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17 Mar 2019

Mobilizing Family Research: An Overview of Military REACH

The Military REACH team is dedicated to making research practical and accessible for individuals outside of academic settings who are interested in military families. To achieve this goal, our team follows a five-step process: identify, evaluate, translate, archive, and distribute. This process is a systematic approach to making research visible and available.

First, we identify and closely examine current research publications related to our project’s focus area (i.e., military families) to determine how the information presented can best serve our target audiences: families, helping professionals, and policy makers. We utilize tools, such as PeerUS, and search engines, such as PsycINFO and Google Scholar, to effectively track new publications.

Next, we evaluate the credibility and contribution of identified research studies using an evidence-based appraisal system, which has been modified to tailor the evaluation to the purpose of our project, the content of the research field, and the target audiences. This system assesses research on three aspects: credibility, contribution, and communicativeness. Thus, our evaluation assists readers with determining the degree of trustworthiness each publication possesses.

After evaluation, we translate research articles into useful, practical, and high-quality resources. This step primarily involves the creation of Translating Research into Practice (TRIP) Reports, which are focused research summaries written to emphasize the implications for families, helping professionals, and policy makers.

We then archive current research and original products into an intuitive, publicly accessible online library where users can find each publication’s detailed information, a link to its original source, and, when appropriate, a summary of the article.

Finally, we distribute the research and resources to families, helping professionals, and policy makers through multiple social media platforms, electronic newsletters, and an online library. Our research team also partners with key stakeholders (specifically, the Department of Defense) to distribute these resources directly to those who can inform policy and practice.

Military REACH serves as a bridge connecting the gap between academia and military families, helping professionals, and policy makers. The findings of research on military families have real, practical implications for service members, veterans, and their families, so it is imperative that our team work to make this information accessible and understandable to all. Through these processes, the impact of valuable research can be extended into the hands of the individuals who are well positioned to apply this information to inform intervention and prevention efforts at various levels.

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