Student Research

2021 Student Undergraduate Research Festival

Posters and presentations were prepared by Health Sciences and Public Health students for Carroll's 2021 virtual Student Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF) based on research projects they did under the supervision of Health Sciences faculty or as part of an internship.

Gwyneth Lyman (Major: Anthrozoology)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences, Anthrozoology

The Mental Health Considerations of Having an Animal Companion for Impoverished Populations

Objective: To review literature on the impact of companion animals on mental health in low-income populations.

Methods: PubMed and CINAHL were used to identify literature on the relationships between mental health and the presence of a companion animal in low-income populations.

Results: Certain factors, like the cost of animal care and the destruction of property by an animal, were shown to be stressors, but overall, animal companions were found to have a strong, positive associations with owners’ improved mental state. This may be due to increased social interaction and routine formation.

Conclusions: The benefit of pet ownership is suggested by research to have an overall positive impact on the mental state of low-income owners. Support structures providing greater access to food, toys, and veterinary care for impoverished pet owners would provide many with the resources needed to support their animal and in turn, their own mental health.

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Kendyl Pierson (Majors: Health Sciences, Public Health)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Finding the Most Effective Treatment Method for Myofascial Trigger Points: A Systematic Review

Myofascial Trigger Points (MTrP’s) are muscular nodules found in soft tissue often surrounding an injury and are commonly found in major muscles used in strenuous activity. Although the exact number of those with symptoms of MTrPs is unknown, it is estimated that this illness affects as many as 9 million people in the United States. MTrP’s can affect any population but especially those who participate in sports. MTrP’s reduce muscle elasticity, cause weakness, and produce pain in response to direct pressure. By looking at studies that compare different treatment plans, this research will identify the most effective approach to address MTrP’s. Research will provide information to both clinical treatment outlets and to the general public in order to help individuals make more informed decisions on the most economical treatment option for their specific case.

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Serena Nelson (Majors: Health Sciences, Psychology)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Neurofeedback Training as an Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum

Objective: To review relevant literature analyzing the effectiveness of neurofeedback training (NFT) as an intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Methods: Studies were gathered through PubMed and CINAHL to evaluate the change in cognitive, behavioral, and social difficulties associated with ASD.

Results: The six studies included in this review reported cognitive, behavioral, and social improvements for children with ASD that received NFT. Studies showed that brain activity (as measured by EEG) normalized in comparison to typically developing (TD) participants. Parents reported that participants' behavioral and social symptoms reduced in severity.

Conclusion: The use of NFT as an intervention for children with ASD is associated with an overall improvement in functioning and a decrease in symptoms

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Broder Thurston (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Relationship Between Vitamin D3 and Breast Cancer Apoptosis

Objective: To review published literature regarding the effect of vitamin D3 treatment on the rates of cell death and growth inhibition in cultured human breast cancer cells.

Methods: Literature identified using PubMed and CINAHL was evaluated for the impacts of treating human breast cancer cells with vitamin D3 analogs. The interventions included calcitriol, EB 1089, calcipotriene and CB 1093.

Results: The majority of the literature supported vitamin D3 as a viable treatment option for breast cancer cells, especially the MCF7 cell line. Lab studies have shown promising anti-proliferative and apoptotic results in these cells, as well as other cell lines. Vitamin D3 treatment is most effective when used in conjunction with other treatment options, including celecoxib and chemotherapy.

Conclusions: In lab settings, vitamin D3 analogs have shown promising effects on human breast cancer cells in terms of limiting growth and replication and inducing apoptosis. This systematic review concludes that vitamin D3 treatment has the potential to be effective in humans and should be considered a promising treatment option. Future research should be conducted to determine the efficacy of D3 in treating breast cancer in human subjects.

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Rachel Vance (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Music Therapy Effects on Alzheimer’s Related Anxiety and Depression

Objective: To review current literature regarding the effects of music therapy on Alzheimer’s-related anxiety and depression.

Methods: Literature was gathered through PubMed and CINAHL for review of the effects of music therapy on anxiety and depression in individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease

Results: This literature review found favorable results for music therapy as an alternative to pharmacological interventions for Alzheimer’s-related anxiety and depression. The most effective intervention combined music therapy and medication that was already prescribed to the patients.

Conclusion: Music therapy can help decrease anxiety and depression in Alzheimer’s patients, with the best results coming from long term music therapy. Music therapy should be further researched as an additional treatment option for those with Alzheimer’s related anxiety and depression.

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Kamden Hilborn (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Long Term Effect of Caffeine Therapy on Development

Objective: To analyze relevant literature regarding long-term developmental impacts of caffeine therapy on infants with apnea of prematurity.

Methods: Literature was gathered through PubMed and CINAHL and assessed for any long-term developmental effects; positive or negative, that came from caffeine citrate treatment. Interventions included caffeine citrate administered at the recommended clinical dosage, early vs. late caffeine therapy and higher doses of caffeine.

Results: The reviewed literature supported the idea that caffeine citrate is beneficial to premature infants experiencing apnea. There was no common linkage of caffeine therapy and negative long-term developmental impacts. Caffeine therapy proved beneficial in major outcomes such as neurobehavioral development and motor development. Caffeine also showed a decreased rate in health risks such as death and disability.

Conclusions: The use of caffeine citrate as treatment for apnea of prematurity has shown positive long-term developmental impacts in neurobehavior and motor development. Alternative outcomes regarding possible negative effects of such treatments should be studied further.

