The Military Active-Duty Reproductive + Sexual Health (MARSH) Research Program is a joint effort by an interdisciplinary team of military and civilian researchers and physicians at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) and The Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI with collaborations across the Department of Defense (DoD) at Military Treatment Facilities (MTFs) that is funded by the USU intramural Military Women’s Health Research award. The Program aims to improve military readiness and performance by reducing service member health-risking sexual behaviors (HRSBs; e.g., unprotected sexual behavior, multiple sexual partners) that can lead to negative SRH outcomes.
Service Members in the United States Armed Forces face unique challenges to maintaining sexual and reproductive health (SRH) during their military service. Negative SRH outcomes like sexually transmitted infections (STIs), STI-related cancers, and unintended pregnancy can affect any service member and reduce human performance and undermine military readiness.
The first phase of the MARSH Research Program seeks to better understand the sexual and reproductive health and healthcare of people in the military by conducting in-depth interviews with
- Service members
- Healthcare providers (privileged or active-duty medical corpsman)
- Unit commanders
- Advisors of related high-level DoD policy.
The information collected from interviews in the first phase will be used to guide the development of a program in subsequent phases that is aimed at reducing HRSBs that can lead to negative SRH outcomes.
The MARSH Research Program needs the input and perspective of service members on sexual and reproductive health in the military. Service members who volunteer to participate will be asked to complete a one-time individual interview (estimated 30-45 minutes) in person at one of our collaborating MTFs or over the phone. Participation does not require disclosure of medical records or detailed medical history.
Healthcare providers, commanders, or those who advise related high-level DoD policy, are invited to share their expertise and experiences related to
- The unique aspects of military service that might influence service member’s ability to maintain positive SRH
- How the military can help service members maintain good SRH
- How the military could address SRH among service members
These individuals can share their knowledge by volunteering to participate in a one-time individual interview (estimated 30-45 minutes) over the phone or in person at one of our collaborating MTFs or group interview (estimated 60-90 minutes) over a meal at one of our collaborating MTFs. (NOTE: The type and location of the interview are subject to researcher and volunteer time and availability. However, the preference of the volunteer may also be taken into consideration.) All are welcome and invited to refer colleagues to the MARSH Research Program.
For more information or to participate, please contact:
Phone: (301) 295-5303
Please note: Participation is this Research Program is entirely voluntary. Command will not be notified of participation. All information from the interviews will only be used for the purpose of this research study and will remain strictly confidential.