Benjamin Weitz

Undergraduate Student, University of Massachusetts Medical School

2 active projects

Diabetes + Depression Coping Behaviors

We are interested in looking at patient reported coping habits during COVID and their associated impact on changes in A1c/depression among newly diagnosed patients with diabetes and mild-severe depression. Finding an association between coping habits and changes in health outcomes…

Scientific Questions Being Studied

We are interested in looking at patient reported coping habits during COVID and their associated impact on changes in A1c/depression among newly diagnosed patients with diabetes and mild-severe depression. Finding an association between coping habits and changes in health outcomes will inform development of new interventions to support newly diagnosed patients with diabetes and depression, especially during and after covid pandemic.

Project Purpose(s)

  • Disease Focused Research (type 2 diabetes mellitus)
  • Social / Behavioral

Scientific Approaches

Relationships will be investigated using the All of Us workbench and R. We will identify our target population with inclusion criteria of Diagnosis of Diabetes between 3/1-2019 and 3/1/2020. Target population will also be stratified by depression status using PhQ-9 scores (0-4: little to no depression, 5-9 mild depression, 10-14 moderate, 15-19 moderately severe, and 20-27 severe depression). We will analyze responses to the COPE survey to summarize reported coping behaviors among different groups of target population and estimate association of coping behaviors with changes in diabetes and depression outcomes.

Anticipated Findings

We are expecting to find that newly diagnosed diabetics with depression who engage in healthy coping behaviors, such as yoga and mindfulness, have improved A1c and depression outcomes than those who do not. A second hypothesis is that those who engage in unhealthy coping behaviors will have worse A1c and Depression. This will help researchers and clinicians develop more effective, at-home modules for patients with diabetes.

Demographic Categories of Interest

This study will not center on underrepresented populations.

Data Set Used

Controlled Tier

Research Team

Owner:

  • Benjamin Weitz - Undergraduate Student, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Daniel Amante - Early Career Tenure-track Researcher, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Collaborators:

  • Emmanuella Demosthenes - Project Personnel, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Dedeepya Billa - Graduate Trainee, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  • Ben Gerber - Late Career Tenured Researcher, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Perceptions of primary care quality correlated to obesity status

Are people diagnosed with obesity more likely to be delay seeing their primary care providers than those not obese? Do they also have more negative perceptions of their providers’ care? If so, are these relationships modified by race, gender identity,…

Scientific Questions Being Studied

Are people diagnosed with obesity more likely to be delay seeing their primary care providers than those not obese? Do they also have more negative perceptions of their providers’ care? If so, are these relationships modified by race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES)?

Optimal healthcare utilization relies on patients feeling respected by and engaging with their primary care providers. If patients from a certain demographic have more negative perceptions and/or experience delays in seeking care more often than others, then this may highlight needs to improve primary care practice in these groups.

Project Purpose(s)

  • Disease Focused Research (Obesity)
  • Population Health

Scientific Approaches

Relationships will be investigated using the All of Us workbench and R. We will describe perceptions towards their providers and delay in seeing care among those obese and not obese. Then, we will do regression modeling to explore if sociodemographic characteristics moderate these relationships. Perceptions and delay in healthcare seeking behavior will be derived from the Health Care Access and Utilization survey responses.

Anticipated Findings

Patients diagnosed with obesity may more likely have more negative perceptions of their providers’ care. This study will determine if this is true; and if so, are these relationships modified by race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, and SES? These findings would help identify areas of focus to optimize patient-provider relationships, appointment adherence, and follow-up in people with obesity.

Demographic Categories of Interest

  • Race / Ethnicity
  • Gender Identity
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Education Level
  • Income Level

Data Set Used

Controlled Tier

Research Team

Owner:

  • Benjamin Weitz - Undergraduate Student, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Collaborators:

  • Ben Gerber - Late Career Tenured Researcher, University of Massachusetts Medical School
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