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



Obesity and obesity-related conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, are a major issue for Veteran health. Veterans Health Administration (VA) researchers and health systems leaders have worked separately and together to provide more effective weight management programs for Veterans. Although randomized clinical trials are often considered the gold standard for establishing efficacy of interventions in controlled circumstances, pragmatic clinical trials (PCTs) provide agility for translation.

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VA researchers and health system leaders collaboratively designed a PCT to compare the Diabetes Prevention Program (VA-DPP) to usual care (MOVE!®) in promoting weight loss and glycemic control among overweight/obese Veterans with prediabetes. Together, they navigated the tensions that exist between quality improvement and research activities, facing challenges but reaping significant rewards. Early findings led to updated national guidance for delivering obesity treatment in VA.

Short conclusion

Partnered research and the use of PCTs can be powerful strategies for accelerating evidence-based findings into practice. Collaborative partnerships between researchers and health systems leaders can help enhance and sustain translation in real-world settings.

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