Urban Counties (urban + county)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts


CRIMINOLOGY, Issue 3 2005
Research on the deterrent effects of punishment falls into two categories: macro-level studies of the impact of aggregate punishment levels on crime rates, and individual-level studies of the impact of perceived punishment levels on self-reported criminal behavior. For policy purposes, however, the missing link,ignored in previous research,is that between aggregate punishment levels and individual perceptions of punishment. This paper addresses whether higher actual punishment levels increase the perceived certainty, severity, or swiftness of punishment. Telephone interviews with 1,500 residents of fifty-four large urban counties were used to measure perceptions of punishment levels, which were then linked to actual punishment levels as measured in official statistics. Hierarchical linear model estimates of multivariate models generally found no detectable impact of actual punishment levels on perceptions of punishment. The findings raise serious questions about deterrence-based rationales for more punitive crime control policies. [source]

Prevalence and Correlates of Fecal Incontinence in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Patricia S. Goode MD
Objectives: To determine prevalence and correlates of fecal incontinence in older community-dwelling adults. Design: A cross-sectional, population-based survey. Setting: Participants interviewed at home in three rural and two urban counties in Alabama from 1999 to 2001. Participants: The University of Alabama at Birmingham Study of Aging enlisted 1,000 participants from the state Medicare beneficiary lists. The sample was selected to include 25% black men, 25% white men, 25% black women, and 25% white women. Measurements: The survey included sociodemographic information, medical conditions, health behaviors, life-space assessment (mobility), and self-reported health status. Fecal incontinence was defined as an affirmative response to the question "In the past year, have you had any loss of control of your bowels, even a small amount that stained the underwear?" Severity was classified as mild if reported less than once a month and moderate to severe if reported once a month or greater. Results: The prevalence of fecal incontinence in the sample was 12.0% (12.4% in men, 11.6% in women; P=.33). Mean age±standard deviation was 75.3±6.7 and ranged from 65 to 106. In a forward stepwise logistic regression analysis, the following factors were significantly associated with the presence of fecal incontinence in women: chronic diarrhea (odds ratio (OR)=4.55, 95% confidence interval (CI)=2.03,10.20), urinary incontinence (OR=2.65, 95% CI=1.34,5.25), hysterectomy with ovary removal (OR=1.93, 95% CI=1.06,3.54), poor self-perceived health status (OR=1.88, 95% CI=1.01,3.50), and higher Charlson comorbidity score (OR=1.29, 95% CI=1.07,1.55). The following factors were significantly associated with fecal incontinence in men: chronic diarrhea (OR=6.08, 95% CI=2.29,16.16), swelling in the feet and legs (OR=3.49, 95% CI=1.80,6.76), transient ischemic attack/ministroke (OR=3.11, 95% CI=1.30,7.41), Geriatric Depression Scale score greater than 5 (OR=2.83, 95% CI=1.27,6.28), living alone (OR=2.38, 95% CI=1.23,4.62), prostate disease (OR=2.29, 95% CI=1.04,5.02), and poor self-perceived health (OR=2.18, 95% CI=1.13,4.20). The following were found to be associated with increased frequency of fecal incontinence in women: chronic diarrhea (OR=6.39, 95% CI=2.25,18.14), poor self-perceived health (OR=5.37, 95% CI=1.75,16.55), and urinary incontinence (OR=4.96, 95% CI=1.41,17.43). In men, chronic diarrhea (OR=5.38, 95% CI=1.77,16.30), poor self-perceived health (OR=3.91, 95% CI=1.39,11.02), lower extremity swelling (OR=2.86, 95% CI=1.20,6.81), and decreased assisted life-space mobility (OR=0.73, 95% CI=0.49,0.80) were associated with more frequent fecal incontinence. Conclusion: In community-dwelling older adults, fecal incontinence is a common condition associated with chronic diarrhea, multiple health problems, and poor self-perceived health. Fecal incontinence should be included in the review of systems for older patients. [source]

Home Health Care Agency Staffing Patterns Before and After the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, by Rural and Urban Location

