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VA Research on COVID-19

COVID-19 FACT SHEET

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Overview

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VA Research has undertaken a wide array of activities to support and advance VA's clinical and research missions and help Veterans affected by the disease. These efforts have spanned biomedical research, therapeutics and vaccine clinical trials, and data analyses that leverage VA's rich electronic health record system. VA Research has coordinated closely with internal VA and external partners—such as the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies, and pharmaceutical companies—to identify the areas in which VA's nationwide research capacity, resources, and infrastructure could make the greatest contribution.

On this web page, we summarize recent and current COVID-19 research across the VA system.

VHA COVID-19 Research Dashboard

This interactive map shows active VA studies on COVID-19. Use the search bar or menus on the left to find studies on specific topics or locations. View larger version

News Briefs

Both COVID and flu increase long-term health risks, but COVID’s risk is greater
VA St. Louis researchers proved COVID-19 confers a higher risk of death and long-term health outcomes than the flu in nearly every organ system. The study included more than 81,000 VA patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 and nearly 11,000 admitted with seasonal influenza. Over an 18-month follow-up period, the risk of long-term health problems was only higher from the flu for the pulmonary system. However, both viruses caused a substantial risk in long-term health loss, prompting the researchers to call for greater prevention efforts and more attention to the needs of people with long-term health effects from either COVID-19 or influenza. (The Lancet Infectious Diseases, Dec. 14, 2023)

VA hospitals had lower COVID-19 mortality rates than community hospitals
Iowa City VA Health Care System researchers learned that Veterans hospitalized for COVID-19 in VA hospitals were less likely to die than those treated in community hospitals. The study included data on nearly 65,000 Veterans 65 years old or older who were hospitalized with COVID-19 between March 2020 and December 2021. Veterans in community hospitals had a 27% risk of death within 30 days of hospitalization, compared with an 18% risk for those admitted to VA hospitals. However, about 74% of Veterans were admitted to community hospitals rather than VA hospitals. The results show that quality of VA health care compares favorably to non-VA care, but more efforts may be needed to ensure Veterans receiving care in the community get the best quality care. (JAMA Network Open, May 1, 2023)

Risk of death from COVID-19 decreased, still higher than flu risk
St. Louis VA researchers learned that the risk of death from COVID-19 is still higher than the risk of death from the flu despite a decreasing COVID-19 mortality risk. The researchers analyzed VA hospital admissions between October 2022 and January 2023. Death rates for patients admitted for COVID-19 were 6%, while death rates for flu patients were 4%. In 2020, 17% to 21% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 died, compared with 4% of patients hospitalized for the flu. The researchers attribute the decreased COVID-19 death rate to vaccinations and improved clinical care, as well changes in virus variants. (JAMA, April 6, 2023)

Suicidal ideations among Veterans fell during pandemic
Despite concerns that Veterans would be at a high risk of suicide because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a recent study by VA Connecticut researchers found that rates of suicidal thoughts in Veterans actually decreased after the onset of the pandemic. The study included more than 2,000 Veterans assessed for suicidal thoughts. In this group, 9.3% reported suicidal thoughts pre-pandemic in 2019, which dropped to 6.8% in 2020 before increasing slightly to 7.7% in 2022. Only 0.4% of participants attempted suicide during the pandemic, a rate consistent with pre-pandemic numbers. The factors most associated with new suicidal thoughts were higher education, lifetime substance use disorder, pre-pandemic loneliness, and lower pre-pandemic purpose in life. (JAMA Psychiatry, April 5, 2023)

Paxlovid lowers risk of COVID post-conditions, hospitalization, death
A study by VA St. Louis researchers found that the antiviral drug Paxlovid lowers the risk of long COVID and death. The researchers looked at outcomes of more than 280,000 high-risk VA COVID-19 patients, nearly 36,000 of whom had been prescribed Paxlovid (generic name nirmatrelvir). Patients who were given the medication within five days of a positive COVID-19 test had a 26% lower risk of developing post-COVID conditions, a 47% lower risk of death from the disease, and a 24% lower risk of needing hospitalization. Paxlovid reduced the risk of long COVID symptoms in people who were unvaccinated, vaccinated, and boosted, and in people with their first infection or a reinfection. Study author Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly said the findings support using Paxlovid for high-risk patients both to treat acute COVID-19 and to lower the risk of lasting effects. (JAMA Network Open, March 23, 2023)

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Selected Studies by VA Researchers

Clinical Trials

High-dose fluvoxamine and time to sustained recovery in outpatients with COVID-19: The ACTIV-6 randomized clinical trial . Stewart TG, Rebolledo PA, Mourad A, Lindsell CJ, Boulware DR, McCarthy MW et al. Among outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19, treatment with fluvoxamine does not reduce duration of COVID-19 symptoms. JAMA. 2023 Nov 17. Online ahead of print.

