Publications, College of Public Health

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Now showing 1 - 14 of 14
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    Differing Priorities of Counselors and Customers to a Consumer Choice Model in Rehabilitation
    (2000) Wolf-Branigin, Michael; Daeschlein, Michael; Cardinal, Barbara; Twiss, Mary
    This consumer choice project demonstrated a model for achieving employment outcomes based upon the customer's informed choice and control of funding. Responses concerning service options of 36 customers and 22 counselors who participated in a vocational rehabilitation consumer choice project were obtained. Results demonstrated that consumers rated project activities which were most time intensive and customer focused as paramount to their rehabilitation. Counselors rated activities that had been identified as the least time consuming most vital. This discrepancy has significant implications for rehabilitation counselors and related professionals as consumer choice components increasingly become used in their practices.
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    Applying Spatial Randomness To Community Inclusion
    (2002) Wolf-Branigin, Michael
    A spatial analytic methodology incorporating true locations is demonstrated using Monte Carlo simulations as a complement to current psychometric and quality of life indices for measuring community inclusion. Moran 'sl,a measure of spatial autocorrelation, is used to determine spatial dependencies in housing patterns for multiple variables, including family/friends involvement in future planning, home size, and earned income. Simulations revealed no significant spatial autocorrelation, which is a socially desirable result for housing locations for people with disabilities. Assessing the absence of clustering provides a promising methodology for measuring community inclusion.
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    Designing Accessible Managed Care Services for People with Physical Disabilities: Consumer Suggestions Within an Emergent Design Process
    (2004) Wolf-Branigin, Michael; LeRoy, Barbara
    Persons with physical disabilities have difficulty accessing health care. This has become more pronounced with the emergence of managed care and other efforts to limit growing healthcare costs. In responding to a state's Medicaid office interest in designing accessible health services, a consumer-based evaluation including a series of nine focus groups (96 participants) was conducted using an emergent design method. Our inductive analysis approach identified difficulties and provided the basis for recommending strategies to improve access. Two sets of consumer recommended strategies consistently were expressed during this process: (1) initiating one-to-one advocacy to improve local service coordination and (2) performing person-centered planning at enrollment in a managed care plan to facilitate appropriate and prompt access. These access strategies formed the basis for a later intervention design.
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    Supporting and Preparing Future Decision-makers with the Needed Tools
    (2006) Wolf-Branigin, Michael
    Educational and social service researchers and evaluators continue to develop advanced statistical methods. To ensure that our students have the essential skills as they enter direct service, the focus must be on assuring that they learn readily understandable methods that are appropriate for small samples and use repeated measures.
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    Self-Organization in Housing Choices of Persons with Disabilities
    (2006) Wolf-Branigin, Michael
    Complexity theory provides a promising exploratory framework for demonstrating quantifiable improvements of disability interventions. This paper introduces concepts of complex systems theory and applies one particular underlying concept, self-organizing, to a program providing housing and other support services to persons with disabilities. Using this specific component of complexity theory provides a beginning point to explore how consumers and their allies made choices on where their homes would be located.
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    Challenges to the Systematic Adoption of Person-Centered Planning
    (2007) Wolf-Branigin, Michael; LeRoy, Barbara; Wolf-Branigin, Karen; Israel, Nathaniel; Kulik, Noel
    Previous reviews of person-centered planning indicate a need for more comprehensive training to promote skill generalization. A three-phase training intervention was implemented with 22 planning teams for people with a disability in the Detroit metropolitan area. Independent observers rated team meetings posttraining on consumer orientation regarding three components of person-centered planning: meeting structure, interpersonal skills, and planning strategies. Analyses of ratings indicated that structural skills were significantly more readily incorporated than either interpersonal or strategic skills. Exploratory analyses indicated that the number of family members, friends, and advocates at the planning meetings was positively correlated with planning strategies, while living arrangements were negatively correlated with planning strategies. Implications for the acquisition and generalization of more complex planning skills are discussed.
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    Disability and Abuse in Relation to Substance Abuse: A Descriptive Analysis
    (2007) Wolf-Branigin, Michael
    This analysis reviewed five years of a state’s substance abuse treatment admissions and discharges in order to identify specific patterns among persons who had a disability. Using a series of group comparisons, Chi-squares, and logistic regressions, specific patterns of violence and abuse to this population were identified. Results indicate that persons who had a disability and abused substances were more likely to be victimized by physical abuse and domestic violence when compared with their peers without a disability. A person with a disability had about one-half to one-third the odds of receiving long-term residential, short-term residential and intensive outpatient care when compared with persons without a disability.
