Jennifer Steffes

American Academy of Pediatrics, Елк Гроув Вилиџ, Illinois, United States

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Publications (9)34.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background and objective: Studies of the relationship of weight status with timing of puberty in boys have been mixed. This study examined whether overweight and obesity are associated with differences in the timing of puberty in US boys. Methods: We reanalyzed recent community-based pubertal data from the American Academy of Pediatrics' Pediatric Research in Office Settings study in which trained clinicians assessed boys 6 to 16 years for height, weight, Tanner stages, testicular volume (TV), and other pubertal variables. We classified children based on BMI as normal weight, overweight, or obese and compared median age at a given Tanner stage or greater by weight class using probit and ordinal probit models and a Bayesian approach. Results: Half of boys (49.9%, n = 1931) were white, 25.8% (n = 1000) were African American, and 24.3% (n = 941) were Hispanic. For genital development in white and African American boys across a variety of Tanner stages, we found earlier puberty in overweight compared with normal weight boys, and later puberty in obese compared with overweight, but no significant differences for Hispanics. For TV (≥3 mL or ≥4 mL), our findings support earlier puberty for overweight compared with normal weight white boys. Conclusions: In a large, racially diverse, community-based sample of US boys, we found evidence of earlier puberty for overweight compared with normal or obese, and later puberty for obese boys compared with normal and overweight boys. Additional studies are needed to understand the possible relationships among race/ethnicity, gender, BMI, and the timing of pubertal development.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · PEDIATRICS
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    ABSTRACT: The United States lacks a system to use routinely collected electronic health record (EHR) clinical data to conduct comparative effectiveness research (CER) on pediatric drug therapeutics and other child health topics. This Special Article describes the creation and details of a network of EHR networks devised to use clinical data in EHRs for conducting CER, led by the American Academy of Pediatrics Pediatric Research in Office Settings (PROS). To achieve this goal, PROS has linked data from its own EHR-based "ePROS" network with data from independent practices and health systems across the United States. Beginning with 4 of proof-of-concept retrospective CER studies on psychotropic and asthma medication use and side effects with a planned full-scale prospective CER study on treatment of pediatric hypertension, the Comparative Effectiveness Research Through Collaborative Electronic Reporting (CER(2)) collaborators are developing a platform to advance the methodology of pediatric pharmacoepidemiology. CER(2) will provide a resource for future CER studies in pediatric drug therapeutics and other child health topics. This article outlines the vision for and present composition of this network, governance, and challenges and opportunities for using the network to advance child health and health care. The goal of this network is to engage child health researchers from around the United States in participating in collaborative research using the CER(2) database. Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · PEDIATRICS
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to describe rates and patterns of long- and short-acting alpha agonist use for behavioral problems in a primary care population following Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the long-acting alpha agonists guanfacine and clonidine. Children and adolescents 4-18 years of age, who received an alpha agonist prescription between 2009 and 2011, were identified from a sample of 45 United States primary care practices in two electronic health record-based research networks. Alpha agonist receipt was identified using National Drug Codes and medication names. The proportion of subjects receiving long- and short-acting prescriptions in each year was calculated and examined with respect to reported mental health diagnoses, and whether indications for use were on-label, had evidence from clinical trials, or had no trial evidence. In a cohort of 282,875 subjects, 27,671 (10%) received any psychotropic medication and only 4,227 subjects (1.5%) received at least one prescription for an alpha agonist, most commonly a short-acting formulation (83%). Only 20% of alpha agonist use was on-label (use of long-acting formulations for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD]). Most subjects (68%) received alpha agonists for indications with evidence of efficacy from clinical trials but no FDA approval, primarily short-acting formulations for ADHD and autism; 12% received alpha agonists for diagnoses lacking randomized clinical trial evidence in children, including sleep disorders and anxiety, or for which there was no documented mental health diagnosis. Rates of long-acting alpha agonist use increased more than 20-fold from 0.2% to 4%, whereas rates of short-acting alpha agonist use grew only slightly between 2009 and 2011 from 10.6% to 11.3%. Alpha agonist use was uncommon in this population, and most subjects received short-acting forms for conditions that were off-label, but with clinical trial evidence. The safety and efficacy of use for conditions, including sleep disorders and anxiety, lacking evidence from randomized trials, warrant further investigation.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Data from racially and ethnically diverse US boys are needed to determine ages of onset of secondary sexual characteristics and examine secular trends. Current international studies suggest earlier puberty in boys than previous studies, following recent trend in girls. Methods: Two hundred and twelve practitioners collected Tanner stage and testicular volume data on 4131 boys seen for well-child care in 144 pediatric offices across the United States. Data were analyzed for prevalence and mean ages of onset of sexual maturity markers. Results: Mean ages for onset of Tanner 2 genital development for non-Hispanic white, African American, and Hispanic boys were 10.14, 9.14, and 10.04 years and for stage 2 pubic hair, 11.47, 10.25, and 11.43 years respectively. Mean years for achieving testicular volumes of ≥ 3 mL were 9.95 for white, 9.71 for African American, and 9.63 for Hispanic boys; and for ≥ 4 mL were 11.46, 11.75, and 11.29 respectively. African American boys showed earlier (P < .0001) mean ages for stage 2 to 4 genital development and stage 2 to 4 pubic hair than white and Hispanic boys. No statistical differences were observed between white and Hispanic boys. Conclusions: Observed mean ages of beginning genital and pubic hair growth and early testicular volumes were 6 months to 2 years earlier than in past studies, depending on the characteristic and race/ethnicity. The causes and public health implications of this apparent shift in US boys to a lower age of onset for the development of secondary sexual characteristics in US boys needs further exploration.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · PEDIATRICS