Core warming of coronavirus disease 2019 patients undergoing mechanical ventilation: A pilot study . Bonfanti NP, Mohr NM, Willms DC, Bedimo RJ, Gundert E, Goff KL, Kulstad EB, Brewry AM. This pilot study suggests that core warming of patients with COVID-19 undergoing mechanical ventilation is feasible and appears safe. Inducing fever has potential to improve respiratory physiology in patients with COVID-19. Ther Hypothermia Temp Manag. 2023 Aug 2. Online ahead of print.

Intravenous aviptadil and remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19-associated hypoxaemic respiratory failure in the USA (TESICO): A randomised, placebo-controlled trial . Brown SM, Barkauska CE, Grund B, Sharma S, Phillips AN, Leither L, Peltran ID et al. Among patients with COVID-19-associated acute hypoxaemic respiratory failure, aviptadil did not significantly improve clinical outcomes up to day 90 when compared with placebo. Lancet Respir Med. 2023 Jun 19. Online ahead of print.

Outpatient treatment of COVID-19 and incidence of post-COVID-19 condition over 10 months (COVID-OUT): a multicentre, randomised, quadruple-blind, parallel-group, phase 3 trial . Bramante CT, Buse JB, Liebovits DM, Nicklas JM, Puskarich MA, Cohen K, Belani HK, Anderson BJ et al. Outpatient treatment with metformin reduced long COVID incidence by about 41% compared with placebo. Lancet Infect Dis. 2023 Jun 8. Online ahead of print.

The effect of povidone-iodine nasal spray on nasopharyngeal SARS-Co-V-2 viral load: A randomized control trial. Zarabanda D, Vukkadala N, Phillips KM, Qian ZJ, Mfuh KO, Hatter JN, Lee IT et al. Dilute versions of povidone-iodine nasal spray are safe for topical use in the nasal cavity, but the spray does not demonstrate virus-eliminating activity in COVID-19 positive patients. Laryngoscope. 2022 Nov;132(11):2089-2095.

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Laboratory Studies

Genetic analysis of obstructive sleep apnea and its relationship with severe COVID-19 . Strausz S, Agafonova E, Tiullinen V, Kiiskinen T Broberg M, Ruotsalainen SE, Koskela J et al. Analysis identified novel genetic risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea and showed apnea is a causal risk factor for severe COVID-19. The effect is predominantly explained by higher BMI. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2024 Feb 8. Online ahead of print.

Blocking the doublecortin-like kinase 1-regulated SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle restores cell signaling network . Undi RB, Ahsan N, Larabee JL, Darlene-Reuter N, Papin J, Dogra S, Hannafon BN et al. Pharmacological inhibition of the DCLK1 kinase enzyme during COVID-19 infection effectively impedes virus processes, showing potential as a new COVID-19 treatment. J Virol. 2023 Nov 30;97(e0119423.

Type I interferon signaling induces a delayed antiproliferation response in respiratory epithelial cells during SARS-CoV-2 infection . Cunha JB, Leix K, Sherman EJ, Mirabelli C, Frum T, Zhang CJ, Kennedy AA et al. Type I interferon signaling appears to worsen COVID-19 lung infection by blocking the regeneration of alveolar epithelial cells. Journal of Virology. 2023 Nov 17. Online ahead of print.

Chronic alcohol use primes bronchial cells for altered inflammatory response and barrier dysfunction during SARS-CoV-2 infection . Easley KF, Edenfield RC, Lott MEJ, Reed RC, Sarma JD, Mehta AJ et al. Alcohol use disorder is a significant risk factor for severe acute respiratory distress syndrome in COVID-19. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2023 Nov 1;325(5):L647-L661.

