The Stepping Forward in Grief Study is testing two online/app programs created by scientists and clinicians at Uniformed Services University and Columbia University to address grief-related challenges. These programs were developed in response to earlier research suggesting that grief-related challenges continue to occur among bereaved military survivors, even many years following a loss, and that many surviving loved ones desire additional support.
The research is being conducted by the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress and the Center for Complicated Grief. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, The Travis Manion Foundation, Army Survivor Outreach Services, American Gold Star Mothers and Gold Star Wives of America are partners in this endeavor.
While the study continues to include close relatives within post-9/11 families, researchers have expanded their scope to include those who lost a loved one serving in the military (or who died due to a military-related loss) before September 11, 2001, and more distant family members, as well as close friends. This includes:
- Any immediate family member - such as a parent, spouse, sibling or adult child
- Any non-immediate family member - such as a cousin, grandparent, uncle, or aunt
- Any close friend or battle buddy of an active duty service member who died while serving
- Anyone grieving a death occurring before or after 9/11
Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two evidence based programs, GriefSteps or WellnessSteps, in order to test their effectiveness for bereaved military survivors. The study team is particularly hoping to reach and enroll bereaved family members who continue to struggle with their grief. It is researchers’ hope that the results of the study will lead to better resources for those bereaved in years to come.
Interested potential participants can sign up by visiting https://steppingforwardstudy.org/ and clicking “Enroll Now,” where they will be asked to answer some screening questions, fill out an online consent form, and complete a 20-minute survey. Following enrollment, participants will be contacted by study personnel to complete a telephonic screening and confirm enrollment.
Once enrolled, study participants will have access to the assigned program for six months, and will be asked to provide feedback about their experience.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the website https://steppingforwardstudy.org.
If you know of a family that may be interested in participating in this study, please share this information with them.