William J. McAuley PhD
ABSTRACT:,Context:The Balanced Budget Act (BBA) of 1997 and other recent policies have led to reduced Medicare funding for home health agencies (HHAs) and visits per beneficiary. Purpose: We examine the staffing characteristics of stable Medicare-certified HHAs across rural and urban counties from 1996 to 2002, a period encompassing the changes associated with the BBA and related policies. Methods: Data were drawn from Medicare Provider of Service files and the Area Resource File. The unit of analysis was the 3,126 counties in the United States, grouped into 5 categories: metropolitan, nonmetropolitan adjacent, and 3 nonmetropolitan nonadjacent groups identified by largest town size. Only relatively stable HHAs were included. We generated summary HHA staff statistics for each county group and year. Findings: All staff categories, other than therapists, declined from 1997 to 2002 across the metropolitan and nonmetropolitan county groupings. There were substantial population-adjusted decreases in stable HHA-based home health aides in all counties, including remote counties. Conclusions: The limited presence of stable HHA staff in certain nonmetropolitan county types has been exacerbated since implementation of the BBA, especially in the most rural counties. The loss of aides in more rural counties may limit the availability of home-based long-term care in these locations, where the need for long-term care is considerable. Future research should examine the degree to which the presence of HHA staff influences actual access and whether other paid and unpaid sources of care substitute for Medicare home health care in counties with limited supplies of HHA staff. [source]

Urban-Rural Flows of Physicians

Thomas C. Ricketts PhD
ABSTRACT:,Context:Physician supply is anticipated to fall short of national requirements over the next 20 years. Rural areas are likely to lose relatively more physicians. Policy makers must know how to anticipate what changes in distribution are likely to happen to better target policies. Purpose: To determine whether there was a significant flow of physicians from urban to rural areas in recent years when the overall supply of physicians has been considered in balance with needs. Methods: Individual records from merged AMA Physician Masterfiles for 1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2003 were used to track movements from urban to rural and rural to urban counties. Individual physician locations were tracked over 5-year intervals during the period 1981 to 2001, with an additional assessment for movements in 2001-2003. Findings: Approximately 25% of physicians moved across county boundaries in any given 5-year period but the relative distribution of urban-rural supply remained relatively stable. One third of all physicians remained in the same urban or rural practice location for most of their professional careers. There was a small net movement of physicians from urban to rural areas from 1981 to 2003. Conclusions: The data show a net flow from urban to rural places, suggesting a geographic diffusion of physicians in response to economic forces. However, the small gain in rural areas may also be explained by programs that are intended to counter normal market pressures for urban concentrations of professionals. It is likely that in the face of an overall shortage, rural areas will lose physician supply relative to population. [source]

A National Study of Obesity Prevalence and Trends by Type of Rural County

J. Elizabeth Jackson MA
ABSTRACT: Context: Obesity is epidemic in the United States, but information on this trend by type of rural locale is limited. Purpose: To estimate the prevalence of and recent trends in obesity among US adults residing in rural locations. Methods: Analysis of data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for the years 1994,1996 (n = 342,055) and 2000,2001 (n = 385,384). The main outcome measure was obesity (body mass index [BMI] ,30), as determined by calculating BMI from respondents' self-reported height and weight. Results: In 2000,2001, the prevalence of obesity was 23.0% (95% confidence interval [CI] 22.6%-23.4%) for rural adults and 20.5% (95% CI 20.2%-20.7%) for their urban counterparts, representing increases of 4.8% (95% CI 4.2%-5.3%) and 5.5% (95% CI 5.1%-5.9%), respectively, since 1994,1996. The highest obesity prevalence occurred in rural counties in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas; obesity prevalence increased for rural residents in all states but Florida over the study period. African Americans had the highest obesity prevalence of any group, up to 31.4% (95% CI 29.1%-33.6) in rural counties adjacent to urban counties. The largest difference in obesity prevalence between those with a college education compared with those without a high school diploma occurred in urban areas (18.4% [95% CI 17.9%-18.9%] vs 23.5% [95% CI 22.5%-24.5%], respectively); the smallest difference occurred in small, remote rural counties (20.3% [95% CI 18.7%-21.9%] versus 22.3% [95% CI 20.7%-24.0%], respectively). Conclusions: The prevalence of obesity is higher in rural counties than in urban counties; obesity affects some residents of rural counties disproportionately. [source]

