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Biobehavioral Outcomes Core

Overview of Services

 Behavioral methods play an increasingly important role in biomedical research focused on children’s health and the health of adults with congenital disease or disorder. The Child Health Behavioral and Social Outcomes Core provides assistance to investigators seeking to incorporate behavioral, social and economic measures into their research.


Behavioral methods encompass all forms of psychological testing and assessment, as well as direct observational techniques. Relevant methods include intellectual and neuropsychological tests, rating scales to assess personality, adjustment, or quality of life, and structured psychiatric interviews, as well as direct coding of observed behaviors in laboratory and natural settings. Even more broadly, “behavioral methods” may range from psychophysiological measures (e.g., heart rate variability, cortisol) to economic analyses of health care costs and benefits.


Behavioral methods can be used to select or characterize samples, to measure the effects and side-effects of treatments in clinical studies, to track the course of recovery from disease or injury, and to assess the economic impact of disease. Behavioral methods often add a practical or applied aspect to research by defining meaningful outcomes. This is particularly valuable with the current emphasis on research informing evidence-based clinical practices that take into account the broad needs of the health care consumer. 

Core services include:

  • 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 entry of behavioral and social outcomes data
  • Consultation on data management and analytic strategies suitable for behavioral data
  • Assistance in preparation of manuscripts describing behavioral outcomes


The Core draws on existing resources available through The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Relevant 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, and through the Departments of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Human Development on the main OSU campus.





Name Role Phone Email Location
Kathy Vannatta
(614) 722-3182