Jennifer Lenardson, MHS

Maine Rural Health Research Center

Phone: 207.228.8399
Fax: 207.228.8138
Email: jennifer.lenardson@maine.edu

University of Southern Maine
PO Box 9300
34 Bedford Street
Portland, ME 04104-9300


Current Projects - (1)

  • Capacity of Rural Counties to Respond to an HIV or Hepatitis C Outbreak
    Rural counties may be potentially vulnerable to an HIV or Hepatitis C outbreak among persons who inject drugs. Using mixed methods, we will provide an understanding of the rural areas at risk of an outbreak based on their state and county characteristics and an assessment of their public health infrastructure.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Healthcare access, Public health, Substance use and treatment

Completed Projects - (4)

  • Access to Mental Health Services and Family Burden of Rural Children with Significant Mental Health Problems
    The needs of rural children with serious emotional disturbance and the burden these needs place on their families are intertwined and may place these rural children and their families at "double jeopardy" of having their mental health and other needs go unmet. Using the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs and information on community characteristics from the Area Resource File we will examine the factors associated with whether children and their families have their needs meet across the rural continuum.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Children and adolescents, Mental and behavioral health
  • Availability, Characteristics, and Role of Detoxification Services in Rural Areas
    This project will produce a comprehensive description of the distribution and characteristics of detoxification (detox) services across rural areas including a discussion of access issues, the role of detox services within local systems of care, barriers to the delivery of detox services by rural providers, and policy and regulatory incentives needed to encourage the development of rural detox services. Products will include a working paper and related journal articles addressing these topics.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topic: Substance use and treatment
  • Catastrophic Consequences: The Rise of Opioid Abuse in Rural Communities
    This project will analyze national data on the prevalence of opioids in rural and urban settings as well as describe state and local efforts to promote prevention and access to treatment.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topic: Substance use and treatment
  • Preventive Health Service Use Among Rural Residents
    Examining differences in rural-urban preventive health service use is critical to assessing the impact of health benefit design changes on access to preventive services and their use among rural and urban populations. We used National Health Institute Survey data to compare receipt of preventive health services among rural and urban adults.
    Research center: Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Topics: Health promotion and disease prevention, Health services, Women

Publications - (25)

2020

  • Rural-Urban Residence and Mortality Among Three Cohorts of U.S. Adults
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2020
    Rural residents have a shorter life expectancy than urban residents. We analyzed national linked survey and death certificate data and found risk of death was 10% higher for rural than urban residents and has increased over time. Findings suggest the overall mortality penalty in rural areas may be partly driven by social determinants of health.

2019

  • Preventive Health Service Use Among Rural Women
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 04/2019
    This study used the National Health Interview Survey to examine differences in receipt of preventive health services among rural and urban women. It found that rural women are less likely to receive HPV vaccines and mammograms, even controlling for rural-urban sociodemographic and resource differences.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in the Decline of Adolescent Cigarette Smoking
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 03/2019
    Comparing survey data from 2008-2010 with 2014-2016, we examined change over time in cigarette smoking among rural and urban adolescents. We found that both rural and urban rates declined, but the decrease was smaller in rural counties, which widened the rural-urban gap in adolescent smoking rates.

2018

  • Medicaid Income Eligibility Transitions Among Rural Adults
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 08/2018
    The Affordable Care Act allows Medicaid expansion to adults under 65 with income below 138% of poverty. Research suggests income shifts affecting Medicaid eligibility are common, but the rural impact is unclear. This national study examines rural and urban adults' annual income shifts above or below the Medicaid expansion eligibility threshold.

2017

2016

  • Rural Opioid Abuse: Prevalence and User Characteristics
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 02/2016
    Opioid abuse is the fastest growing substance abuse problem in the nation and the primary cause of unintentional drug overdose deaths. This study examined the rural-urban prevalence of non-medical use of pain relievers and heroin in the past year and the socioeconomic characteristics associated with their use and other risky behavior.

2014

  • High Deductible Health Insurance Plans in Rural Areas
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2014
    Using the 2007-2010 National Health Interview Survey, this study examines rural residents' enrollment in high deductible health plans and the implications for evolving Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplaces.
  • Implications of Rurality and Psychiatric Status for Diabetic Preventive Care Use Among Adults with Diabetes
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2014
    This brief examines patterns of diabetic preventive care use among adults with diabetes to determine whether these patterns vary according to respondents' rural/urban residence or the presence/absence of a mental health diagnosis.
  • Profile of Rural Residential Care Facilities: A Chartbook
    Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 05/2014
    This chartbook offers information on part of the rural long-term services and supports (LTSS) continuum—the residential care facility (RCF). Survey results identify national/regional differences between rural and urban RCFs, focusing on facilities, resident and service characteristics of RCFs, and the ability to meet the LTSS needs of residents.

2013

2012

2011

2010

  • Access to Mental Health Services and Family Impact of Rural Children with Mental Health Problems
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2010
    Rural children are more likely to have mental health problems, to have behavioral difficulties, and to be usually or always affected by their conditions than urban children. Rural children also are more likely to go without access to all parent-reported needed mental health services, and their families spend more time coordinating their care.
  • Mental Health Problems Have Considerable Impact on Rural Children and their Families
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 10/2010
    This policy brief provides information on the prevalence of children's mental health needs and associated access to care and family impact across rural and urban areas. Analyses are based on the 2005-06 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs.

2009

  • Availability, Characteristics, and Role of Detoxification Services in Rural Areas
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2009
    Few detox providers (n=235) serve rural America; 82% of rural residents live in a county without a detox provider. More than half of all rural detox providers serve patients across a 100-mile radius, making travel distances a barrier to outpatient care. Referral options to substance abuse treatment are limited, especially in isolated rural areas.
  • Few and Far Away: Detoxification Services in Rural Areas (Research & Policy Brief)
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 12/2009
    This policy brief finds that few rural detox providers exist; 82% of rural residents live in a county without a detox provider. More than half of all rural detox providers serve a 100-mile radius. Travel distances are a barrier to outpatient detox models. Referral options to substance abuse treatment are limited, especially in isolated rural areas.
  • Health Insurance Profile Indicates Need to Expand Coverage in Rural Areas (Policy Brief)
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 07/2009
    This brief provides information on the health insurance status of rural Americans, summarized from a more detailed chartbook. Analyses are based on the 2004-05 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
  • Profile of Rural Health Insurance Coverage: A Chartbook
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2009
    Analyses of persons under age 65 from the 2004-05 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey reveal a greater proportion of rural vs. urban residents who are uninsured or covered through public sources. Uninsured rates are highest among adults over age 50 in the most remote rural places.
  • Rural-Urban Differences in Health Care Access Vary Across Measures
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 06/2009
    Higher uninsured rates and workforce shortages in rural areas suggest that rural residents face greater barriers to accessing healthcare than their urban counterparts. Analysis of the 2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey found mixed results.
  • Rural Children Don't Receive the Mental Health Care They Need
    Policy Brief
    Maine Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 01/2009
    Controlling for other characteristics that affect access to care, rural children are 20% less likely to have a mental health visit than urban children. Having Medicaid or SCHIP increases the likelihood that a child will receive services, and this is pronounced in rural areas.

2008

2007