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Table 1 Key decision points for partnered research design [30]

From: Practical partnered research to improve weight loss among overweight/obese veterans: lessons from the trenches

Design element Operational considerations Researcher considerations Compromise
Study population
Patient screening No systematic pre-diabetes screening in place, just weight management referral system Need to screen patients at risk for pre-diabetes Use weight management referral system and add pre-diabetes screening
Study design
Primary goal Answer operational questions in real-time Answer research questions over time Answer both; program implemented on more rapid timeline and preliminary data used to make operational decisions
Group assignment By site; pre-post Randomization Systematic assignment
Control group Usual care Control group Usual care as control group
Resources • Infrastructure
• Separate funding
• Leadership
• Dissemination
• Research staff
• Research funding
• Program evaluation
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QI vs research
Ethics review IRB and informed consent not necessary for QI IRB and informed consent required for research IRB and informed consent for evaluation components only
Funding sources Clinical funds for QI components Research funds for evaluation components Maintain separate funding sources for QI vs research; funding sources were pieced together over time
Outcome assessment
Timeline Need for rapid results Need time for study design, proposal review, and data analysis Provide preliminary results prior to final outcomes