STUDY TO ASSESS RISK AND RESILIENCE IN SERVICEMEMBERS - LONGITUDINAL STUDY
The Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) is a large and complex research project originally funded by the Army that is examining the mental health and resilience of soldiers. The project was designed and the original data collection took place from 2009-2015 by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), in collaboration with the University of California San Diego (UCSD), Harvard University, and the University of Michigan.
Army STARRS includes several separate but integrated studies that originally collected data from more than 100,000 active duty soldiers throughout the U.S. and overseas. The research includes questionnaires, neurocognitive tests, blood collection, state-of-the-art genetic and other biomarker assays, linking these data to extensive, existing Army/DoD administrative records, and performing big data machine-learning analyses and developing predictive analytic models. These efforts have been producing, and continue to produce, large and rich datasets that continue to be used to serve a variety of research goals including:
- Understanding the mental health and resilience of soldiers
- Identifying risk factors for mental health problems
- Informing development and evaluation of interventions to improve mental health
- Improving the delivery of mental health care to soldiers
The Army STARRS project is a major undertaking that continues to produce a wealth of data and insights into the mental health of soldiers. The project is having a significant impact on the field of military mental health, and it continues to inform the development of policies and programs to improve the mental health of soldiers.
The Army STARRS research is continuing and expanding through follow-on awards called the Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers - Longitudinal Study (STARRS-LS). STARRS-LS, which began when the original Army STARRS award ended in 2015 and continues to this day, is a DoD-funded long-term research project that is continuing and further enhancing the Army STARRS research. The major research activities of STARRS-LS include:
- Continuing to use the STARRS platforms, systems, and data to conduct further analyses, derive further findings, and extract additional value from Army STARRS
- Extending, expanding, and enhancing the STARRS data by obtaining additional Army/DoD administrative data for 2010 to as close to the current data as possible, and designing and conducting a longitudinal follow-up study of a representative sample of approximately 15,000 soldiers selected from the Army STARRS participants
- Analyzing the STARRS-LS follow-up data, and the more current Army/DoD administrative data, in conjunction with the baseline Army STARRS data, to follow soldiers throughout their Army careers and through their transition to civilian life, for those soldiers who separate from military service.
- Working with the Center for Military Precision Health (CMPH) team at USU to generate and analyze whole genome sequencing data using DNA from tens of thousands of soldiers who participated in the Army STARRS research project.
The Army STARRS and STARRS-LS projects have the potential to make significant contributions to the field of military mental health. The continuing analyses of the data from both the Army STARRS project and the STARRS-LS project will help to improve our understanding of the mental health of soldiers and identify new ways to prevent and treat mental health problems. The project will also help to develop new personalized therapeutic options for soldiers, which could have a major impact on the lives of both soldiers and their families.
THE MAJOR RESEARCH ACTIVITIES OF STARRS-LS
- Continue using the STARRS platforms, systems and data to conduct further analyses, derive further findings, and extract additional value from Army STARRS; and
- Extend, expand, and enhance the STARRS data by obtaining additional Army/DoD administrative data for 2010 to 2015 and designing and conducting a longitudinal follow-up study of a subset of more than 50,000 Army STARRS participants.
Department is working with the Center for Military Precision Health (CMPH) team at USU to perform whole genome sequencing of DNA from tens of thousands of Soldiers who participated in the STARRS research project. This has the potential to transform patient care by producing actionable personalized medicine to generate novel personalized therapeutic options that impact both civilian and military lives.