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In This Issue: Ensuring High-Quality Care

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From the Editor
Helping Veterans live life to its fullest
One of VA's most important research priorities is helping translate its research into real-world treatments and care for Veterans, so that their quality of life is the best that it can be. There are many instances where VA research has led to new treatments and improvements in care not only for Veterans, but also for patients in the private sector. Read more

New Initiatives | Announcements
VA launches new research center of excellence for Veteran caregivers VA launches new research center of excellence for Veteran caregivers
In September 2018, VA announced that it will fund a new center of excellence for caregiver research. The center is named for Senator Elizabeth Dole—honoring the work she has done to support the 5.5 million military and Veteran caregivers in the U.S. The new center will allow VA to expand its research on Veteran caregivers, and the challenges they and their families face. Read more

VA researchers at Minneapolis VA Health Care System will examine the home use of fecal transplants to combat recurrent C. difficle infection. (Illustration: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) New clinical trial looks at home use of fecal transplants to prevent C. difficile
VA researchers at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System are beginning a new clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of home use of fecal microbiota therapy (FMT) to prevent recurrence of Clostridium difficile infections. The study is called Microbiota or Placebo after Antimicrobial Therapy for Recurrent C. difficile at Home. MATCH will assess the effectiveness of FMT delivered via an oral capsule, rather than by colonoscopy. Read more

A Chat with Our Experts
Dr. Hal Wortzel    Seeking new ways to alert physicians to Veteran suicide risk
Dr. Hal Wortzel is a neuropsychiatrist at the VA Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research and Education Clinical Center in Denver. He serves as director of neuropsychiatric consultation services and codirector of the VA Suicide Risk Management Consultation Program. VARQU spoke with Wortzel about his research into suicide prevention, and more specifically, his thoughts on using a suicide-specific diagnosis code in Veterans' medical records. Read more

Spotlight on Career Development Awardees
Dr. Ted SkolarusCaring for prostate cancer survivors
Dr. Ted Skolarus is a urologic oncologist—a physician who treats cancer of the urinary tract and male reproductive system. He is also an investigator at VA Ann Arbor Health Care System in Michigan. His research is focused on survivorship care for men who have undergone treatment for prostate cancer. While survivors need to be monitored by their providers for cancer recurrence, there are also a number of quality-of-life issues that should be assessed by the medical team. Read more

Noteworthy Publications

Resilience may protect against the effects of poor sleep Resilience may protect against the effects of poor sleep
In a study published in Military Psychology, Dr. Susan Nicole Hastings and colleagues assessed sleep and resiliency in a group of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans. Hastings, who is an investigator at the Durham VA Medical Center in North Carolina, and her team wanted to examine the relationship between poor sleep and psychological distress in otherwise healthy Veterans. Read more

 Coaching healthy behaviors in Veterans at risk for heart disease  Coaching healthy behaviors in Veterans at risk for heart disease
In a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, VA investigators examined the effectiveness of two interventions to help patients reduce their risk for heart disease. They found that an online health risk assessment was more effective at motivating Veterans to address modifiable risk factors like smoking, when combined with telephone health coaching. Read more

Veteran profiles for VA homeless program use Veteran profiles for VA homeless program use
VA researchers analyzed the records of over 61,000 homeless Veterans to find out which homeless assistance programs they used, how often they accessed services, and for what length of time. The team identified five different Veteran usage profiles that, they say, can inform future research into VA homeless assistance programs. Read more


New and Notable

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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Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.