January 15, 2013 -- The public health effects of laws on issues such as food safety, bullying, distracted driving and alcohol control laws will be investigated through 12 new research projects funded in the fourth call for proposals by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) Public Health Law Research (PHLR) program.
The grants announced today total nearly $2.5 million and will support short-term and time-sensitive studies on specific laws or regulations, long-term evaluations of laws and regulations, and the development of legal datasets. Use the links to the summaries below for more details on the latest round of research projects funded by PHLR.
"With each new set of studies, PHLR works to further expand the body of evidence that helps policy-makers make informed decisions that positively impact the health of their communities," said PHLR Director Scott Burris.
"Much of the evidence produced by our grantees answers specific policy questions, but PHLR is also funding studies that create legal datasets. These datasets will be available for researchers to study the public health effects of different legal and policy approaches used by states or cities. Such studies will help lawmakers understand how changes in laws and policies affect public health. The datasets already underway will also help train researchers to create their own legal datasets, and improve research methods," said Burris.
PHLR's aim is to promote the effective use of law to improve public health. The program has now funded more than 60 studies and several reviews of existing scientific evidence on major public health challenges. Search for other grantee project descriptions in the Grantee Resesarch section of the website.
Impact of an Out-of-"Control" Alcohol Law in Washington State: Measuring Associated Changes in Alcohol Use by Adults and Youth -- Multnomah County Health Department, Julia Dilley, PhD, MES, and Linda Becker, PhD
How New York State Public Health Laws Regulating Hospital Maternity Care Influence Breastfeeding Rates -- Health Research, Inc./New York State Department of Health, Barbara A. Dennison, MD, and Trang Nguyen, MD, DrPH
Intervention Strategies for Effective Distracted Driving Laws -- University of Washington, Beth Ebel, MD, MSc, MPH
Credible Offers, Wary Responses: A Peer-Staffed Qualitative Assessment of Court-Ordered Offers of Supported Housing to Adult Home Residents in New York -- The Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research/The Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, Inc., Kim Hopper, PhD
Evaluation of Iowa's Anti-Bullying Legislation: Compliance and Impact -- University of Iowa, Marizen Ramirez, PhD, MPH
Is Informed Consent the Solution to the Challenges Associated with the Retention and Use of Residual Newborn Screening Dried Blood Samples? -- Johns Hopkins University, Michelle Lewis, MD, JD
Saving Lives with Restorative Justice: Determining the Connection between Criminal Diversion and Reduced Offender Mortality -- University of Pennsylvania, Geoffrey Carroll Barnes, PhD, and Caroline M. Angel, PhD, RN
Is the Public Grading of Restaurants on Food Safety Worth the Costs? -- New York University, Todor Mijanovich, PhD, and Amy Ellen Schwartz, PhD
How Does Regulating Pseudoephedrine Access Affect Methamphetamine-Related Public Health Outcomes? -- Tulane University, Keith F. Finlay, PhD, and Scott Cunningham, PhD
Public Health Agencies and Advocacy under the Law -- Johns Hopkins University, Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH
The Effect of Preemption of Local Tobacco Control Policies on Population Health -- ChangeLab Solutions, Anne Pearson, JD, MA, and Jamie Chriqui, PhD, MHS
Building the Evidence: Creating a Framework for Assessing Costs and Impacts of Joint-Use Agreements -- Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Tony Kuo, MD, MSHS, and Ricardo Basurto-Davila, PhD, MSc
PHLR Communications Director