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Anna Romero (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Review of Oxytocin and Bicarbonate Treatment for Dystocic Labor and Comparative Maternal and Fetal Outcomes

Dystocia is a condition that affects pregnant women and is characterized by a difficult, prolonged labor. Typical aspects of Dystocia include slow progression of cervical dilation, inadequate contractions and pushing, and generally poor uterine action. This strenuous process can negatively affect both the mother and infant, often leading to adverse outcomes. Three treatment options are commonly conducted when addressing this problem: labor augmentation through the use of drugs, instrumental assistance, and cesarean delivery; this study focused specifically on drug interventions. Currently, oxytocin treatments are most commonly used to treat labor dystocia. However, a relatively new treatment, sodium bicarbonate, has been tested on pregnant, dystocic women. The purpose of this study was to determine if a new bicarbonate treatment could be a beneficial addition to the labor process, resulting in better maternal and fetal outcomes, compared to the exclusive use of oxytocin. The goal was to provide insight into other effective treatments for Dystocia and give laboring mothers another non-invasive option for delivery. This information can be beneficial for healthcare providers as they are deciding how best to care for their patients and potentially decrease the incidence of adverse maternal and fetal outcomes. Furthermore, this study is meant to provide direction in the research aspect of labor and delivery, leading to a favorable advancement in this healthcare field.

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Anna Noteboom (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

How Gut Microbiome Interventions Affect Alzheimer’s Symptoms: A Systematic Review

Objective: To review current literature concerning the effectiveness of gut microbiome interventions on Alzheimer’s symptoms and biomarkers.

Methods: Literature was gathered through PubMed and CINAHL and assessed for the effectiveness of gut microbiome interventions on Alzheimer’s symptoms and biomarkers. The interventions included were antibiotics, fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), nutritional shifts, and probiotics.

Results: The majority of literature supported the stance that interventions to alter the gut microbiome have a favorable effect for Alzheimer’s patients. Antibiotics was the one intervention without full support from the literature. However, FMT, probiotics, and nutritional shifts had favorable results in both human and mice.

Conclusions: Gut microbiome interventions have shown promising results for Alzheimer’s patients in terms of symptoms and biomarkers. The interventions mentioned in this review should be researched further in order to provide additional treatment options.

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Brittany Cory (Majors: Health Sciences, Public Health)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

Systematic Review of Deep Brain Stimulation as a Possible Treatment for Alzheimer’s

The goal of this systematic review was to assess current articles and their conclusions regarding the cognitive effects of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) on patients with Alzheimer’s Disease. Four of the seven reviewed studies found a strong correlation between increased cerebral metabolism and electrical stimulation as opposed to the typical decline in metabolism seen in AD. In addition to this correlation, DBS was also found to have a significant effect on slowing the degradation of brain cells. Although DBS was found to be correlated with increased cerebral metabolism, this did not result in an improvement of cognition. Sources used in this review were gathered from PubMed and CINAHL databases. These sources were screened for associations between DBS and cognition in Alzheimer’s patients. Further research on the connection between cerebral metabolism and cognitive function is still required to allow for use of DBS as a treatment for Alzheimer’s.

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Emily Steffan (Major: Health Sciences)

Research Mentor: Gerald Schafer; Field of Study: Health Sciences

The Effectiveness of D-Dimer and Ultrasonography in Ruling Out DVT

Objective. To review current literature on the effectiveness of ultrasonography and D-dimer assays in ruling out and diagnosing Deep Venous Thromboses (DVT).

Methods. Literature identified through PubMed and Google Scholar searches was reviewed regarding the effectiveness of D-dimer or ultrasonography in identifying DVT.

Results. D-dimer assays should be the initial diagnostic test used after determining a patient’s clinical risk for DVT. If the D-dimer is negative, ultrasonography need not be used. If D-dimer is positive, ultrasonography must be performed to confirm a DVT diagnosis.

Conclusion. A positive D-dimer cannot be used to diagnose a DVT, so in patients with a high clinical risk, ultrasonography should be used. In patients with low or moderate clinical risk, a negative D-dimer can rule out a DVT.

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Kayla Morris, Health Sciences and Public Health Majors; Brayton Holmes, Public Health Major; Dana Beaty, Health Sciences Major; Kaitlynn Anderson, Health Sciences and Public Health Majors; Sarah Graham, Public Health Major; Keri Peterson, Health Sciences and Public Health Majors; Whitney Weeden, Health Sciences Major

Research Mentor: Kelly Parsley; Field of Study: Public Health

Lets Talk About Sex….ual Assault: Community Assessment of Carroll College Student Awareness of Sexual Assault on Campus

Sexual assault continuously impacts college campuses and students nationwide. A cumulative risk assessment encompassing four years of college suggests over one in three women will experience sexual assault by senior year (1). In addition, up to 7% of men on college campuses experience sexual assault (1). College students face multiple barriers to reporting, suggesting that one of the hardest parts about coming forward and seeking help is the shame that could come with it. Ten of the fourteen participants in one study were worried about the shame that would result from reporting. They also feared what people would think of them (2). Carroll College was recently awarded a grant to improve sexual assault prevention and response on campus. The students in Public Health Practice and Theories (PH 333) completed a literature review encompassing a total of 28 academic articles to gain better insights into sexual assault on college campuses. Additionally, students completed 14 interviews, two focus groups, environmental scans, and an outlet density scan of area resources that provide victim services in Helena, Montana. After learning the Carroll College campus was in need of more education regarding sexual assault prevention and victim services, students in PH 333 created educational materials, programing, and social media campaigns to implement a new culture of sexual assault awareness on campus.

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Madysen Hachler, Public Health and Anthrozoology Majors; Amelia Konen, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Major; Emma Rausch, Public Health Major; Jennifer Wagner, Public Health Major; Shannon Dinsdale, Public Health Major

Research Mentor: Kelly Parsley; Field of Study: Public Health

Take PRIDE in Your Mental Health Research Mentor

LGBTQ+ college students are more susceptible to mental health issues such as depression and thoughts of suicide (Effrig, 2011). Unfortunately, Carroll College students are not immune to this. Currently, Carroll has resources in place to help students with mental health issues, but they do not have resources that are specific to students in the LGBTQ+ community. While Carroll does offer counseling support, they could expand and update those resources to better meet the needs of LGBTQ+ students. A group of students in PH 333 Public Health Theories and Practice completed an assessment of resources specifically focused on ways to improve the resources available to LGBTQ+ students on Carroll’s campus. Students also created fliers for the community to share the current resources that Carroll and the City of Helena has to offer LGBTQ+ students.

