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VA Cooperative Studies Program (CSP)

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CSP Epidemiology Analytics Resource (CSPEAR)

CSPEAR produces timely, descriptive information on the health status of Veterans that’s used internally to help leadership from Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and Office of Research and Development (ORD):

  • Determine disease burden and treatment patterns in the VA health care users
  • Set priorities and steer the direction of the VA ORD research program
  • Support internal planning and decision-making
  • Anticipate future health care needs and plan health care interventions


The CSPEAR mission is to use VA electronic health record (EHR) data to support decision-making within the ORD research program in order to advance research that improves the health, well-being, and care of Veterans.


CSPEAR analyzes existing VA EHR data on VA health care users to:

  1. Provide accurate, reliable, and timely summary epidemiologic data in response to specific requests from VHA leadership, including ORD and CSP leadership
  2. Provide a foundation for VA population research by characterizing the epidemiology of priority health conditions and their treatment among VA health care users
  3. Document methods for using VA EHR data to characterize the population of VA health care users


As a non-research operations project, activities conducted under CSPEAR do not constitute human subject research activities under the Common Rule, codified in VA as 38 CFR Part 16. Its findings are intended for use by and within VA to monitor and describe the epidemiology of health problems affecting VA health care users and to inform strategic planning, priority setting, and decision-making within the program.


CSPEAR is a collaborative effort between the five CSP Epidemiology Centers (CSPECs) with the support of CSP Central Office. Each center contributes personnel, infrastructure, consultation, project management support, and logistic support. The CSPEAR team has extensive experience and expertise in the management of large VA data sets, designing and documenting appropriate systems, computer programming, coding, data processing, data documentation, and data analysis. This scientific and technical expertise allows the CSPEAR team to obtain, clean, analyze, and interpret data to produce meaningful insights, while complying with VA privacy and security regulations.

Learn more about CSPEAR data access and use
Learn more about CSPEAR
 products including purpose, audience, and intended use.


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