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Table 1 Design characteristics of major studies of U.S. veterans of the first Gulf War

From: An assessment of survey measures used across key epidemiologic studies of United States Gulf War I Era Veterans

Study Inception Design Administration Sample Focus Survey Pilot Testing References
Devens Cohort Study 1991 Longitudinal cohort, substudies In-person surveys and evaluations, mailed surveys 84 units returning from GW through Ft. Devens, MA Psychological health, domestic and military exposures Unable to determinea [7, 2527]
New Orleans 1991 Longitudinal cohort, substudies In-person surveys and evaluations, mailed surveys, phone Units based in Louisiana Psychological and physical health, stressors Unable to determinea [8]
VA Registry 1992 Registry, substudies In-person survey and two-stage health evaluation Self-nominated veterans of 1st GW and OIF Physical health, military exposures Unable to determinea [28]
Nat’l Health Survey 1992 Longitudinal cohort, substudies In-person evaluations, mailed surveys, phone surveys Stratified random sample of GW-deployed and non-deployed Physical and psychological health, military exposures Reviewed by OMB [10, 29]
PA & HI 1993 Cross-sectional In-person distribution All active duty, National Guard, and reserve units in PA and HI Physical and psychological health Unable to determinea; similar survey used in previous studies [17]
DoD Registry 1994 Registry, substudies In-person survey and two-stage health evaluation Self-nominated veterans of 1st GW and OIF Physical health, military exposures Unable to determinea [30]
Iowa 1995 Cross-sectional, substudies In-person health evaluation, phone survey Stratified random sample of GW regular military and NG/Reserve from Iowa Physical and psychological health, functional status, military exposures Tested in 24 veterans from the random sample, and 3 non-sampled members of the military [2]
Seabees 1997 Cross-sectional Mailed survey, phone survey Construction Battalion (CB) members who served for 30+ days active duty during GW Current and past health issues, exposures, behavioral risk factors Tested in Navy personnel, reviewed by OMB and DoD, test-retest reliability on earlier survey [12, 31]
OR & WA 1995 Cross-sectional, case–control In-person health evaluation, mailed survey, phone survey Random sample of veterans from OR or WA who were deployed to SW Asia between 8/1/90 and 7/31/91 Physical and psychological health, military exposures Test-retest reliability survey (exposures) in 305 case–control study participants [32]
Air Nat’l Guard 1994 Cross-sectional, substudies In-person health evaluation and surveys GW veterans from a PA-based Air National Guard unit, two AF reserve units (PA, FL), and an active duty AF unit (FL) Physical health, risk factors for illness Unable to determinea [4, 33]
Kansas I 1998 Cross-sectional Phone survey KS veterans or reserve members who served on active duty between 8/90 and 7/91 Physical health, military exposures Health questions tested in MO veterans [1]
Kansas II 2000 Case–control In-person survey and blood draw, phone Veteran KS/MO residents of Kansas City metropolis, who deployed to GW between 8/1/1990 and 7/31/1991, with Gulf War Illness (cases) or not ill (controls) Gulf War Illness, military exposures Tested in veterans residing outside of sampling frame [14]
Millennium Cohort 2000 Longitudinal cohort Mailed survey, web survey Stratified random sample of regular active duty, NG, and reserve Physical health (chronic illness), risk factors Focus groups and 1000-participant pilot survey (total 2564 tests) [34]
Military Health Survey 2007 Cross-sectional, substudies In-person blood sample, phone survey Stratified random sample of deployed and deployable nondeployed between 8/2/90 and 7/31/91 Physical health, military exposures, behavioral risk factors 200-veteran sample pilot tested survey content, interview procedures [16, 35, 36]
  1. Abbreviations: AF Air Force, DoD Department of Defense, FL Florida, GW Gulf War, HI Hawaii, KS Kansas, MA Massachusetts, MO Missouri, NG National Guard, OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom, OMB Office of Management and Budget, OR Oregon, PA Pennsylvania, SW southwest, VA Department of Veterans Affairs, WA Washington.
  2. aWe were unable to determine from published sources whether the investigators conducted pilot testing or early validation testing of their survey instruments; however, this was likely done in many instances.