Office of Research & Development

VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE

In This Issue: The Aging Veteran

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From the Chief Research and Development Officer
Serving older Veterans, as they serve us

Rachel B. Ramoni, D.M.D., Sc.D Years after our brave Veterans have supported us through military service, many are still serving in their local communities—often at the national level. As VA's chief research and development officer, I know that service also extends to participating in medical research. In this issue of VA Research Quarterly Update, we examine research that affects older Veterans and the challenges they face. Read more

New Initiatives | Announcements
VA partnership with NCI to boost Veteran access to clinical trialsVA partnership with NCI to boost Veteran access to clinical trials
Veterans with cancer who receive care from VA will now have more access to the latest treatment options, thanks to a partnership between VA and the National Cancer Institute. The collaboration will make it easier for Veterans to join clinical trials sponsored by NCI's National Clinical Trials Network and the NCI Community Oncology Research Program. Read more

JGIM Supplement features VA research on alternate approaches to painJGIM Supplement features VA research on alternate approaches to pain
Researchers with VA's Health Service Research and Development service published 13 articles based on recommendations from the state-of-the-art conference on "Non-pharmacologic Approaches to Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Management." The conference brought together experts from VA, the Department of Defense, and the National Institutes of Health to discuss non-opioid therapies for chronic pain. Read more

A Chat with Our Experts Dr. Matthew Bair VA researcher is strong advocate for combining therapies for chronic pain
Dr. Matthew Bair is a general internal medicine physician and VA health services researcher. His primary research interest is pain management in the primary care setting. Over the last 15 years Bair has been part of a team of pain researchers that have worked to improve pain management in the primary care setting, particularly combining pharmacologic (the use of drugs) and non-pharmacologic treatment for Veterans. Read more
Spotlight on Career Development Awardee
Relaxation training can help older Veterans who suffer from anxietyRelaxation training can help older Veterans who suffer from anxiety
Clinical geropsychologist Dr. Christine Gould is a researcher with the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. Her research is focused on understanding and developing new treatments for anxiety disorders that occur in older adults—those who are 60 years or older. She is currently investigating the effectiveness of a new delivery method for an intervention to help Veterans who are experiencing anxiety in later life. Read more

New & Ongoing Studies Veterans aim to keep minds sharp by taking a dip in the pool Veterans aim to keep minds sharp by taking a dip in the pool
VA research psychologist Dr. Jennifer Fairchild is conducting a study that will examine the effects of water-based physical exercise and cognitive training for Veterans who have mild cognitive impairment with memory loss. The study—Water-based Activities to Enhance Recall in Veterans, or WATER-Vet—is being conducted at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California. Read more

VIDEO: Four Veterans share their thoughts about participating in
the WATER-Vet study.

» Watch

Montessori-based activities could benefit Veterans in community living centers Montessori-based activities could benefit Veterans in community living centers
VA researcher Dr. Michelle Marie Hilgeman is conducting a study that will examine the effectiveness of a Montessori-based therapy for Veterans who live in VA community living centers. Because a significant majority of Veterans who live in CLCs have some form of dementia and/or mental illness, there is a need for programs that can address negative behavioral issues. Read more

Using telehealth to help Veterans with dementia Using telehealth to help Veterans with dementia
A team of researchers at the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System are working to develop a telehealth intervention to improve conflict-management skills for caregivers of Veterans. Dr. Cory Chen and colleagues will develop and test a video-based intervention that is designed to diagnose and improve interpersonal skills of family members caring for Veterans with dementia. Read more

Noteworthy Publications Veterans benefit from conservative management of prostate cancer Veterans benefit from conservative management of prostate cancer
Veterans with low-risk prostate cancer are increasingly choosing to skip immediate surgery in favor of less aggressive treatment, according to results from a study published in JAMA. Low-risk prostate cancer is slow growing and can often be treated safely through "watchful waiting." Researchers at VA NY Harbor Healthcare System conducted a study of more than 125,000 Veterans diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer. They found that close to 60,000 Veterans were treated with a conservative approach. Read more

For low-risk patients, screening for lung cancer can be a choice For low-risk patients, screening for lung cancer can be a choice
Patient preferences should be considered when deciding to screen low-risk patients for lung cancer, according to the results of a study conducted by researchers at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The investigators found that overall, the average person with a low-risk of lung cancer experienced a net benefit from lung cancer screening, even if that person felt negatively about screening. Read more

Older Veterans with advanced kidney disease fare better with treatment at VA Older Veterans with advanced kidney disease fare better with treatment at VA
Investigators at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System in California and colleagues conducted a study of more than 11,000 Veterans aged 67 years or older who had kidney failure. Despite receiving dialysis less often, the study found that Veterans treated through VA were less likely to die than those who received care through Medicare. Read more

Editorials from VA Research Scientists
Awards and Career Milestones


VA Research Quarterly Update is a digital publication that is produced four times a year by VA Research Communications, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Managing editor/writer: Erica Sprey
Copyeditor: Tristan Horrom
Layout: Robert Williams


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