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Eliza Shepherd, Public Health Major; Anthony Jones, Health Sciences Major; Emma Perry, Public Health Major; Nainoa Soto, Public Health Major; Elizabeth Gleasman, Public Health Major; Josephine Barker, Health Sciences Major; Madeline Arnold, Health Sciences Major

Research Mentor: Kelly Parsley; Field of Study: Public Health

COVID-19 and Isolation: The Effects of a Global Pandemic on the Carroll Community

A study performed on graduate and undergraduate students in September of 2020 discovered that 71.26% suffered from increased stress and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic (Wang et al.). They also found that less than half of the participants in the study felt able to cope effectively with chronic or newfound stress. Wanting to see how Carroll compared to this percentage, student researchers conducted interviews, focus groups, environmental scans, and outlet density scans in order to gather results. Student researchers found that Carroll students face similar levels of increased stress due to COVID-19 and isolation conditions. Carroll students reported worsening mental health conditions, particularly when in isolation. Interview and focus group participants described being isolated in empty apartments that didn’t include basic necessities needed for student life. There were reports of failed meal delivery, as well as students being forgotten and left in hotels. The information gathered from this project will be used to educate students on mental health services to help them address COVID-related stressors. This information will also be used to inform Carroll on the needs of their students to ensure these needs are met while they are in isolation.

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2020 Student Undergraduate Research Festival

Seven students prepared Health Sciences and Public Health posters and presentations for Carroll's 2020 virtual Student Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF), based on research projects they did under the supervision of Health Sciences faculty or as part of an internship.

Alexandra Dickey (Major: Health Sciences Major)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

Effect of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on Muscle Strength in Adults who Have Received Total
Knee Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review

Objective: This systematic review was conducted to find out if there is a correlation between neuromuscular electrical stimulation and muscle strength after a total knee arthroplasty in adults.
Methods: Articles were screened on PubMed and CINAHL databases for a relationship between neuromuscular electrical stimulation and muscle strength in total knee arthroplasty.
Results: Eight articles were reviewed. All eight articles showed a positive correlation between neuromuscular electrical stimulation and muscle strength after a total knee arthroplasty. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation helped more than physiotherapy alone after a total knee arthroplasty.
Conclusion: Neuromuscular electrical stimulation is correlated with gaining muscle strength back after a total knee arthroplasty. Physical therapists should use neuromuscular electrical stimulation if they have a patient who has had a total knee arthroplasty.

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Thomas Robitaille (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

A Review of the Use of Computerized Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy Among African Children with Cognitive Impairment Secondary to Infectious Disease

Objective: To conduct a review of relevant literature in order to determine whether Computerized Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy techniques are more effective than common cognitive rehabilitation techniques at improving cognition in African children suffering from cognitive deficits secondary to infectious disease.
Methods: Pertinent literature was retrieved through searches of PubMed and CINAHL databases.
Results: The majority of studies (7 out of 8) established positive outcomes from CCRT intervention when compared to baseline, while only one obtained diminished results from CCRT intervention. CCRT can be an effective method of cognitive rehabilitation in African children suffering from cognitive impairment secondary to infectious diseases and African health professionals are hopeful for the future of CCRT implementation replacing common cognitive rehabilitation techniques.
Conclusions: There is evidence to suggest that CCRT can be used reliably in medical practice; however, more research is necessary in order to fully determine that CCRT should be prioritized above common rehabilitation techniques in medical practice.

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Carly Trogstad (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

A Systematic Review of Arthroscopic Drilling in Adults with Knee Osteochondritis Dissecans

This systematic review was conducted to determine if arthroscopic drilling is an effective treatment option for adults with osteochondritis dissecans of the knee. Articles were screened on the PubMed database for relationship between arthroscopic drilling and change in symptoms of knee osteochondritis dissecans in adults. The main result found was that arthroscopic drilling commonly results in a decrease in symptoms for knee osteochondritis dissecans in adults. Five of eight articles found a relationship between drilling and a decrease in lesion size, along with improved post-operative evaluation scores. One other article found that drilling is not the best option for adults. The last two articles were inconclusive. More research needs to be done for physicians to make the proper treatment plan for adults with osteochondritis dissecans. Keywords used for the search were: adults, knee, Osteochondritis Dissecans, and arthroscopic drilling.

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Josie Anhorn (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

Effects of Sensory Integration Therapy on Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Systematic Review

Objectives: This systematic review was conducted to determine the effects of sensory integration therapy on children with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder.
Methods: Articles on PubMed were screened for relationship between sensory integration therapy and children with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder.
Results: After participating in sensory integration therapy, children with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder showed behavioral improvements. Certain behaviors of these children were tested pre and post treatment. Six out of the eight articles selected found a statistically significant improvement in the behavior of these children.
Conclusion: Sensory integration therapy leads to an improvement in the behaviors of children with Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder.
Keywords: Sensory integration therapy; children; ADHD; occupational therapy; social skills; socialization

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Kayla Morris (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

Objective: To review current studies to determine if there is a difference of pain reduction following laparoscopic excision compared to ablation of endometriosis.
Methods: Studies gathered from PubMed, CINAHL databases, and JMIG were reviewed for comparisons and outcomes of surgical excision and ablation of endometriosis
Results: A large reduction of pain with surgical excision was found, especially when related to deep infiltrating endometriosis. With the exception of one study, seven of eight sources conclude excision held superior outcomes to ablation.
Conclusion: Surgical Excision was shown to be the most effective treatment option for reduction of pain associated with endometriosis. Excision of endometriosis should thus be the primary treatment of endometriosis.

