3-Phase Project Outline
Veteran spouses will develop supportive peer relationships and become engaged stakeholders in research that attends to the needs of their families. The two-year project will be carried out in three phases including 1) network development, 2) network training, and 3) research engagement.
In phase 1, recruitment of veteran spouses will occur through partnerships with existing community organizations in five regions of Texas: El Paso, Dallas, Harlingen, Houston and San Antonio. Regional meetings will be held for members to discuss the structure of the network and how it can best engage them. A webpage will be created, and member participation will be facilitated through online network meetings, webpage polling questions, monthly webinars, and the creation of a steering committee. In phase 2, webinars will be utilized to train VSN members on current research addressing families’ needs, and research methods. Elisa Borah, a research associate at the School of Social Work’s Texas Institute for Excellence in Mental Health, will provide research trainings, and member feedback will be highly influential in the development process. In phase 3, clinical research investigators engaged in research on mental health treatments and programs for veteran families will join VSN via webinar to seek input from veteran spouses. Discussions will allow researchers to obtain valuable feedback from veteran spouses, and promote confidence in veteran spouses regarding participation in research. Throughout the project a variety of measures will be obtained to inform a project evaluation.
The Veteran Spouse Network project will engage in participatory action research in an intricate and large-scale manner. It will help to create a robust, statewide network of military veteran spouses, and foster relationships among veteran spouses, community providers and research investigators in a way that allows veteran spouses to engage in research efforts in meaningful ways.