Biobehavioral Outcomes Core :: The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital

Biobehavioral Outcomes Core

Staff for the Biobehavioral Outcomes Core

Kathryn Vannatta, PhD, Director
Principal Investigator, Center for Biobehavioral Health

Kelly McNally, PhD, Associate Director
Affiliate Member, Center for Biobehavioral Health

Jill Twersky, M.Ed, Psychometrician

Biobehavioral Assessments

Behavioral methods play an important role in research on the health and development of children, adolescents, and adults with congenital or acquired health challenges. The Biobehavioral Outcomes Core will assist investigators who want to incorporate behavioral assessments in their research. These assessments can include a wide variety of methods and reporting sources to assess individual, interpersonal, and social-ecological domains.

Behavioral assessments can be used to characterize samples, measure the effects of medical disease or side effects of treatment in clinical populations, and evaluate interventions to improve quality of life. This can add a practical or applied aspect to research by defining meaningful outcomes from a patient-centered perspective.

Some examples of biobehavioral assessments:

  • Neuropsychological, neurodevelopmental or psychological testing
  • Standardized questionnaires or structured interviews to assess emotional and behavioral adjustment as well as quality of life
  • Objective measurement of health behaviors including assessments of sleep (e.g., actigraphy), physical activity, nutrition and medication or treatment adherence
  • Psychophysiological measures, including heart rate variability, cortisol levels, etc.
  • Behavioral assessments to characterize dyadic relationships (e.g., parent-child, marital relationships) and broader social systems (e.g., families or peer groups)

Services Provided by the Biobehavioral Outcomes Core

The Core draws on existing resources available through Nationwide Children's Hospital. Relevnt expertise is available through the Center for Biobehavioral Health, Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice, and the Center for Injury Research and Policy in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital. 

  • Consultation in design of research with behavioral components
  • Selection of appropriate behavioral measurement techniques and instruments
  • Assistance in preparing behavioral outcomes sections of grant applications
  • Assistance with collection, scoring, and analysis of behavioral data
  • Assistance in preparation of manuscripts describing behavioral outcomes
  • Identification of potential collaborators with relevant expertise

How do I get started?

Services are available to:

  • Faculty at Nationwide Children's Hospital
  • Faculty at The Ohio State University
  • Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows receiving support from the OSU Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS)

Priority for services:

  • Projects currently funded by external grants or are clearly intended to result in applications for external grant funding
  • Projects that will result in publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Projects that align with the strategic plans of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital

E-mail questions or requests for services to

A member of our team will reply promptly to discuss your needs and complete a referral form. Initial consultations are provided free of charge and unfunded studies can receive up to 5 hours of assistance from Core staff. Price quotes can be generated for direct assessment services by our psychometrician.

The project described was supported by Award Number UL1RR025755 from the National Center for Research Resources.  The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center for Research Resources or the National Institutes of Health.
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