Blocking of doblecortin-line kinase 1-regulated SARS-CoV-2 replication cycle restores cell signaling network . Undi RB, Ahsan N, Larabee JL, Darlene-Reuter N, Papin J,Dogra S, Hannafon BN et al. Pharmacological inhibition of DCLK1 kinase during SARS-CoV-2 infection holds significant potential for immediate application in treating COVID-19. J Virol. 2023 Oct 20. Online ahead of print.

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Data Analysis/Review

Changes in outpatient health care use after COVID-19 infection among Veterans. Herbert PL, Kumbier KE, Smith VA, Hynes DM, Govier DJ, Wong E, Kaufman BG et al . Outpatient use increased significantly in the month after COVID-19 infection, then attenuated but remained greater than the uninfected group’s use through 12 months, suggesting substantial impacts of COVID-19 infection. JAMA Netw Open. 2024 Feb 5;7(2):e2355387.

Association of psychiatric disorders with clinical diagnosis of long COVID in US veterans . Nishimi K, Neylan TC, Bertenthal D, Seal KH, O’Donovan A. Psychiatric disorder diagnoses were associated with increase long COVID diagnosis risk in VA patients, with the strongest associations observed in younger individuals. Psychol Med. 2024 Feb 5:1-9.

Low-dose naltrexone improves post-COVID-19 condition symptoms . Tamariz L, Bast E, Klimas N, Palacio A. Post-COVID symptoms may improve in patients taking medications adapted from myalgeic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome. Clin Ther. 2024 Jan 23. Online ahead of print.

Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir use and hospitalizations or death in a previously uninfected nonhospitalized high-risk population with COVID-19: A matched cohort study . Butt AA, Yang P, Shaikh OS, Talisa VB, Omer SB, Mayr FB. Nirmatrelvir/ritonavir is associated with a significant reduction in 30-day hospitalization or death among individuals previously uninfected and non-hospitalized. J Infect Dis. 2024 Jan 12;229(1):147-154.

Clinical outcomes of US adults hospitalized for COVID-19 and influenza in the respiratory virus hospitalization surveillance network, October 2021 – September 2022 . Kojima N, Taylor CA, Tenforde MW, Ujamaa D, O’Halloran A, Patel K, Chai SJ et al. During the Omicron BA.5 period, intensive care unit admission frequency was similar for COVID-19 and influenza, although patients with COVID-19 had a higher frequency of in-hospital deaths. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2023 Dec 30;11(1).

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Other Research

Self-reported impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic inflation on the well-being of low-income U.S. Veterans . Tsai J, Hird R, Collier A. Low-income Veterans reported resilience in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation. J Community Health. 2023 Dec;48(6):970-974.

Prevalence and associations of poor mental health in the third year of COVDI-19: U.S. population-based analysis from 2020 to 2022 . Kim J, Linos E, Rodriguez CI, Chen ML, Dove MS, Keegan TH. Mental health of U.S. adults worsened in the third year of COVID-19 compared to the beginning of the pandemic. Psychiatry Res. 2023 Dec:330:115622.

Using multi-modal electronic health record data for the development and validation of risk prediction models for Long COVID using the Super Learner algorithm . Jin W, Hao W, Shi X, Fritsche LG, Salvatore M, Admon AJ, Friese CR, Mukherjee B. Researchers created a composite risk score for post-acute sequelae of COVID prediction, which could contribute to the identification of individuals at higher risk for Long COVID and inform preventive efforts. J Clin Med. 2023 Nov 25;12(23):7313.

Modifying Whole Health services for successful telehealth delivery: Lessons from Veterans Health Administration’s rapid transition during the COVID-19 pandemic . Wu J, Bolton R, Anwar C, Bokhour BG, Khanna A, Mullur RS, Taylor SL, Hyde J. The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed tele-Whole Health service implementation, utilization, and sustainment. The challenges faced and modifications made during this transition provide lessons learned for other health care systems as they attempt to implement telehealth services. J Integr Complement Med. 2023 Sep 1. Online ahead of print.

Development and cross-sectional evaluation of a text message protocol to support mental health well-being . Whealin JM, Saleem JJ, Vetter B, Roth J, Herout J. The Coping During COVID text messaging protocol can successfully support users’ self-care efforts during the COVID pandemic. Psychol Serv. 2023 Aug;20(3):657-667.