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Kayla Morris (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

Medical care in developing countries is challenging. The providers have the knowledge of best practices, but these often can not be used due to a lack of funding and resources. This leaves healthcare less than subpar and full of innovations to make it work. This presentation is an overview of our experiences observing healthcare in Uganda. Topics include, in field operations, maternal fetal medicine, traditional healers, dentistry, lack of healthcare in rural villages, and the lack of medical tools and resources. Healthcare work was observed at the Kigezi Healthcare Foundation in Kabale, Uganda. KIHEFO is a non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) that provides care to many people throughout the Kabale area This organization is founded and operated by Dr. Geoffery Anguyo, an expert in HIV and public health. A main issue in Uganda was funding, KIHEFO didn’t have enough money. The Public Health Department would like to help this situation by hosting a coin drive and doing a toothbrush collection drive before our next trip. These two fundraisers should help improve medical situations at KIHEFO, providing medical supplies for those in need. During Christmas break, a group of 11 students and 2 Faculty members traveled to Kabale, Uganda to learn about global health. The best way to understand global health is to immerse yourself and experience global health.

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2019 Student Undergraduate Research Festival

Fifteen students presented Health Sciences posters at Carroll's 2019 Student Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF), based on research projects they did under the supervision of Health Sciences faculty or as part of an internship.

SURF 2019 PhotoBrittany Cory (Major: Health Sciences and Public Health)

Health Sciences

Prevention and Management of Sarcopenia Through Nutrition and Exercise: Latest Research Evidence

Sarcopenia is a condition defined as the loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength, and function as a result of aging. Sarcopenia is most prevalent among geriatric communities and can lead to increases in frailty and falls which can cause further health issues and decrease quality of life. In aims of combating such risks for injury in the elderly, researchers have investigated the positive effects of nutrition and exercise on reducing the progress and impact of sarcopenia. This review addresses the latest research regarding nutritional interventions such as protein and hormone supplements as well as physical interventions such as resistance and aerobic exercise.

SURF 2019 PhotoMackenzie Hansen (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Health Sciences and Anthrozoology

Effect of Canine Assisted Therapy on Emotionally Stressed Undergraduate College Students: A Systematic Review

Objective: This systematic review was conducted to review how canine assisted therapy affects emotional stress in undergraduate college students. 
Methods: Articles were screened on CINAHL and PubMed databases for relationship between canine assisted therapy intervention and emotional stress outcomes. 
Results: Using canine assisted therapy, undergraduate college students showed a reduction in emotional stress. This evidence was statistically significant. These articles compared data before and after canine assisted therapy and found a significant decrease in psychological and physiological factors.    
Conclusions: Canine assisted therapy reduces the amount of emotional stress in undergraduate college students.
Keywords: canine therapy; emotional stress; college students; undergraduate students; university students; animal therapy.

SURF 2019 PhotoHeidi Hohmann (Major: Health Sciences and Public Health)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

The Effect of the Human Papillomavirus Vaccine on Fertility Rates in Adolescent and Young Adult Aged Men and Women: A Systematic Review

Objective: This systematic review was conducted to examine if the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination affects fertility rates among men and women.
Methods: Articles were screened on the PubMed database for relationship between the human papillomavirus and fertility rates.
Results: The human papillomavirus vaccination has no negative effects on fertility rates of men and women. This claim is supported by six out of the eight articles.
Conclusion: This study has shown that the HPV vaccination can provide a protective barrier for reproductive organs against the effects of HPV. Further research should examine the effects of the HPV vaccination on fertility in women or men with previous sexually transmitted infections.  
Keywords: adolescents; young adults; HPV vaccine; human papillomavirus vaccine; cervical cancer vaccine; fecundity; fertility.

SURF 2019 PhotoKeven Kailey (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

Physical Effects in Female College Athletes with Eating Disorders

This systematic review was conducted to review the physical health risks of eating disorders in female collegiate athletes. Articles were screened on PubMed and EBSCOhost databases, as well as various articles from NCAA.org, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Mirasol Recovery Centers, for relationships between eating disorders and female college athlete’s physical health. It was found that female college athletes with disordered eating habits have an increased risk three main damages to their body. These are decreased bone density, negative energy balance, and menstrual irregularities. These menstrual irregularities can lead to irreversible damages in bone, muscle and fertility development. Along with the three main damages to the female’s body, the female athletes experienced various other side effects. The articles reviewed indicated multiple other damages to the
female’s body. Negative physical health outcomes affect female college athletes who are victims of eating disorders.

SURF 2019 PhotoMegan Ryan (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

The Effects of High Maternal BMI on the Risk of Childhood ADHD

Objective: The purpose of this systematic review was to examine the relationship between high maternal body mass index (BMI) and the risk of childhood Attention Deficit Hypersensitivity Disorder (ADHD) in the offspring.
Methods:  A total of nine research articles were acquired from PubMed, CINAHL, and Google Scholar regarding the relationship between high maternal BMI and the risk of childhood ADHD.
Results: There appears to be an association between high maternal BMI and an increased risk of childhood ADHD in the offspring. Seven articles showed statistically significant results, showing an association.
Conclusions: While not all articles showed statistical significance, all showed clinical significance. There is an association between high maternal BMI and an increased risk of childhood ADHD; however, why this association occurs is unknown, so further research is needed to understand the etiology of the association.  
Keywords: Maternal BMI; obesity; overweight; childhood; offspring; Attention Deficit Hyperactivity
Disorder (ADHD).

