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CSP News: CSP cited for impact on clinical practice


From June 2006 VA Research Currents (363, PDF)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) highlighted VA's Cooperative Studies Program (CSP), along with 28 other leading clinical research networks, in a report presented at a two-part scientific meeting in Rockville, Md., on May 31 and June 1.

As part of NIH's Roadmap initiative, the agency's Inventory and Evaluation of Clinical Research Networks Best Practices Study identified 28 networks in the United States and one in the United Kingdom that excel in areas such as efficiency, training, effective use of information technology, and impact on clinical practice.

The report said CSP is able to bring about change in clinical practice due mainly to its focused mission; rigorous scientific methods; and stable, comprehensive infrastructure. As part of the Veterans Health Administration, CSP has access to a large pool of study volunteers, and works closely with VA policymakers and clinicians to identify key research questions and translate findings into clinical practice as rapidly as possible. The report cited CSP as an example of "institutional completeness" because of these and other factors, such as pharmaceutical support and research expertise.

"This report highlights how VA's research program is a unique national laboratory that can expeditiously transfer research discoveries into clinical practice to benefit our nation's veterans and healthcare in general,"commented Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Nicholson.

CSP had its origins in the days after World War II, when it enrolled thousands of veterans with tuberculosis in studies to evaluate new and existing drugs. Since then, it has helped establish treatments and clinical practices for schizophrenia, hypertension, septic shock, shingles, and other conditions. The Best Practices report is available at

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