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    Improving Quality of Life and Career Attitudes of Youth With Disabilities: Experiences From the Adolescent Employment Readiness Center
    (2007) Wolf-Branigin, Michael; Schuyler, Vincent; White, Patience
    Improving quality of life is the primary focus as adolescents with disabilities enter adulthood. They increasingly, however, encounter difficulties transitioning into domains such as employment as these services occur near the end of their high school experience. Using an ecosystems model within a developmental approach, the program sought to improve the likelihood that adolescents will find and maintain meaningful employment as adults. The authors measured physical health, psychosocial functioning, and attitude toward employment of adolescents participating in the program during a 2-year period. Physical health, school functioning, and total functioning improved dur¬ ing the 2 years. Career attitudes were above the norms in earlier grades but fell in later grades. This suggests the need for early and continued intervention.
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    Complexities in Attracting and Retaining Direct Support Professionals
    (2007) Wolf-Branigin, Michael; Wolf-Branigin, Karen; Israel, Nathaniel
    Recruiting and retaining direct support professionals (DSPs) remains essential to the full inclusion for persons with disabilities. Using a mixed-evaluation model, we measured DSPs’ views versus those of their supervisors. DSPs expressed lower perceptions concerning their supervisors, satisfaction with their work situation, and environmental and safety factors. Focus groups provided insights into resolving issues related to compensation, work environment, and recruiting and retaining future DSPs. Motivating factors included wanting to be part of a helping community where all are valued. To improve their performance, DSPs stated their desire to understand the roles of managers and of the consumer. DSPs indicated that having career paths that provided advancement opportunities and direct contact with persons with disabilities were primary motivators.
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    Spiritual Involvement as a Predictor to Completing a Salvation Army Substance Abuse Treatment Program
    (2007) Wolf-Branigin, Michael; Duke, Jerry
    This study investigates successful completion at a faith-based organization providing residential substance abuse treatment services. Method: The authors apply a complex systems paradigm using a single moderator variable. The participants are primarily African Americans and most have current criminal justice involvement. Probabilities of treatment program completion for participants active in spiritual activities versus similar participants not involved in these activities are calculated. Results: Participation in the spirituality component appears to provide a valuable attractor to treatment completion. Conclusions: In the past decade, evaluation methods have included the greater use of probabilistic approaches, most notably Bayesian inference. Findings suggest that this model, as applied to the complexities of a faith-based organization, is useful for understanding treatment completion.
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    The Emerging Field of Travel Training Services: A Systems Perspective
    (2008) Wolf-Branigin, Michael; Wolf-Branigin, Karen
    Travel training provides a promising approach for moving persons from paratransit to fixed-route transportation services. This study identifies current funding trends and discusses the volume and diversity of services within the travel training instruction field. Measuring the emergence of this field focused on four properties of systems: intention, boundary, resources, and exchange. We used these properties to facilitate sharing of information and learning among the participating organizations. Initial findings indicated that older, established programs tended to be larger and moved more persons to fixed routes, while programs that employed their own staff rather than contracting out staff produced more outputs per staff person. We conclude that the diversity of the field’s innovators have strengthened the problem-solving capacity. Based on the findings, a preliminary research and evaluation agenda is proposed.
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    Preparing for the Emerging Issue of Human Trafficking
    (2008) Wolf-Branigin, Michael; Jensen, Kristin; Smith, Michael Allen
    The United Nations defines human trafficking as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation” (United Nations, 2006). Affecting hundreds of thousands of victims in the US, it emerged as a federal priority, with the Department of Justice (DOJ). We defined capacity building as establishing understanding and enabling skills to assist excluded individuals participate more effectively in their communities (Henderson & Thomas, 2004; Payne, 2005).We adopted the five-component definition of capacity building developed by Glickman and Servon (1998) that analyzes the organization’s resource, internal, programmatic, network and political capacities. Using a qualitative approach, we determined whether enhanced organizational capacity in addressing this vulnerable population occurred.
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    Measuring Complexity: Applications for Social Work Research Education
    (2008) Wolf-Branigin, Michael
    Complexity theory provides a promising approach in social work education as researchers and educators begin examining and quantifying the concepts of non-linearity and emergence. This paper introduces several components of complexity theory and discusses various statistical methods to consider when measuring contributions from each of these components. While social work research typically relies on group comparisons, complexity theory provides a broad framework for structuring and investigating social work phenomena. These applications include understanding how social movements emerged to viewing the interdependencies of communities.