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Commentary

Global vaccine inequality threatens to unleash the next COVID-19 variant. Oehler RL, Vega VR. The emergence of COVID-19 variants from under-vaccinated regions is a direct consequence of the virus replicating unchecked through an unprotected population. Much more needs to be done to address global vaccine inequities and prevent the next devastating variant. Int J Infect Dis. 2022 Aug 18. Online ahead of print.

Estimated impact of the US COVID-19 vaccination campaign-Getting to 94% of deaths prevented. Jones M, Khader K, Branch-Elliman W. Substantial investments into national data infrastructure and research are needed to increase vaccine uptake and prevent more COVID-19 deaths. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Jul 1;5(7):e2220391.

Approaches to long COVID care: the Veterans Health Administration experience in 2021. Gustavson AM, Eaton TL, Schapira RM, Iwashyna TH, Adly M, Purnell. Even well-resources health care systems such as VA are grappling with how to best address long COVID care. BMJ Mil Health. 2022 Jul 1;e002185.

Leveraging anthropological expertise to respond to the COVID-19 global mental health syndemic. Azevedo KJ, Riendeau RP, Sweet PA, Holmes SM. Anthropologists collaborating directly with mental health clinicians and the public can contribute to solutions to improve mental health issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Am Anthropol. 2022 Jun. Online ahead of press.

Awakening: The unveiling of historically unaddressed social inequities during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. Andrasik MP, Maunakea AK, Oseso L, Rodriguez-Diaz CE, Wallace S, Walters K, Yukawa M. Long-standing inequities paved the way for the disproportionate burdens of COVID-19 among people of color across the country. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2022 Jun;36(2):295-308.

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Active and Recently Completed Research

Clinical trials

As of November 2021, nearly 70 VA medical centers are involved in one or more COVID-19 clinical trials. Below are several examples. A full list of COVID-19 Clinical Trials in VA is also available.

  • VA CURES—The wide-reaching VA CURES master protocol, launched in August 2020, enables a series of clinical trials across VA. The initial study examined the effects of convalescent plasma. VA CURES stands for “Coronavirus Research and Efficacy Studies.” The initiative aims to give Veterans faster access to potential COVID-19 treatments and to test their effectiveness. As a master protocol, VA CURES offers a standardized framework for studies on many potential treatments for COVID-19, without the need for a new study design and protocol each time. VA CURES now serves as a partnering network for trials and VA trial sites.
  • VA has been part of two major national research initiatives on COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics:  Operation Warp Speed (OWS) and the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) initiative.
    • Through OWS and other efforts, VA was an active participant in several clinical trials designed to evaluate potential COVID-19 vaccines. These trials have included:
      • The Moderna/COVE trial, which took place at one VA site. In December 2020, Moderna obtained an emergency use authorization for its vaccine from the FDA.
      • The AstraZeneca trial, now closed to enrollment.
      • The Janssen ENSEMBLE trial, which included 17 VA sites and is now closed to enrollment. The vaccine received FDA emergency use authorization in late February 2021.
      • The Pfizer trial, now closed to enrollment. In December 2020, Pfizer obtained an emergency use authorization for its vaccine from the FDA.
      • The Novavax trial, now closed to enrollment in VA.
    • ACTIV, led by the National Institutes of Health, brings together multiple groups within VA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Defense, as well as outside organizations, to conduct large-scale clinical trials. VA is participating in two ACTIV protocols:
      • ACTIV-2 is a trial platform for outpatients with mild COVID-19 with risk of worsening illness. It is investigating multiple new drugs for potential COVID-19 treatment through clinical trials. ACTIV-2 has completed studies on six monoclonal antibodies, an antiviral, and an immunomodulator, and is currently studying multiple other possible therapeutics. Six VA sites have participated in ACTIV-2.
      • ACTIV-3 is a trial platform for inpatients with COVID-19. It is designed to test neutralizing monoclonal antibody and antiviral treatments in rapid succession. ACTIV-3 has completed trials of four monoclonal antibodies and one antiviral, and is enrolling participants for testing of a new antiviral. ACTIV-3 trials are also investigating patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, the drugs aviptadil and remdesivir alone or in combination as a COVID-19 treatment, and strategies for post-COVID-19 illness vaccination. Twenty VA sites have enrolled patients in ACTIV-3 studies.
  • CDC SUPERNOVA—In partnership with the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, VA has undertaken the Surveillance Platform for Enteric and Respiratory Infectious Organisms at the VA (SUPERNOVA) project. A network of five VA medical centers is conducting active and passive surveillance for acute gastroenteritis, a symptom of COVID-19 and other illnesses. Monitoring includes both laboratory-confirmed testing for SARS-CoV-2 and norovirus, as well as electronic health system data from patients’ charts. The project will help track pathogen distribution over time.
  • Trials with industry—VA took part in a number of industry-sponsored studies of promising medications for COVID-19. These included, for example, studies of the drug tocilizumab with Hoffman-La Roche, and sarilumab with Regeneron. Both drugs are used in arthritis care and block an inflammatory protein known as IL-6.
  • Remdesivir trial with NIH—VA sites took part in a randomized, placebo-controlled study of remdesivir and other medications for hospitalized patients with COVID-19, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.
  • PURIFY blood filter technology—Scientists with VA, DOD, and partner institutions are testing a new technology called the Seraph 100 blood filter that may be able to filter out viral particles and harmful molecules from the bloodstreams of COVID-19 patients. The PURIFY program is a four-part, multi-site clinical evaluation that involves 13 participating sites across the U.S., including one VA medical center. Preliminary data suggests that severely ill patients treated with the Seraph filter had lower mortality rates than other patients.

