CHPR COVID-19 Pilot Research Projects

The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound and diverse impacts on patients, providers, and the U.S. healthcare system. Conducting research rapidly to help us better understand these impacts and quickly devise strategies to address them is critical.

Three UC Davis Centers, the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research (CHPR), the Center for Health and Technology (CHT), and the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE), have jointly awarded grants for five COVID-19 pilot research projects to be conducted during calendar 2020.

These five studies, all led by UC Davis faculty members, have been designed to reveal impacts of COVID-19 and develop innovative approaches to address them.  The pilots address:

  • Parent and child mental health and well-being;
  • Continued care services for the neurodevelopmental community;
  • Use of telehealth to enable parents to interact with the team caring for their children in the neonatal intensive care unit;
  • Breast cancer screening, surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment
  • Innovative telehealth delivery of post-operative, surgeon-directed hand therapy to patients sheltering-in-place.

Descriptions of the five funded projects are given below. Please check back to this page over the coming months as results will be posted here as they become available.

“Parenting during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Implications for Parent and Child Mental Health and Well-being, to be carried out by Paul D. Hastings, Ph.D., and Camelia Hostinar, Ph.D., both affiliated with the Center for Mind & Brain and professors in the Psychology Department. They will assess the long-term ramifications of pandemic-related stressors on the mental and physical health of parents and children, and plan to longitudinally follow study participants in a subsequent, larger project to determine resilience factors that allow some parents and families to navigate the COVID-19 quarantine more effectively than others.

Paul D. Hastings, Ph.D. Camelia Hostinar, Ph.D.

“Impacts of COVID-19 on the Neurodevelopmental Community and a Plan for Continued Care,” led by Leonard Abbeduto, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Director of the MIND Institute. He and colleague Lauren Bullard, M.S., will work with providers and families of children with autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome and fragile X syndrome to determine impacts COVID-19 closures have had on services normally provided to these families; results will be used to design a self-guided platform with telehealth features to help bridge service gaps.

Leonard Abbeduto, Ph.D. Lauren Bullard, M.S.

“Virtual Family-Centered Rounds during COVID-19 in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,” will be led by Jennifer Rosenthal, M.D., in collaboration with Kristin Hoffman, M.D., both in the Department of Pediatrics. In response to the inability of parents to visit their children in the neonatal intensive care unit because of the pandemic, these researchers began studying the use of Zoom to allow parents to virtually attend weekday “family-centered rounds” (FCR); they will use this grant to conclude their pilot clinical trial of the feasibility and acceptability of virtual FCRs and explore the effects of FCRs on parents and quality of care.

April 2021 Update

Their first manuscript describing the project’s findings has been accepted for publication in Academic Pediatrics and they will give two presentations on the project at this Spring’s Pediatric Academic Societies' (PAS) conference (which will be held virtually).

Jennifer Rosenthal, M.D Kristin Hoffman, M.D.
“Sacramento Area Breast Imaging Registry (SABIR): Impact of COVID-19 on Breast Cancer Screening, Surveillance, Diagnosis, and Treatment,” carried out by Diana L. Miglioretti, Ph.D., Professor and Division Chief of Biostatistics, Department of Public Health Sciences. Dr. Miglioretti will document delays in breast cancer screening and related care due to COVID-19, determine whether disparities in access, timeliness of care, and treatment quality in vulnerable populations have been compounded during the quarantine, and use that information to develop best practices for prioritizing breast cancer screening and care services during and after the pandemic.
Diana L. Miglioretti, Ph.D.
April 2021 Update:

he first two publications of her findings, “Assessment of a risk-based approach for triaging mammography examinations during periods of reduced capacity” and “Changes in mammography utilization by women’s characteristics during the first five months of the COVID-19 pandemic,” are currently in press at JAMA Open Network and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, respectively.

Dr. Miglioretti and her collaborators also received a $500,000 enhancement from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to support this work and have had two additional papers on this project accepted for publication in Preventive Medicine.

“Hand Therapy App Video-visit Optimized Care (HAVOC) Study: Maintaining Hand Surgery Outcomes Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic,” led by Clifford T. Pereira, M.D., in collaboration with Chetan Irwin, M.D., and Andrew Li, M.D., all professors in the Surgery Department. These researchers responded to the challenge of delivering post-operative, surgeon-directed hand therapy to patients sheltering-in-place by developing a smartphone app and utilizing video visits; they will determine the efficacy of these adaptations for post-operative care of hand injuries and design an improved app with the support of this grant.

Clifford T. Pereira, M.D. Chetan Irwin, M.D. Andrew Li, M.D.