  • No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · The Journal of pediatrics

  • No preview · Article · Feb 2010 · Journal of Adolescent Health
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to determine whether patients' families' violence-prevention behaviors would be affected by their primary care practitioner's use of a violence-prevention clinical intervention during the routine well-child examination. In this cluster-randomized, controlled trial (2002-2006), 137 Pediatric Research in Office Settings practices were randomly assigned and initiated patient recruitment for either an office-based violence-prevention intervention or a control group (educational handout on literacy promotion provided). Primary caregivers of children who were aged 2 to 11 years and presented for a well-child visit were surveyed at baseline and 1 and 6 months. Practitioners were trained to (1) review a parent previsit summary regarding patient-family behavior and parental concern about media use, discipline strategies, and children's exposure to firearms, (2) counsel using brief principles of motivational interviewing, (3) identify and provide local agency resources for anger and behavior management when indicated, and (4) instruct patient-families on use of tangible tools (minute timers to monitor media time/timeouts and firearm cable locks to store firearms more safely where children live or play). Main outcomes were change over time in self-reported media use <120 minutes per day, use of timeouts, and use of firearm cable locks. Generalized estimating equation analysis revealed a significant effect at 6 months for decreased media use and safer firearm storage. The intervention group compared with the control group showed an increase in limiting media use to <120 minutes per day. There was no significant effect for timeout use. There was a substantial increase in storing firearms with cable locks for the intervention group versus a decrease for the control group. This randomized, controlled trial demonstrated decreased media exposure and increased safe firearm storage as a result of a brief office-based violence-prevention approach.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2008 · PEDIATRICS
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    ABSTRACT: The feasibility and effectiveness of a distance-based quality improvement model were examined in a cohort of Pediatric Research in Office Settings (PROS) practices, with the goal of improving immunization rates and practitioner behaviors and attitudes. Of an initially assessed 82 practices, 29 with baseline rates of < or =88% for children 8 to 15 months of age were randomized into year-long paper-based education or distance-based quality improvement intervention groups. Outcomes were utility/helpfulness of quality improvement modalities, immunization rate change, and behavior/attitude change. Quality improvement participants attended approximately 75% of monthly conference calls but used the quality improvement Listserv and Web site infrequently (mean 1.09 and 0.92 uses, respectively). Helpfulness ratings of quality improvement modalities mirrored usage. Analyses revealed a 4.9% increase in quality improvement group immunization rates (P = .061), a 0.8% education group increase (P = .752), and a 4.1% difference between groups (P = .261). More quality improvement practices adopted systems identifying children behind in immunizations. A distance-based quality improvement model is feasible and may improve immunization rates.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2008 · Clinical Pediatrics
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    ABSTRACT: Creating links to community resources for childhood aggression is one component of office-based violence prevention. Evidence is lacking regarding the effect of training clinicians to make these referrals and families' responses to them. Clinicians who received training (n=47) and parents (1093) were queried on the provision of referrals immediately after the visit. Fewer than half of clinicians (45%) reported making a community referral. A third of providers (37%) noted difficulty in identifying local resources. Training clinicians to utilize community resources for childhood aggression does not often result in creating community links for this purpose.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2006 · Clinical Pediatrics

Publication Stats

152 Citations
34.52 Total Impact Points


  • 2008-2015
    • American Academy of Pediatrics
      Елк Гроув Вилиџ, Illinois, United States
  • 2006
    • Wake Forest School of Medicine
      • Division of Public Health Sciences
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States