Rural-Urban Differences in the Social Climate Surrounding Environmental Tobacco Smoke: A Report From the 2002 Social Climate Survey of Tobacco Control

Robert McMillen PhD
ABSTRACT: Context: Although previous research has found smoking rates to be higher among residents of rural areas, few studies have investigated rural-urban differences in exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Objective: This study contrasted the social climate surrounding ETS among Americans who resided in 5 levels of county urbanization. Design: Data were collected via telephone interviews administered to a representative sample of 3,009 civilian, noninstitutionalized adults over age 18 in the United States. Households were selected using random digit dialing procedures. Findings: Compared to residents of urban counties, rural residents reported fewer restrictions on smoking in the presence of children and lower incidences of smoking bans in households, family automobiles, work areas, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, and restaurants. Interestingly, when rural-urban variations in knowledge and attitudes about ETS were examined, the magnitude of rural-urban differences was smaller or nonexistent for these indicators. Moreover, logistic regression models indicated that none of these rural-urban differences in knowledge and attitudes persisted after statistically controlling for region, smoking status, gender, race, age, and education factors. This suggests that the observed rural-urban differences in ETS bans could not be explained adequately by rural-urban differences in knowledge and attitudes about the dangers of ETS. Conclusions: The policy implications of this research point to a greater need in rural America for programs focusing on the restriction and elimination of ETS. They also suggest that programs focusing only on influencing the levels of ETS knowledge and attitudes among the general population may not be adequate in producing the desired change. [source]

The Deep South Network for cancer control

CANCER, Issue S8 2006
Building a community infrastructure to reduce cancer health disparities
Abstract Given the recent advances in cancer treatment, cancer disparity between whites and African-Americans continues as an unacceptable health problem. African-Americans face a considerable disparity with regard to cancer incidence, survival, and mortality when compared with the majority white population. On the basis of prior research findings, the Deep South Network (DSN) chose to address cancer disparities by using the Community Health Advisor (CHA) model, the Empowerment Theory developed by Paulo Freire, and the Community Development Theory to build a community and coalition infrastructure. The CHA model and empowerment theory were used to develop a motivated volunteer, grassroots community infrastructure of Community Health Advisors as Research Partners (CHARPs), while the coalition-building model was used to build partnerships within communities and at a statewide level. With 883 volunteers trained as CHARPs spreading cancer awareness messages, both African-Americans and whites showed an increase in breast and cervical cancer screening utilization in Mississippi and Alabama. In Mississippi, taking into account the increase for the state as a whole, the proportion that might be attributable to the CHARP intervention was 23% of the increase in pap smears and 117% of the increase in mammograms. The DSN has been effective in raising cancer awareness, improving both education and outreach to its target populations, and increasing the use of cancer screening services. The National Cancer Institute has funded the Network for an additional 5 years. The goal of eliminating cancer health disparities will be pursued in the targeted rural and urban counties in Mississippi and Alabama using Community-Based Participatory Research. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society. [source]

Attachment to "Place" and Coping with Losses in Changed Communities: A Paradox for Aging Adults

Christine C. Cook
This article explores the meaning of place and connection to location among aging adults in America's Heartland. Focus groups were conducted in a rural and urban county with participants age 65 to 84 years, and age 85 years and older. A keen sense of place among participants was revealed, poignantly portrayed as "loss" among rural participants who described changes to the landscape, economic restructuring, and the loss of farming as a way of life. Changes in urban settings were depicted as a shrinking of space over which participants' exerted control (e.g., steering clear of freeway driving, limiting driving at night, traversing well-known surface streets). These losses in community are balanced against a strong desire to age in place in familiar settings in which there are known social and resource connections. The investigation illustrates the power of place for aging adults, and the need to recognize its importance in public policy, practice, advocacy, and research. [source]