Observational studies

  • Natural history study—VA is collaborating with the Department of Defense on an observational, natural history study of COVID-19 illness titled “Epidemiology, Immunology and Clinical Characteristics of COVID-19” (EPIC3). Researchers are collecting data and biospecimens from volunteers for up to two years to better understand the clinical course of COVID-19. The study also aims to establish repositories of clinical data and specimens, along with a participant registry, to support future studies of COVID-19 and other health conditions. Recruitment at up to 16 sites began in July 2020.
  • COVID-19 and cancer—The National Cancer Institute COVID-19 in Cancer Patients Study, or NCCAPS, is a natural history study of COVID-19 in people with cancer. In a natural history study, researchers follow people and collect medical and other information about them over time to learn more about how a disease and its symptoms develop and change. Diagnosis and treatment of a disease are not part of natural history studies. The knowledge gained through this study will help doctors better manage treatment for people with cancer and COVID-19 in the future. As part of the NCCAPS study, researchers will collect blood samples, medical information, and medical images from 2,000 people with cancer who also have COVID-19. Each person will be followed for up to two years to help doctors understand how cancer affects COVID-19 and COVID-19 affects cancer. The study is recruiting volunteers nationwide, including at 11 VA locations.

Data analysis projects

  • COVID-19 Insights Partnership—VA is a key partner in the COVID-19 Insights Partnership, along with the departments of Energy (DOE) and Health and Human Services (HHS). The initiative aims to coordinate and share health data as well as research and expertise to aid in the fight against COVID-19.The Partnership creates a framework for VA and HHS to use DOE’s world-leading high-performance computing and artificial intelligence resources to conduct COVID-19 research and analyze health data.
  • Million Veteran Program—VA’s Million Veteran Program (MVP) has deployed a COVID-19 questionnaire to participants to collect information about their experience with COVID-19. In addition, MVP has prioritized a series of research questions to examine the genetic basis of infection by SARS CoV-2; complications of infection; disease severity and outcomes; and response to various medications. MVP is working to identify disease mechanisms and new treatment targets for COVID-19. Given MVP's racially and ethnically diverse participant population (~ 20% African American and 7% Hispanic), the influence of race and ethnicity on disease susceptibility, severity, and outcomes is an integral part of the analyses.
  • VA SHIELD—The VA Science and Health Initiative to Combat Infectious and Life-Threatening Diseases (VA SHIELD) is a comprehensive, secure biorepository of specimens and associated data related to COVID-19 and other emerging diseases. The specimens and data are available to authorized investigators to advance scientific understanding and support of developing diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive strategies for use in clinical care.
  • VA SeqCURE—VA SeqCURE, short for VA Sequencing Collaborations United for Research and Epidemiology, is a network of VA research labs funded by the American Rescue Plan of 2021. Five VA sites are included: Cleveland, Durham, Iowa City, Boise, and Temple. The network will generate genetic sequencing data for public health surveillance. Projects under VA SeqCURE will include studying the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, analyzing antimicrobial-resistance organisms, and working with VA SHIELD to establish protocols for handling biospecimens.
  • Synthesizing evidence from publications—Researchers from the HSR&D Evidence Synthesis Program are working to help synthesize publications about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, and to translate that information quickly into usable guidance for clinicians. The ESP’s completed reports can be found here.
    Additional evidence reviews can be found at www.covid19reviews.org. The goal of this resource is to capture the work of evidence synthesis groups, like VA’s, around the US and the globe, and thereby avoid duplication of effort and maximize the contribution of these researchers. The catalog is maintained by the VA ESP Coordinating Center in Portland, Oregon. New evidence reviews and reviews in progress are identified through literature searching and correspondence with colleagues and content experts. The team has also set up a listserv to facilitate collaboration among systematic review researchers.
  • International collaboration—Researchers with the VA Informatics and Computing Infrastructure team are participating in the Observational Health Data Sciences and Informatics (or OHDSI, pronounced "Odyssey") program, an international, interdisciplinary collaborative to maximize the value of health data through large-scale analytics.
  • COVID-19 Observational Research Collaboratory (CORC)—A VA research initiative is bringing together VA experts to analyze the use and effects of COVID-19 drugs with clinical partners interested in the safety and efficiency of these therapies. VA’s Health Services Research and Development ServiceClinical Science Research and Development Service, and Cooperative Studies Programestablished the collaboratory soon after the pandemic took hold earlier this year. CORC is conducting a national three-year study of VA inpatients and outpatients diagnosed with COVID-19, compared with matched controls. The study will use electronic health record data and surveys to assess risk factors and long-term symptoms.
  • Dementia patients—VA researchers in Providence have funding from the National Institute on Aging to study COVID-19 risk factors and outcomes among Veterans with dementia who live in VA community living centers.

