Hearts Need Art collaboration with IHDR

Hearts Need Art is a local non-profit organization in San Antonio aiming to create moments of joy, self-expression and connection to individuals who face life-altering health challenges. During 2022 Hearts Need Art has launched a collaborative project with IHDR concentrating on offering arts (music, visual arts etc.) to patients in a hospital setting. IHDR is assisting with the data collection process regarding participant surveys (pre- and post) as well as analyzing the results. Participant surveying will help understand the effects of the arts on patient health and well-being and is an important step toward a larger project that incorporates biological markers of health.

Preventing Adolescent Alcohol and Substance Abuse (PAASA)

In partnership with SAISD, San Antonio Metro Health, and with generous 5-year funding from SAMHSA, this project is aimed at reducing alcohol and substance use/abuse in San Antonio middle school students. This is achieved by using an evidence-based intervention to help students learn about emotional intelligence, peer pressure, and the dangers and consequences of alcohol and substance use for the developing brain.

Sickness Behavior in the United States Survey

In 2018, the IHDR launched a nationwide survey to assess experiences with common, mild infectious diseases such as the flu or the common cold. The survey was distributed to over 1,000 participants across the country. Data analysis is ongoing, but current findings show that sociocultural and personality factors like traditional machismo, familism, and stoicism influence health status communication to others as well as recalled sickness symptoms and the role of demographics and similar factors in shaping medical risk taking.

Alleviating Pain and Opioid Dependence Through Anger Management

The IHDR is collaborating with Dr. Ephrem Fernandez (UTSA Psychology) to conduct a randomized control trial using telemedicine to deliver a unique anger management training to chronic pain patients across the country. Chronic pain is often associated with emotional responses, including anger. It is our belief that treating the emotional aspect of chronic pain can yield better responses than treating physical pain only, and that one of these beneficial outcomes may be reduced dependency on opioids for pain management. This study is funded by a seed grant from UTSA.

San Antonio Energy and Time Use Survey

In collaboration with Dr. Wenbo Wu (UTSA Statistics) and Dr. Ying Huang (UTSA Demography), the IHDR is conducting a survey regarding household demographics, chronic health conditions, mobility, and energy use. Our goal is to determine how demographics, mobility, and chronic health differ between two San Antonio zip codes and how these factors affect household energy use. Results from this project – funded by a seed grant from UTSA – can be used to improve predictive energy use modeling at the neighborhood level, thereby contributing to “smart city” goals in San Antonio and beyond.

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