Background: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a stress response to a traumatic event and affects up to 30 percent of the nation’s veterans. There is an urgent need to explore robust programs of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and comparative effectiveness research (CER) to identify treatment options for PTSD that are effective, acceptable, and meaningful to the veteran population. Veterans engaging as full partners in PTSD-related PCOR and CER are essential to identifying, developing, and testing patient-centered treatment options. Yet, PTSD research efforts are hampered by a dearth of veterans functioning as partners in the research process.
Proposed Solution to the Problem: Operation PCOR will develop, pilot, and evaluate a nationally accessible, asynchronous, veteran-driven, online research training program designed specifically to prepare veterans to function as full partners in the research enterprise. Operation PCOR will also develop VetResearchHub, a web-based platform for veterans who complete the training.
- Develop, implement, and evaluate a nationally accessible online training program. Operation PCOR prepares veterans to engage as full partners in PCOR/CER.
- Utilize existing resources in developing, implementing, and evaluating the training curriculum and materials for Operation PCOR.
- Establish a national advisory board (NAB) comprised of veterans and researchers that will set training priorities, goals, and objectives, inform curriculum development and teaching strategies, and evaluate the quality, teaching strategies, and learning outcomes of the training program.
- Build a national infrastructure via a web-based platform where veterans who have completed Operation PCOR can enlist as trained research partners and join forces with researchers on PTSD-related PCOR and CER.
Activities: Development of the online training curriculum and learning strategies informed by an NAB comprised of veterans, researchers, and key stakeholders. The website for the training program and VetResearchHub will be developed and managed by a web design company whose founder and director is an Army veteran.
- Create NAB
- Develop a nationally accessible research participant training program: Operation PCOR
- Train a national cadre of veterans as prepared partners in PCOR/CER
- Build a national infrastructure/web-based platform: VetResearchHub
Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan: The NAB will set training priorities for the research training curriculum and will inform the implementation and evaluation of the program. Veterans will pilot Operation PCOR and thereafter the training program will be rolled out nationally. The NAB will be engaged in Operation PCOR via virtual and in-person meetings.
Project Collaborators: Collaborators include the NAB members from Florida Atlantic University, University of Maryland, University of Texas Health Science Center, veteran stakeholders, and the veteran-owned business Inspire, which will design and maintain the project’s online platform. Additionally, C-P.A.W.W. (Canines Providing Assistance to Wounded Warriors; http://www.nursing.fau.edu/c-paww), the project lead’s health research initiative for veterans, along with Operation PCOR and VetResearchHub will create a potent infrastructure that supports patient-centered research and builds capacity to join forces with like-minded health researchers across the country.
Engaging and Serving the Veteran Community
Through Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards, veterans and their families participated in shaping research on health issues that mattered to them, ranging from posttraumatic stress disorder to interpersonal strain in their families. PCORI stakeholders listened to veterans and their families, built tools to support their engagement, and developed a network to sustain this support.
^This project was originally affiliated with the University of Colorado, Denver.