Roma Seal (Major: Health Sciences and Public Health), Kendel Compton (Major: Nursing and Public Health), Colleen Culbertson (Major: Health Sciences and Public Health), Brian FauntLeRoy (Major: Health Sciences and Public Health), Oona Harrington (Major: Public Health), Rose Ramos (Major: Public Health), Jamie Severson (Major: Public Health)

Field of Study: Public Health

Using Public Health Theories and Practice to Educate Carroll College Students About Health Risks of Vaping

Within the last five years, there has been an increase in the number of people using E-Cigarettes (an activity otherwise known as “vaping”). Perhaps this is because young adults do not believe there are health risks involved in the recreational use of E-Cigarettes (Katz et al., 2019). To better understand this problem, students in the Public Health Theories and Practice course at Carroll College conducted research to survey how this trend has impacted students on campus. Researchers first completed a review of the academic literature to gain a better awareness of the risks of vaping and how to implement possible solutions. Students then completed fourteen environmental scans and an outlet density scan to determine vaping resources in Helena. To best understand the perception of vaping on-campus, researchers also conducted a focus group of eight Carroll College students in addition to twelve individual interviews. After compiling this data, students aimed to educate the community about this significant public health concern by creating educational flyers and by delivering public health presentations for community members both on and off campus.

SURF 2019 PhotoAmanda Skaflestad (Major: Health Sciences and Public Health)

Field of Study: Public Health

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Alcohol Use in Native American Young Adults: A Systematic Review

Objective: This systematic review was conducted to explore the relationship between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and resulting alcohol use in Native American youth and young adults.
Methods: Articles were selected through the PubMed database based on their relationship
between ACEs and alcohol use within Native American tribes and communities.
Results: Exposure to ACEs as a Native American child was associated with an increased risk of alcohol use. Majority of the articles reviewed had significant evidence to support this claim. Therefore, there is a compelling need for the development of programs to address ACEs and their causes in a culturally appropriate and trauma informed manner.
Conclusions: This study indicates that ACEs increase the risk for negative alcohol related
behaviors in Native American tribes and communities. Further research should be done to
explore the impact of programs on alcohol use in Native American youth and young adults.
Keywords: Native American, American Indian, alcoholism, alcohol dependency, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, Adverse Childhood Experiences, childhood experiences, sexual violence, and childhood abuse.

SURF 2019 PhotoHannah Sylvester (Major: Biology and Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

The Protective Role of Religiosity Against Suicidal Ideation in African- Americans: A Systematic Review

This systematic review was conducted to examine if religiosity has a protective role against suicidal ideation (SI) in African-Americans. Articles from PUBMED involving religiosity, SI, and African-Americans were sorted and analyzed. These articles were screened on exclusion and inclusion criteria, yielding 11 articles. Higher religiosity was strongly correlated with lower instances of SI in the African-American population. In 10 of the 11 analyzed articles, religiosity was protective against SI. In seven of these, the effect was statistically significant. Intrinsic religiosity was shown to be more protective than extrinsic. In African-Americans, religiosity was strongly correlated with lower SI. The strength of this effect varied with intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity, as well as with women and men, and with differing ages. Therefore, more studies should be done on each population group specifically. This would reveal more of the intricacies of the protective effects religiosity has shown on SI.

SURF 2019 PhotoCarleigh Thurman (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Health Sciences and Anthrozoology

The Effect of Equine Assisted Therapy on Social Function in Children with Autism

Objective: This systematic review was conducted to examine the effectiveness of equine assisted therapy on social function in children with autism.
Methods: Articles related to this topic were screened on the database PubMed for relationship between equine assisted therapy and social function in children with autism.
Results: When participating in equine assisted therapy, there appears to be an increase in social function. Seven of the Ten articles concluded that equine assisted therapy increased social function. One concluded that removing the intervention reverted patients back to pre-study baselines and the last two were inconclusive.  
Conclusion: Parents of children with autism who struggle with social function should enroll their child in equine assisted therapy.
Keywords: Keywords include: Child, Minors, Adolescent, Autistic Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Animal Assisted Therapy.

2018 Student Undergraduate Research Festival

Twenty-two students presented Health Sciences posters at Carroll's 2018 Student Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF), based on research projects they did under the supervision of Health Sciences faculty or as part of an internship.

Health Sciences Poster PhotoRoma Seal (Major: Biology) Gretchen Farkas (Major: Health Sciences) Abigail Frederickson (Major: Health Sciences) Brittney Johnson (Major: Health Sciences) Mikaela Robinson (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Public Health

Using Public Health Coursework to Encourage Teenagers to Avoid Tobacco in Helena, Montana

The CDC reports that tobacco addiction starts early with first use of a tobacco product occurring during a child’s teen years. This addiction leads to increased risk of lung cancer, stroke, COPD, and cardiovascular diseases. Students in Carroll's Public Health Theories and Practice course (PH333) chose to partner with the Lewis and Clark County Health Department's Tobacco Prevention Program to address this problem. Carroll students completed a literature review to gain knowledge to the problem and possible solutions. They then completed twenty interviews, a focus group of area teenagers, and twenty environmental scans of possible locations where teenagers might purchase tobacco products. With this information, students developed marketing campaigns and community events (meetings, presentations, awareness activities) to help educate area residents of this significant problem.

Health Sciences Poster PhotoMikaela Robinson (Major: Health Sciences and Public Health)

Field of Study: Pre-Participation Health Screenings

Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention with Pre-Participation Heart Health Screenings

The NCAA is known for their young student athletes that push themselves physically to try and be the best at their sport. They spend countless hours in the gym, competing and pushing their bodies to be in the best shape possible for their sport. Furthermore, the NCAA cares for the health of their student athletes. Prior to being able to compete in practice or competition, the athletes are required to have a pre-participation physical, by a medical doctor, to make sure their body is healthy enough to compete at such a high level. The physician looks for any abnormalities that may be present in the athlete’s health during the physical and either clears them for competition or requests further medical testing. The physical consists of checking the athlete’s height, weight, blood pressure, iron levels, medical history, heart rhythm and rate, vision, and evaluate the athlete’s posture, flexibility, joint health, and strength. Even with the physician looking at the athlete’s heart rhythm and rate, it still leaves a gap in the heart health of the athlete. The physician’s examination of the athlete’s heart is not sufficient in identifying abnormalities in the athlete’s heart and keeping them protected from sudden cardiac death. But, with the implementation of a 12-Lead ECG in the athlete’s physical, the gap of the athlete’s heart health will be closed, giving the athlete knowledge of their heart health and the opportunity to seek further medical attention if needed.