Other research activities

  • COVID-19 and mental health—In addition to studying how to prevent or treat COVID-19, VA is examining the mental health impact of the pandemic. To date, ORD has funded nearly 30 studies looking at mental, behavioral, and social health and COVID-19. Some are new projects focused wholly on COVID-19, whereas others are supplements to existing projects that are broader in scope. The following study titles indicate some of the themes being explored:
    • Inflammatory and Mental Health Sequelae of COVID-19 in Veterans
    • An Integrative Technology Approach to Home-Based Conjoint Therapy for PTSD  
    • Impact of COVID-19 On Mental Health, Relationship Functioning and VA Telemental Health Service Use in a Longitudinal Cohort Study    
    • Impact of COVID-19 and Social Distancing on Mental Health and Suicide Risk in Veterans
    • Piloting a Self-Help Intervention to Improve Veteran Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Mixed-Methods Pilot Study of the Impacts of Telemental Healthcare for High-Risk Veterans with Opioid Use Disorder During COVID-19
    • Adapting Caring Contacts to Counteract Adverse Effects of Social Distancing among High-Risk Veterans During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Virtual Pain Care for High-Risk Veterans on Opioids During COVID-19 (and Beyond)
    • Changes in the Delivery of Evidenced-Based Psychotherapies for Depression and PTSD as the Result of the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Impacts of COVID-19 on African American Veterans with Chronic Pain
  • Biomedical studies—VA biomedical researchers are part of the fight against COVID-19. The following project titles illustrate the scope of the VA lab studies already completed or being conducted to better understand how the virus works, and to identify new ways to keep it from spreading and causing disease.
    • 3D-Printed Respirator Mask Performance with and without Virus Inactivation 
    • A Safe Validation to Test the Efficacy of Disinfectants on Reusable 3D-Printed Face Masks During the COVID-19 Pandemic 
    • Leukocyte Rewiring as a Mechanism of COVID-19-ARDS 
    • Viral and Immune Dynamics of Sars-Cov-2 Infection in Moderate and Severe COVID-
    • Predictive Immune and Airway Monitoring in Healthcare Workers and Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients 
  • Boosting the VA supply chain—Rehabilitation researchers are helping to build a more resilient supply chain for VA. Researchers from several centers are involved, such as the Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) in Pittsburgh; the Center for Limb Loss and Mobility at the Puget Sound VA; the Minneapolis Adaptive Design and Engineering Program; and the Advanced Platform Technology Center in Cleveland. Partners in this effort include the VA Innovation Ecosystem, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and America Makes. These researchers and their colleagues have been designing, fabricating, and evaluating personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to support VA’s response to this pandemic, such as masks, face shields, desk shields, nasal testing swabs. In many cases, 3D printing is involved.



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