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2019 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

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4040 — Preferred Methods to Engage Primary Care Providers and Women Veterans in Research

Lead/Presenter: Cynthia Gammage,  COIN - Los Angeles
All Authors: Gammage CE (Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy, Los Angeles), Dyer, KE (Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy, Los Angeles), Tennenbaum, D (Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy, Los Angeles) Chrystal,JG (Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy, Los Angeles) Klap, KS (Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy, Los Angeles) Carney, DV (Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i), Palo Alto) Frayne, SM (Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i), Palo Alto) Yano, EM (Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy, Los Angeles) Hamilton, AB (Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy, Los Angeles)

Objectives:
Effectively engaging stakeholders in VA research has been a major challenge in HSRandD research. However, low participation rates due to lack of awareness among women Veteran patients and women's health primary care providers (PCPs) in research have been documented. With VA's increasing recognition of the value of engaging Veterans and providers in research, it is important to study the perspectives of women's health PCPs and women Veteran (WVs) patients to better understand effective methods of outreach when recruiting and engaging participants in research.

Methods:
We conducted qualitative, semi-structured telephone interviews with women's health PCPs (n = 22) and women Veterans (n = 31) in five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers nationwide (all Women's Health PBRN sites). Key domains of the interview guide included past/current experiences with research, views about research participation, ideal approaches to engagement, and preferences for future research participation. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and coded. Coded transcripts were thematically analyzed for common occurrences.

Results:
WVs and PCPs considered increasing research's visibility was highly important and supported the promotion of engaged research. Based on their experiences and preferences, both groups identified functional ways that researchers could update study recruitment and design to improve outreach. PCPs identified in-person staff meetings, phone calls or presentations as ideal methods to facilitate research engagement, and while many also expressed it as a barrier, most preferred email for initial contact. WVs preferred flyers in clinic spaces or word of mouth from trusted sources including research personnel, social media or other Veterans at women Veteran-focused events. Both groups identified the placement of a research point-of-contact in their clinical or social environment (e.g., service desks staffed by a researcher point-of-contact, in-services) to increase awareness of research opportunities.

Implications:
More research is needed to assess resources and to understand potential barriers to implement PCP and WV recommendations in the VA healthcare system. Despite frequent challenges, participants expressed their interest and recommendations for innovative strategies to improve research involvement.

Impacts:
Understanding preferences and facilitators to improve research engagement is critical for enabling future approaches to study design, recruitment, enrollment and engagement to help inform VA policy and practice.