RTI's research and evaluation services are helping to address a wide range of influenza-related needs. Our approach to understanding the threat of an influenza pandemic is multidisciplinary, allowing us to offer a wide range of assistance to government and private sector clients. Our experts apply social, statistical, and epidemiologic skills to examine numerous issues that affect influenza preparedness, response, and recovery.
- Formative research and testing
- Process and outcome evaluation
- Data coordinating centers
- Survey research and innovation
- Statistical modeling
- Econometric analyses
- Return on investment studies
- Epidemiologic sampling
- Policy analysis and expert testimony
- Laboratory analysis
We offer a wide range of expertise to address pandemic research and public health planning needs, as well as a fulltime Institutional Review Board for human subjects research. We have conducted numerous influenza projects of national and international importance within various pandemic-related disciplines and focus areas.
Disease Surveillance and Epidemiology
We have collected biological specimens and examined surveillance systems used by the swine industry to evaluate the Collaboration on Animal Health and Food Safety Epidemiology program for the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. For the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are currently evaluating the usability of the BioSense influenza application and developing recommendations for improving government biosurveillance activities.
Community Resilience and Mitigation
We are helping communities in North Carolina?including schools, businesses, public health, and the public at large?plan and implement nonpharmaceutical interventions related to improved hygiene and social distancing. We will also assess the impact of those interventions for the CDC.
Health and Risk Communication
Our health and risk communication project activities include conducting town hall meetings and interviewing community organizations to develop recommendations for pandemic influenza communication, providing expert review of and pretesting CDC communication toolkits, testing an H1N1 brochure for target populations, conducting usability testing of the CDC flu Web site, and studying obstetric care providers and pregnant women to improve CDC's risk communication and pandemic planning efforts.
Modeling and Prediction
We are the informatics technology resource for the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS), sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. We provide a wide range of support, including disease modeling, software development, and data identification and development.
Evaluation of Preparedness and Response
In 2009, we created logic models and detailed evaluation plans for CDC preparedness-and-response pandemic influenza communication activities. We developed key baseline evaluation data and provided technical assistance for the use of nonpharmaceutical interventions as an influenza control measure.
For the Office of the Surgeon General and the Agency for Healthcare Research, we assessed the effectiveness and efficiency of the Medical Reserve Corps program's activities from 2003 to 2005, providing recommendations to strengthen and improve the administration and deployment of the Corps.
Eliciting Expert and Public Opinions
We have used panels of subject matter experts, key stakeholder workgroups, town hall meetings, and focus groups to elicit and provide information to key influenza stakeholders. We facilitated a congressional briefing on avian flu in 2007.
Vaccines and Immunization
We conduct programmatic and economic studies of immunization programs, vaccine safety concerns, and genetic influences on immune response. We created several issue briefs summarizing issues related to the influenza vaccine industry, vaccine supply and demand, manufacturing, and distribution.
With funding from the CDC, we are conducting a study in multiple hospitals in North Carolina and Georgia to examine the effectiveness of neuraminidase inhibitors, such as Tamiflu®, in minimizing the severity of illness and death among adults who are hospitalized with documented influenza. This project also provides the CDC with timely information on the emergence of resistance to antiviral medications.
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Homeland Security
- National Institutes of Health
- U.S. Department of Agriculture
- State government agencies