Health Sciences Poster PhotoChristopher Brayton (Major: Health Sciences) Bernardt Di Cino (Major: Health Sciences) Marshall Dumas (Major: Health Sciences) Meghan Durant (Major: Health Sciences) Amanda Harrod (Major: Health Sciences) Isazah King (Major: Health Sciences) Madeline Klepps (Major: Health Sciences) Rachel Miles (Major: Health Sciences) Kaitlin Stromberg (Major: Health Sciences) Hannah Sylvester (Major: Health Sciences) Cassidy Walter (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Public Health

Drugged Driving: An Examination of the Prescription Drug Crisis and Possible Interventions

Prescription drug misuse is becoming one of the fastest growing problems the U.S. faces. “Researchers estimate that in 2007, approximately 27,000 unintentional drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States, one death every 19 minutes”[i]. Many of these drugs are obtained because they were neither stored nor disposed of properly. In January 2018, Youth Connections and Helena’s Drugged Driving Prevention Task Force asked Carroll’s Public Health Theories and Practice course (PH333) to assess the problem of prescription drug abuse in our area and then to create, implement, and evaluate a program for area residents. Through the course, students completed a literature review, ten interviews, twelve environmental scans, and one focus group of parents to determine the extent of the problem. The students then created programs that included posters and community meetings to help educate area residents of this significant problem.

Health Sciences Poster PhotoJenna Starke (Major: Health Sciences and Anthrozoology)

Field of Study: Health Sciences and Anthrozoology

The Effects of Equine-Assisted Interventions on Children with Autism: A Systematic Review

The sport of volleyball is becoming increasingly popular, with over 46 million American’s participating each year. At the competitive level, injuries are likely to occur and most commonly these are of the ankle and knee. There are many factors that may contribute to an athlete’s risk for joint injury such as gender, training load and previous trauma. However, this research examines whether playing surface, in this case sand or hardwood, has any effect on a player’s likelihood of injury due to the increased impact on their joints. Contributing factors and possible prevention techniques will also be discussed, in hopes to help coaches and players alike prevent and properly rehabilitate joint damage sustained while playing volleyball.

Health Sciences Poster PhotoNichole Thornton (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Nursing

High Maternal Dietary Glycemic Index and Sugar Consumption and Their Association with Birth Defects and Pregnancy Complications.

The purpose of this systematic review was to look at existing peer reviewed articles regarding high maternal dietary glycemic index (DGI) and/or sugar consumption (including glucose, fructose, and sucrose) and the risk for birth defects or pregnancy complications. Methods: PubMed was the primary database used to search for relevant articles. Other related articles were found in the reference sections of the articles screened in the original search. Results: Nine case-control and cohort studies were used in this review. Five of the six case-control studies found a significant risk between high maternal DGI and/or sugar intake and birth defects, mainly neural tube defects. The three cohort studies found a link between high sugar intake and pregnancy complications, including preeclampsia (2) and pre-term delivery (1). Conclusion: Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant are encouraged to limit their sugar intake to reduce the risk for birth defects and pregnancy complications.

Health Sciences Poster PhotoSydney Beach (Major: Public Health)

Field of Study: Student Drinking Research

Using Public Health Coursework to Reduce Harms Related to College Student Drinking

Harm related to alcohol consumption is widespread on college campuses. It can lead to increased sexual violence, dropout rates, car accidents, and many other issues. Drunk driving is a prevalent issue to millions of college students. Countless efforts have been made to reduce drunk driving in this population, with limited success. Through the Public Health Theories and Practice class at Carroll College (PH333), research was conducted to reduce drinking and driving. Students also completed a readiness assessment, 20 interviews, focus groups, 20 environmental scans, and an outlet density scan. With this input, they then created marketing campaigns and community educational events. Not only are the students in the course more knowledgeable of the harms related to alcohol abuse, but because of their hard work, their peers also show increased harm reduction behaviors.

Health Sciences Poster PhotoCassidy Walter (Major: Health Science/Public Health) Courtney Sherick (Major: Health Science)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

Secondary Analysis of Maternal Education and Decision of Medical Birth Attendant

OB-GYN doctors are more medically trained and capable in high risk or emergency births than most certified midwives, but they do not offer personalized care like midwives. Multiple previous studies have shown that midwives are equally qualified in most situations. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Nevertheless, it is up to each individual family to choose what kind of care they would like to receive during the pregnancy and labor. The purpose of this study was to find any correlations between maternal education and what medical professional (OBGYN doctor or certified midwife) mothers choose to deliver their baby, and make inferences as to what accounts for any correlations. Specifically, it is hypothesized that people with a higher education will be more likely to use a midwife because of easier access to educational materials, and because they typically have children later in life and have therefore gathered more information. The results of this study could reveal a need for further research about access to medical care and whether or not people are correctly informed about their choice of medical birth attendant.

