On 16 September 2006, the (then) Government announced that the Centre for Military and Veterans' Health (CMVH) had been appointed to develop a 'sound and workable' research protocol for a health study of the sons and daughters of Vietnam veterans.
CMVH developed a research protocol that enables research to begin earlier than first expected. As soon as research outcomes are available, DVA will be able to ensure that the right services are available to the children and the partners of Vietnam Veterans.
The Research Protocol report and other information on the research is available below:
A panel of external independent research organisations has been established to provide research services for the Family Study Program. The research organisations on the panel were invited to submit proposals to undertake the various research components of the Vietnam Veterans’ Family Study. An evaluation panel then selected which organisation would undertake each research component, based on the suitability of the proposal.
The methodology for the Vietnam Veterans’ Family Study (VVFS) is based on the Research Protocol authored by CMVH, titled Intergenerational Health Effects of Service in the Military. The VVFS is made up of five research components:
Qualitative Analysis comprising:
Tier 1(a) Social Factors that Impact on Sons and Daughters of Vietnam Veterans and Vietnam-Era Servicemen (previously Semi-Structured Telephone Interviews)
– undertaken to inform the Main Survey and involving 172 participants to obtain an understanding of the health risk and protective factors for the sons and daughters of Vietnam veterans;
Tier 1(b) Further Qualitative Study – to be conducted after early responses to the Main Survey have been received. This component will examine in depth, particular issues identified in these early responses;
Tier 1(c) The Re-Analysis of Sons and Daughters Project
– undertaken before the Main Survey to gain an understanding of issues faced by the children of Vietnam veterans and to inform the Main Survey. The data to be re-analysed was collected as a part of the Sons and Daughters Project between 2000-2005 by the then-named Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service. This project has been completed and a copy of the research report is available in the following formats: RTF (12.12 Mb) and PDF (786 Kb);
Tier 1(d) The Lived Experience of Sons and Daughters of Vietnam Veterans and Vietnam-Era Servicemen (previously History of Health) – this case study analysis was undertaken to inform the Main Survey. A total of 30 case histories were collected from the families of conscripted, Regular Army and Vietnam-era servicemen. It was conducted in an interview format with open ended questions and identified themes which will then be explored further in the Main Survey questionnaire; and
Tier 1(e) Intergenerational Effects of Service in the Vietnam War — The Stories of Six Families (previously Ethnographic Study) – undertaken before the Main Survey involving 6 family units whose fathers served in the Vietnam War. It involved conversational, relaxed interviews with no predetermined questions exploring the health status risk and protective factors for sons and daughters.
Quantitative Analysis comprising:
Tiers 2-4 Main Survey to compare the effect of service in Vietnam on the families of Vietnam veterans with control groups of:
- Army personnel (and their families) who served from 1962 to 1975 but did not deploy to Vietnam; and
- Siblings of Vietnam veterans (and their families);
Participation will involve completion of a questionnaire comprising measures of physical, mental and social health.
Tier 5 Children of Vietnam Veterans’ Mortality Study to investigate mortality rates and causes of death for the children of Vietnam veterans and compare these to mortality rates and causes of death for the children of appropriate comparison groups. Participation will involve completion of a mortality survey form which asks for details of all children. This information will be matched to national death records in order to determine mortality rates.