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CSP No. 566, Neuropsychological and Mental Outcomes of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF): A Longitudinal Cohort Study

What is CSP No. 566?

Cooperative Studies Program (CSP) No. 566 is a research project examining possible lasting health effects of the Iraq War. In this study, we follow up with the US Army soldiers who took part in the Neurocognition Deployment Health Study (NDHS), also called "Prospective Assessment of Neurocognition in Future Gulf-deployed and Gulf-nondeployed Military Personnel: A Pilot Study."

The NDHS was started in February 2003 by the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs - in response to suggestions of Veterans from previous military conflicts - to track health both before and after deployment. This project was one of the first major efforts to enroll participants before deployment, and 1595 Army Soldiers made history by being part of this effort.

With the CSP No.566 follow-up study, funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, we plan to find out more about any enduring effects of war on mood and stress symptoms, thinking and reaction skills, and different aspects of day to day life (such as work and daily activities). Results from previous participation in the NDHS will be compared to the new information that will be obtained from CSP No. 566.

What is involved?

The study has two parts: (1) a survey that will be completed by mail and over the telephone; and (2) an in-person assessment. NDHS participants who deployed to Iraq will be invited to participate in the survey. The telephone interview will take about 2 to 2.5 hours and asks questions about mood and stress symptoms, head injuries, and other aspects of the deployment experience. This part of the study also involves completing questionnaires that ask about basic personal history (such as age, health, military status, gender, and combat injury history), work, daily activities, mood, stress symptoms, and stressful experiences. The questionnaire will take about 20 to 30 minutes and is then returned by mail to the CSP Coordinating Center.

A subset of 200 participants will also be invited to complete some of the thinking and reaction time tasks that were done as part of previous NDHS participation. These tasks are given on a computer or using paper and pencil. Basic health measures such as height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and waist size are also collected during this meeting. Potential participants can choose to complete the in-person assessment at one of the two study sites (Seattle or Boston), or in a private setting in their community (e.g., a hotel conference room). Altogether, this part of the study will take about 120 minutes to 140 minutes to complete.

CSP No. 566 Clinical Epidemiology Research Center (CERC):

  • West Haven VA Connecticut Healthcare System
  • 950 Campbell Avenue
  • West Haven, CT 06516
  • Telephone: (203) 937-4916
Director: John Concato, MD, MPH
Study Biostatistician:Mihaela Aslan, PhD
Project Manager: Patricia Crutchfield
CSP No. 566 Chair's Office:
Chair:Jennifer J. Vasterling, PhD;
Study Psychologist:Christopher Harte, PhD
Study Coordinator: Rebecca Wilken
CSP No. 566 Study Sites:
Boston: Brian Marx, PhD; Site Investigator
Boston: Katelyn Gorman; Administrative Coordinator
Seattle: Matthew Jakupcak, PhD; Site Investigator
Seattle: Linda Guerrero; Administrative Coordinator

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