Research Projects

Selected Projects

Multilevel influences of smoke free policies in subsidized housing

This project investigated organizational level and neighborhood level barriers and facilitators for implementing smoke-free policies in subsidized housing in San Francisco.

Vijayaraghavan M, Hartman-Filson M, Vyas P, Katyal T, Nguyen T, Handley MA. Multi-Level Influences of Smoke-Free Policies in Subsidized Housing: Applying the COM-B Model and Neighborhood Assessments to Inform Smoke-Free Policies. Health Promot Pract. 2023 May 20:15248399231174925. doi: 10.1177/15248399231174925. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37209138.

Assessing the effectiveness of tobacco retailer density reduction ordinance in San Francisco

This project evaluated the role of a retail density ordinance in reducing concentration of tobacco stores based on neighborhood characteristics and land use pattern in San Francisco. The study evaluated the spatial distribution of tobacco retailers before and after the ordinance to identify geographic pockets where the most significant reduction had occurred.

Vyas P, Sturrock H, Ling PM. Examining the role of a retail density ordinance in reducing concentration of tobacco retailers. Spat Spatiotemporal Epidemiol. 2020 Feb;32:100307. doi: 10.1016/j.sste.2019.100307. Epub 2019 Oct 28. PMID: 32007281; PMCID: PMC7001737.

Neighborhood factors and tobacco use rate in life style intervention trial

This project investigated the association between neighborhood factors and intention to quit smoking among 340 Chinese and Vietnamese male smokers living in four counties of San Francisco Bay Area. Neighborhood characteristics were examined based on tobacco retailer density, neighborhood ethnic density based on percentage of population of individual’s own ethnicity, and median household income. This project continues to examining differences in smoking behaviour based on neighborhood and individual characteristics at different stages of intervention.

Vyas P, Tsoh JY, Gildengorin G, Stewart SL, Yu E, Guan A, Pham A, Burke NJ, McPhee SJ. Disentangling individual and neighborhood differences in the intention to quit smoking in Asian American male smokers. Prev Med Rep. 2020 Feb 11;18:101064. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2020.101064. Erratum in: Prev Med Rep. 2020 Dec 13;20:101283. PMID: 32226728; PMCID: PMC7093831.

Compliance with San Francisco’s flavored tobacco sales ban

In June 2018, San Francisco voters upheld the first comprehensive prohibition on sales of flavoured tobacco products (all products including menthol, everywhere in the city with no exceptions). This project used data collected by the San Francisco Department of Public Health as part of its implementation and enforcement of San Francisco’s city-wide ban on the sale of flavoured tobacco products to evaluate compliance by the vendors. The project identified factors that contributed towards high compliance rate of the flavored tobacco sales ban.

Vyas P, Ling P, Gordon B, et al Compliance with San Francisco’s flavoured tobacco sales prohibition. Tobacco Control 2021;30:227-230.

Neighborhood ethnic composition and self-rated health

This study explored associations between neighborhood ethnic composition and self-rated health among Asian immigrants. 

Guan A, Kim-Mozeleski JE, Vyas P, Stewart SL, Gildengorin G, Burke NJ, Ma K, Pham AT, Tan J, Lu Q, McPhee SJ, Tsoh JY. Neighborhood Ethnic Composition and Self-rated Health Among Chinese and Vietnamese American Immigrants. J Immigr Minor Health. 2021 Jun;23(3):574-582. doi: 10.1007/s10903-020-01041-2. PMID: 32617753; PMCID: PMC8208464.

Examining spatial and contextual factors influencing child vaccination coverage in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, policy discourse has mostly focused on regional inequities in health, including child immunization coverage. Knowledge of local geographical and contextual factors within regions, however, becomes pertinent in efforts to address these inequities. This project used the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2011 to examine factors that influence intraregional differences in vaccination coverage using a multilevel analysis.

Vyas P, Kim D, Adams A. Understanding Spatial and Contextual Factors Influencing Intraregional Differences in Child Vaccination Coverage in Bangladesh. Asia Pac J Public Health. 2019 Jan;31(1):51-60. doi: 10.1177/1010539518813604. Epub 2018 Nov 30. PMID: 30499306.

Identifying the barriers to using geospatial approach as a decision making tool for health policy in developing countries
This paper examines the role of GIS and spatial tools for public health decision-making in Bangladesh. The study was conducted based on a three week field survey and in-depth interviews of public health officials, researchers, and academics to understand the current usage of spatial tools in the health sector and some of the barriers towards scaling the use of GIS as a decision-making tool in the context of Bangladesh. I assisted in creating the survey instrument, identified the key experts using snowball sampling and conducted interviews and paper and pencil survey with over 75 respondents.

Dohyeong Kim, Malabika Sarkar, Priyanka Vyas, “Role of spatial tools for the purpose of public health decision-making in Bangladesh” — published at the Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition, 2016 DOI: 10.1186/s41043-016-0045-1. Funded by the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences Advisory Council – Amount $5000

En route to field work in Bangladesh

A content analysis approach to identify causes of construction related accidents in the Arabian Gulf Region
This study investigates the issues of construction safety of workers in the context of Gulf region by examining the causes of fall and struck by accidents. The study uses accident records from construction firm and other accident reports to analyze the factors associated with accidents using content analysis approach. I conducted content analysis using Nvivo software and analyzed accident records from policy and company sources.

Simon Fass, Divakaran Lal, Rami Youssef, Priyanka Vyas, “Understanding the causes of Fall and Struck-by related incidents: What differentiates Construction Safety in the Arabian Gulf Region?”  — Journal of Applied Ergonomics2016 DOI: