering biological age.

For now, telomere assessment is strictly used for research purposes and not something that would translate into clinical practice.
But it’s possible that the knowledge gained by research into cellular aging could prompt useful interventions in obstetrics practices – including greater focus on moms’ psychological well-being and support systems.

The National Institutes of Health and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences supported the study.