Health Sciences Poster PhotoMaria Carparelli (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Mental Illness

Depression and Eating Disorders in Adolescent Females

This systematic review collected peer reviewed articles examining the relationship between depression and eating disorders, to determine if females aged 10-25 who have depressive disorder or depression are at risk for also having an eating disorder(s). Articles were screened on PubMed and CINAHL, and other articles were added from the related articles panel or bibliographies of studies included. Nine articles were reviewed. All found a significant relationship between depression and eating disorders. About half of the studies examined sequence of the disorders and found a reciprocal chronological relationship. Because of the significant relationship, clinicians should screen for both disorders simultaneously to prevent the onset of either disease in young females. If either disorder is present, it should be treated with the assumption that the other will develop. More research is needed on this topic to determine chronology and underlying causes.

Health Sciences Poster PhotoTaylor Smith (Major: Health Sciences)

Field of Study: Health Sciences

Effects of Psychiatric Comorbidities on the Perioperative Outcomes Following a Primary Total Arthroplasty

This review was conducted to compare the perioperative outcomes following a total primary arthroplasty among patients with a psychiatric comorbidity versus those without a psychiatric comorbidity. Literature was reviewed from the database Pubmed. Seven cohort and casecontrol studies were reviewed, with the largest sample size of 8.4 million patients. Psychiatric comorbidities resulted in increased negative perioperative outcomes compared to patients without psychiatric comorbidities in six articles. These studies observed higher rates of revision, blood transfusion, mortality, non-traditional discharge, and increased length and cost of stay for patients with a diagnosed psychiatric condition. Therefore, it was concluded from most studies that patients with psychiatric comorbidities experience more negative perioperative outcomes following a total primary joint arthroplasty than those without. Based on the findings of this review, psychiatric comorbidities should be considered a risk factor when planning a primary arthroplasty. The broader impact of this study is to raise awareness about the impact of psychiatric comorbidities on perioperative outcomes, in an effort to inform practice, quantify the given issue, demonstrate its impact, and suggest ways to move forward in which we can maximize the positive perioperative outcomes of the targeted group.

2017 Student Undergraduate Research Festival

Four students presented Health Sciences posters at Carroll's 2017 Student Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF), based on research projects they did under the supervision of Health Sciences faculty or as part of an internship.

image of cassidyDry Needling in the Treatment of Chronic Myofascial Neck Pain: A Systematic Review

Objective: review relevant literature to determine if dry needling is an effective treatment for chronic myofascial neck pain. Methods: databases such as PubMed and CINAHL were searched for articles pertaining to dry needling and neck pain. Results: dry needling was found to have a positive effect on neck pain. Both dry needling and manual therapy was successful in decreasing pain, especially in patients with myofascial pain syndrome. Discussion: dry needling can decrease hours of pain per day and pain intensity. Therefore, acupuncture should be coupled with stretching for the most effective treatment of myofascial neck pain

Image of CallieThe Effects of Therapy on the Quality of Life in Veteran Amputees

Research for this poster presentation was conducted using peer-reviewed articles concerning the quality of life in veteran amputees through a therapeutic intervention. The research strived to compare whether or not therapy had a relationship with the outcome of quality of life. Articles were gathered from PubMed and CINAHL and assessed by the relevancy they had to whether or not quality of life was improved in veteran amputees with therapy. Therapeutic measures, such as medications or prosthetics, were shown to have a positive relationship between veteran amputees and quality of life. Specifically, prosthetics improved the social, mental, emotional, and physical well being of the amputee, although in one study a positive relationship between therapy and quality of life in veteran amputees was not shown. For veteran amputees, physical therapy and mental therapies are associated with improvements in quality of life, however more research needs to be done concerning interventions for the quality of life in veterans.

Image of MadisonMechanical vs. Manual CPR in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests Objective

This systematic review was conducted to see if the current research had a definitive answer to whether manual or mechanical CPR had better survival outcomes. STUDENT UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH FESTIVAL, SESSION 4 35 Methods. This systematic review was conducted between September and October 2016 and included all relevant peer reviewed articles. Articles were collected from PubMed and CINAHL and were included in the study based on if they had relevant information on survival out comes for manual and mechanical CPR in out-of-hospital situations. Results. Three articles agreed in that mechanical CPR improved survival out comes, while three other articles stated that there was no difference between manual and mechanical CPR, one article stated that mechanical CPR actually worsened patient outcomes. Conclusions. The overall conclusion of this systematic review is there needs to be more research conducted on the topic. Based on the current data collected, there is no single conclusion drawn from this study at this time. Keywords. out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, mechanical, thorax OR chest compression, manual CPR OR mechanical device CPR, and Lucas Device.

Image of MariahEffect of Volleyball Playing Surface on Joint Health

The sport of volleyball is becoming increasingly popular, with over 46 million American’s participating each year. At the competitive level, injuries are likely to occur and most commonly these are of the ankle and knee. There are many factors that may contribute to an athlete’s risk for joint injury such as gender, training load and previous trauma. However, this research examines whether playing surface, in this case sand or hardwood, has any effect on a player’s likelihood of injury due to the increased impact on their joints. Contributing factors and possible prevention techniques will also be discussed, in hopes to help coaches and players alike prevent and properly rehabilitate joint damage sustained while playing volleyball.

2016 Student Undergraduate Research Festival

Five students presented Health Sciences posters at Carroll’s 2016 Student Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF), based on research projects they did under the supervision of Health Sciences faculty or as part of an internship.

Acute Flaccid Myelitis

image of courtney gearyAcute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) is a subset of Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) thought to be caused by viruses such as polio and non-polio enterovirus, West Nile virus, herpesvirus and adenoviruses. AFM causes acute limb paralysis, facial weakness, and serious cases cause respiratory failure. AFM is not currently a reportable disease in any US state, which means there is no baseline to determine the prevalence of the disease. Healthcare professionals may be unaware of what signs and symptoms to look for during examinations. From August 2014 to July 2015, an outbreak of AFM occurred in 120 children within 34 states resulting in the majority being hospitalized. However, no data were collected in Montana to determine prevalence. The objective of this research was to retrospectively investigate illnesses in MT that displayed symptoms of, but were not previously diagnosed as, virus induced AFM. Results will be used to 1) to determine the seriousness of AFM in MT, 2) to determine prevalence, and 3) to investigate the requirements to make AFM a reportable disease to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). Data were gathered through the MT Department of Health and Human Services by searching health data bases for reported signs and symptoms of case patients with AFM. Once collected, data were compiled and results showed several possible cases of AFM found in previous patients that were not reported to the local health department. Although measures of prevalence and disease severity are still under investigation, the results from this research suggest that AFM should become a reportable disease to NNDSS so that it can be better characterized and prevented in the future.

Image of Sarah LaddMicrobial Community Characterization in an Arsenic Contaminated Watershed

Helena gets over 50% of its drinking water from Tenmile creek. With a rich mining history, over 100 abandoned hard-rock mines have introduced arsenic into this aquatic ecosystem. The presence of arsenic may contribute to a change in bacteria community composition and co-select for antibiotic resistance. The objective of this research was to detect changes in overall microbial diversity in response to arsenic concentrations. Sediment grabs were collected from ten different sites; three controls (< 10 mg/kg As), three mid-level arsenic concentrations (100-200 mg/kg As), and four high-level arsenic concentrations (250-6000 mg/kg As).Sediment from each site was plated on different media containing As III and As V. Bacterial colonies were picked from plates and identified using 16S gene sequencing (Macrogen USA, Rockville, MD), then compared to GenBank Database using NCBI BLAST. The community DNA was also extracted directly from sediments using a Power Soil Kit MoBio (Carlsbad, CA) and Next Generation Sequencing was performed at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Lozupone Lab). Culturable species from each site were identified from 16S colony pick sequencing. The sequencing showed that Cyanobacteria streptophyta and Proteobacteria acidiphilium species were dominant in midlevel and high-level arsenic environments, and Cyanobacteria tramenophiles was a dominant species in the control environments. The Next Generation Sequencing showed a shift in high arsenic environments and high arsenic levels explained around 60% of the community differences. Arsenic caused a community change in diversity, as arsenic increased diversity in bacterial genera decreased.

tessa littlefieldEffects of Indoor Tanning on Risk of Developing Skin Cancer: Physical and Psychological Factors

The objective of this study was to review relevant peer-reviewed articles regarding the development of skin cancer and other psychological factors in relation to indoor tanning. The review aimed to determine if the risk of developing skin cancer increased with amount of indoor tanning use while also specifying the psychological factors that account for increased indoor tanning usage. Searches conducted through PubMed and CINAHL databases provided the supporting literature related for this topic. Other relevant review articles were obtained through Google Scholar. Of the ten articles reviewed, it was found that frequent indoor tanning increases risk of developing skin cancer later in life. In addition, it was found that indoor tanning is positively associated with other high-risk activities, and can be classified as an addictive behavior. Due to the fact that indoor tanning has been shown to increase risk of developing skin cancer, indoor tanning facilities should be required to implement more regulations regarding frequency and duration of use. Awareness should be promoted regarding risks of indoor tanning, particularly to adolescents, who appear to be at elevated risk due to social pressures.

Image of kurt parkerStudies of Antibiotic Resistance in an Arsenic Contaminated Watershed

Water from abandoned mine adits that is high in metals such as arsenic, flows into the Upper Tenmile Creek, which supplies Helena with most of its public water supply. These metal rich environments can cause co-selection in bacteria for heavy metal and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). These genes can then be passed on to pathogenic bacteria. The presence of various tetracycline resistance and arsenic resistance genes in sediment bacterial biofilms from Upper Tenmile Creek was assessed using PCR. The total bacterial community in each sample was also assessed through DNA extraction from sediment samples and Next Generation Sequencing of the 16S gene. The culturable bacterial community was also assessed by plating sediment samples and sequencing the 16S gene from selected colonies. Additionally, bacteria were selected from sediments by plating on media with tetracycline and arsenic to select for bacteria with arsenic and tetracycline resistance genes. The results showed amplification of the Tet O gene and Tet W gene that both encode for tetracycline resistance. The total community assessment also showed that the diversity of bacteria in heavy metal rich environments was less than in areas with lower levels of heavy metal contamination. In conclusion, amplification of the Tet O and Tet W genes show that ribosomal protection proteins from tetracycline may be present in the bacterial community of the heavy metal rich sites. Additionally, because there is less diversity in heavy metal rich environments, this shows that there may be selection for certain species of bacteria in those harsh conditions.

Effect of Volleyball Playing Surface on Joint Health

image of dallas vanlucheneThe Tracking of Yersinia Pestis using Multi-Locus Variable Tandem Repeat Analysis

Flea-borne zoonotic diseases including plague are present in the United States, specifically in the Four-Corners region. Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, is present in rodent populations and their fleas, from which humans can become infected. Although Yersinia pestis causes large numbers of rodent die-offs and occasionally human infections over large geographical areas, there may be biological and geological barriers that separate plague epizootic activity. The objective of this study was to use multi-locus variable number of tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) to determine the population structure of Y. pestis during a human plague outbreak in the Four-Corners region during the 1980s. Although the outbreak pattern appeared widespread, we hypothesize that multiple locally maintained bacteria arising simultaneously were the cause rather than one outbreak strain that spread across the landscape. A set of Y. pestis isolates that were collected during the outbreak were analyzed using MLVA. Minimum spanning trees were used to evaluate the population structure based off of variable number of tandem repeat (VNTR) markers and the date of disease onset. Minimum-spanning trees based on date of onset may show that bacterial DNA fingerprints are similar from the cases whose onset dates were close together, and that the emergence of multiple outbreak strains cause seemingly widespread outbreaks. This analysis may also show that bacterial population structures vary more when the dates of onset within different cases are far away from each other.