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Research Topics
Health and Human Services Department of Defense Veterans Affairs Health and Human Services Gulf War Information Department of Defense Gulf War Information Veterans Affairs Gulf War Information Home Home Advanced Search Glossary FAQs Site Map Contact Us
 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas
Research Topics
ACCIDENTS & INJURIES
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BRAIN & NERVOUS
CANCER
CARDIOVASCULAR
CHEMICAL WARFARE
DIGESTIVE HEALTH
ENVIRONMENTAL & OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
FAMILY HEALTH
GENERAL HEALTH & PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
GENETIC STUDIES
HEALTH RESEARCH OF ALLIED FORCES
IMMUNE/BLOOD SYSTEM
INFECTIONS
LUNG & RESPIRATORY
MENTAL HEALTH
MILITARY WORKING DOGS
MORTALITY/DEATH
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH/OUTCOMES
SLEEP DISORDER
Treatment
VACCINES & PROTECTIVE MEDICATIONS
General Health & Physical Symptoms
General
Project Summary

Title: Measurement and Validation of Psychosocial Risk and Resilience Factors Accounting for Physical and Mental Health and Health-Related Quality of Life Among PGWVs
Synopsis: This study attempts to identify whether certain factors associated with deployments (like pre-deployment preparations, exposure to combat, or post-deployment social support) can be related to Gulf War veterans' self-reported symptoms and health-related quality of life.
Overall Project Objective: Test the hypothesis that scores on the psychosocial risk and resilience inventory will be meaningfully related to self-reported physical and mental health and health-related quality of life, thus validating the inventory itself.
Status/Results to Date: The tasks necessary to define and operationalize the risk and resilience factors have been accomplished. More specifically, the literature relevant to each factor has been reviewed and items have been drawn from measures of similar variables. Furthermore, six focus groups have been conducted with a total of 33 participants and content has been coded to aid in construct definitions and item development. Construct definitions have been refined and items sets have been created for each of the twelve risk and resilience variables. Various checks on item quality have been implemented and the pool of items has been refined with emphasis on content validity (relevance and breadth). Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for item sets has been obtained. Item sets have been integrated into a telephone survey format and administered to 350 Gulf War veterans in the test development sample. These data have been used for psychometric analyses and instrument refinement. The refined instrument along with measures of health outcomes have been administered to the second sample of 350 Gulf War veterans. These data are currently being analyzed to test hypotheses and to examine the relationship between psychosocial risk and resilience measures and health outcomes. Supplemental funding was provided to conduct a second expanded (refined instrument) survey.
Project:DoD-87
Agency:Department Of Defense
Location:VAMC Boston
P.I. Name:Daniel King, Ph. D.
Research Type:Epidemiology
Research Focus:Brain & Nervous System
Focus Category:General Health & Physical Symptoms
Status:Ongoing
Study Start Date:January 01,0199
Estimated Completion Date:December 30,2001
Specific Aims: The project has three specific objectives, each corresponding to a separate phase: (1) To define and operationalize the variables representing psychosocial risk and resilience that are proposed to influence veterans' self-reported health outcomes; (2) To collect data from a test development sample of Gulf War veterans and conduct first-stage psychometric analyses; and (3) To relate scores on the refined war-zone, predeployment, and reentry-postwar measures to indices of physical and mental health and health-related quality of life. This third specific objective subsumes the evaluation of a series of hypotheses using data from a second-stage test validation sample of Gulf War veterans. The global hypothesis proposition will find support in the testing of six subsidiary hypotheses. The first three hypotheses are aimed at documenting main effects of the psychosocial risk and resilience predictors on outcomes, controlling for self-reported exposures to chemical or biological agents. Two hypotheses are intended to delineate expected interactions between veteran demographic characteristics and the psychosocial risk and resilience factors, controlling for self-reported exposures to chemical or biological agents. The sixth hypothesis postulates possible synergistic consequences of self-reported exposures to chemical or biological agents and the presence of one or more psychosocial risk and resilience factor(s).
Methodology: The project will adhere to the scientifically-based process of construct validation as a guiding framework to generate a conceptually meaningful and psychometrically sound inventory. As with virtually all instrument development projects the research design is observational and cross-sectional. Two stratified random samples of Persian Gulf War veterans, a test development sample and then a test validation sample, will be drawn with the assistance of personnel from the Defense Manpower Data Center. Data will be collected by telephone interviews conducted by Schulman, Ronca, and Bucuvalas, Inc. (SRBI), a well-regarded market and opinion survey research firm. Initial data analysis will generate classical test theory-oriented item and scale characteristics and estimates of internal consistency reliability. The testing of all hypotheses will be conducted using hierarchical multiple regression analyses.
Most Recent Publications:

Evans CD, Vogt D, Stone E, Keehn MK, Knight J, King LA, King D, Foy DW. Multiple dimensions of stress in two cohorts of Gulf War personnel. International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Meeting, New Orleans, LA, 2001. Poster

Knight J, Vogt D, Stone E, Keehn MK, Evans CD, King D, King LA, Foy DW. Pre and post-deployment stressor patterns in Persian Gulf War veterans. International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Meeting, New Orleans, LA, 2001. Poster

Stone E, Fitzpatrick M, Vogt D, King LA, King D, Knight J. Stressors of going to war: Listening to Gulf War Veterans. 16th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, San Antiono, TX, 2000. Paper

Vogt D. The benefits of focus groups in stress and trauma research. Stresspoints, In Press. Newsletter

Keehn MK, Stone E, Vogt D, Evans CD, King D, King LA, Knight J, Foy DW. Unique stressors for women in the Gulf War. International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Meeting, New Orleans, LA, 2001. Poster

Vogt D, Stone E, Fitzpatrick M, King LA. Using Qualitative research to inform the quantitative measurement of life stressors. 16th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, San Antonio, TX, 2000. Workshop