Practicum Fieldwork

We link trainees with practicum opportunities and provide support for them to carry out fieldwork focused on eating disorders prevention. STRIPED is sponsoring the following practica for Harvard Chan School students for the 2014-15 academic year.

Current Practica

New Practicum Opportunity on Improving Adolescent Primary Care Screening for Eating Disorders

STRIPED’s newest practicum opportunity, “Implementation and Evaluation of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED) Medical Guide within a Pediatric Learning Community,” aims to examine the impact of intervention components (printed educational materials plus in-person, shared learning followed by digital media prompts) versus printed educational materials alone on screening and detection of eating disorders by pediatric primary care providers. Through this practicum, the Harvard Chan School student is working as part of a team to review best evidence for screening and detection of eating disorders in primary care settings, collect data from primary care providers participating in the intervention and comparison group arms of the study, and analyze data using SPSS. The student attends weekly study meetings at Boston Children’s Hospital with study Principal Investigator Dr. Holly Gooding and study staff. The student will produce literature summaries, analysis plans, data analysis results summaries, and a final report describing study findings and implications.

New STRIPED Practicum Opportunity to Study A Policy Strategy to Place Warning Labels on Fashion Magazine Advertisements

Research has demonstrated that young women’s body dissatisfaction increases after exposure to fashion magazines and body dissatisfaction is a risk factor for eating disorders. These fashion magazines alter the appearance of models in advertisements to change their bodies and faces, promoting an unrealistic and sometimes dangerously unhealthy body image for adolescent women. Eating disorder prevention advocates have proposed a policy to place warning labels on advertisements that use photoshopped images of models. However, there has been little research on how effective these warning labels are, and there is some indication that such labels might be harmful. Through this new STRIPED practicum opportunity, Harvard Chan School student will be in the Psychology of Eating and Consumer Health (PEACH www.peachlab.org) lab assisting with a lab-based study to test the effects of these warning labels on young women’s eating behaviors and body satisfaction. In addition, to interacting with research participants, administering a research protocol, and collecting data in the lab, the student will also conduct background research on warning labels used in other areas of public health and how that knowledge can inform the design of labels for fashion magazine advertisements.

New Policy Translation Practicum on Harmful Weight Loss and Muscle Building Products

Through STRIPED’s new practicum opportunity for the 2014-15 academic year, Harvard Chan School students are developing a strategic plan to motivate voluntary corporate actions to address the sale of harmful products marketed for weight loss and muscle building in pharmacies and supermarkets. The widespread abuse of these products for weight control and muscle building by youth and adults and the dangers and deceptive advertising of loosely regulated dietary supplements are well-documented in the public health literature, yet pharmacies and supermarkets sell these products without restriction. The practicum involves key informant interviews with business, public health, and community stakeholders and site visits to stores to survey shelf placement and relevant inventory. These students will be developing interview guides and an in-store observation survey instrument as well as conducting background research on possible harm posed by certain products sold for weight loss and muscle building and on strategies used by other similar public health initiatives addressing sale of harmful products.