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2012 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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2012 National Meeting

2011 — Finding and Following: Methodological Challenges in Homeless Veterans Research

O'Toole TP, Providence VAMC REAP; Kertsz S, Birmingham VAMC; Kilbourne AM, Ann Arbor VAMC/SMITREC; Saxon AJ, Puget Sound VAMC;

Workshop Objectives:
Policymakers and providers require generalizable, real-world research that includes historically underserved populations such as the homeless. Developing representative samples and ascertaining longitudinal data is challenging given that many are not in regular care. This workshop offers lessons learned from current VA research focused on care for homeless individuals: 1) Review definitions of homelessness and temporal challenges within those definitions in how they are applied in research; 2) Describe research challenges to homeless subject identification from field settings, project/intervention settings, and through the use of existing datasets; and 3) Demonstrate different techniques and approaches to subject recruitment and tracking that have been successfully used in homeless research.

(1) Didactic presentation of homeless definitions, taxonomies, and shelter-based subtypes, particularly as they relate to VHA programming, and V.60 ICD9 coding rules and limitations. (2) Case study presentation of different approaches taken in research studies that have employed patient registries (V.60 populated and other), social networking for population tracking and longitudinal data retrieval, and program-based enrollments. (3) Building active cohorts of hard to reach Veteran populations beyond administrative database registries through measurement-based care, including applicability to homeless Veteran, women, individuals with serious mental illness, substance using, and other high-risk/high-need populations. (4) Round table discussion with workshop presenters and audience members to identify optimal approaches to engage difficult to reach populations, and to enlist audience input on methods to enhance research involving homeless Veterans.

Target Audience:
HSR&D health services researchers interested in conducting homeless Veteran research.

Assumed Audience Familiarity with Topic:
This workshop is optimally intended for individuals with limited experience conducting studies with homeless Veterans or who are interested in learning more about approaches used in prospective, longitudinal study designs with this population.

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