RESEARCH METHODS CORE (RMC) Jim Mintz, C Bowden, Douglas E Williamson """"""""What is design? ... It's where you stand with a foot in two worlds - the world of technology and the world of people and human purposes - and you try to bring the two together"""""""" ~Mitchell Kapor, Bringing Design to Software (Ch. 1) OVERVIEW OF THE RMC The methods projects of the revised Research Methods Core are organized into four research Units: 1. Innovations in Clinical Assessment will continue work on our BISS comprehensive assessment by validating a Spanish language and a self assessed version, and extend prior work on measurement of life stress in adolescents to assessment in adults. 2. Qualitative Research Approaches will apply a conceptually-based set of qualitative methods to the study of ethnocultural factors in clinical treatment and intervention research in BD. 3. Novel Statistical Approaches to Longitudinal Outcome proposes statistical research aimed at empirical description of BD outcome trajectories using latent variable models. 4. Dissemination and Education focuses on uses of the Internet to address clinical issues such as stigma, dissemination of a) research findings to Hispanic and overall communities and b) research issues such as data capture and project management in multi-site and community-based research. A. Leadership and Steering Committee (SC). The RMC will be directed by Jim Mintz, a research methodologist and applied biostatistician in psychiatric research whose experience and qualifications are summarized in the OC section. Drs. Mintz, Bowden and Williamson will form a steering Committee for RMC activities. The SC will be responsible for 1) coordinating activities conducted by the RMC with the OC and the PRC as well as other separately funded projects that use either the administrative structure or resources of the ACISIR, 2) in years 2 &3 the SC will solicit once yearly proposals for new projects to be funded for 1-2 years, to replace those projects which reach completion. Proposals will be reviewed by the SC with ad hoc reviewers as dictated by the proposal and 3) planning a strategy for conveying novel methodologies developed or studied through the ACISR nationally. The SC will meet at least quarterly, and report progress toward accomplishing the aims of the RMC to the ACISR OCom annually. Dr. Mintz will have overall authority for RMC aims and oversight of units. Responsibilities for specific initiatives are listed below. B. Background to Work Proposed in RMC Units. In developing methods projects our principal criterion was that the project address and enhance one or more of the PRC projects and be in accord with the theme of the ACISR (Overview, A.8). Each Developmental Project in the PRC has aims relevant to cultural variables, thus will benefit from methods development related to culture, ethnicity or language. Two other statistical approaches proposed in the prior proposal;multi-state outcomes and methods to cope with missing data, have been separately funded by an NIH Challenge award, and will therefore be sufficiently developed by late 2011 to be applied to the data sets in PRC studies, particularly the methods development study. These two analytic approaches, in conjunction with the latent growth mixture modeling in Unit 3, may be particularly advantageous in assessing the multiple domains of outcomes inherent in BD which escape identification in the current environment of LOCF and single point in time total score on unidimensional scales. These methods and the explanatory results they yield can aid physicians in selection of interventions based on overall knowledge of risks and tolerability as well as symptomatic benefit of this complex disorder.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
San Antonio
United States
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