Projects - Dominican Republic

 

Project Name: Understanding the relative appealing of cooling flavors in electronic cigarettes among college students
Institution: Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra
Mentor: Zahira Quinones

Flavors play an important role motivating electronic cigarettes uptake and related behaviors in youth and young adults. Currently, there is concern that youth and young adults might be largely attracted to cooling e-liquid flavors. The study aims to qualitatively assess the use of cooling e-liquid flavors, the perceived harm and self-reported adverse events and subjective experiences among a sample of college students in the Dominican Republic. The study will also explore current existing regulations in the Dominican Republic as well as product availability. We expect to generate evidence that could potentially inform policy decision-making and tobacco regulatory efforts. Students will assist the research team in recruiting participants for 3-4 virtually or in-person focus groups, conducting focus groups and individual interviews, if needed. Further, students will participate in the analysis of the information, manuscript preparation, and final presentation

 

 

Project Name: Understanding how to effectively communicate vaping associated respiratory health effects to Dominican youth by birth-residency concordance
Institution: Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra
Mentor: Zahira Quinones

Electronic cigarette use remains a public health concern, despite multiple vaping prevention campaigns deployed in the last few years. Public health education campaigns translates current scientific evidence into messages that will influence harm, risk perceptions, and potentially support behavior change, e.g., prevent vaping and smoking initiation. In light of the large growing body of evidence indicating the adverse respiratory health effects associated to electronic cigarette use, the study aims to generate cultural tailored messages based on the current scientific evidence available by using a community based- participatory approach and a youth peer-designed approach. We will conduct 12 focus groups (6-8 participants per group, 15-18 years old) to identify effective messages to communicate the respiratory health effects associated to electronic cigarette use in the Dominican youth population. Participants in the focus group will includeDominican youth born and living in the Dominican Republic (DR), youth born in the DR and living in  the United States (US), and youth from Dominican descents, born and living in the US. Students will assist the research team in recruiting participants for 3-4 virtually or in-person focus groups, conducting focus groups and individual interviews, if needed. Further, students will participate in the analysis of the information, manuscript preparation, and final presentation

 

 

Project Name: Perceptions and beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine among pregnant women in the Dominican Republic
Institution: Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra
Mentor: José Javier Sánchez Rodríguez

Since the identification of the first cases of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection in Wuhan, China (December 2019,), the virus has spread rapidly around the world. Globally, more than 620 million people have been infected and more than 6 million deaths. There are currently available vaccines against COVID-19, such as 2 mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, Cambridge) and an adenoviral vector vaccine (Johnson & Johnson, Belgium). The CDC specifies that any of the currently licensed vaccines can be administered to pregnant or lactating women, without preference for the type of vaccine. The benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh its risks. Various studies clearly and convincingly demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the vaccine during pregnancy. It is possible that various factors intervene in the intention of pregnant women to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In this study we will be evaluating pregnant women who attend health centers in the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, to assess their perceptions and beliefs about the COVID-19 vaccine. Students and teachers will be contributing to the identification and recruitment of participants.