Military Couples Sleep Study (MCSS)

How to Contact Us

If you and your spouse/partner are interested in participating, please feel free to contact our offices, either via the website contact form (Contact Us) on the welcome page, text COUPLES to (412) 999-2758, or call us directly at (412) 383-2131.


A great deal of attention has been paid to the post-deployment adjustment difficulties experienced by military veterans, including high rates of sleep problems and other emotional difficulties. However, we know very little about the effects of deployment on military spouses and their families. The Military Couples Sleep Study seeks to comprehensively examine the adjustment of military couples in the post-deployment period, in terms of their sleep, relationship quality and physical health.

Who may participate

We are looking for couples who:

– are either married or have cohabitated for at least 1 year
– are between 18-50 years old
– are not pregnant or breastfeeding
– and do not have children less than 6 months of age

Additionally, at least one member of the couple must have prior or current military service and must have deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), or Operation New Dawn (OND).


All procedures will take place at either Sterling Plaza or Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Free parking is provided.


This research study involves three steps:

Step 1

Screening Visits: You will meet with a study staff member and go over the study in more detail, and will begin to complete study-related interviews and questionnaires. You will go home with an in-home apnea screening device for you to use overnight which will assess for any sleep disorders. You will then individually visit our offices to meet with a study clinician. Each of these visits will take approximately 3 hours to complete.

Step 2

10 Day Home Study: Over a 10-day period, we will ask you to wear a watch that will record your 10-day activity level, as well as provide you with a Palm Pilot to record daily events. On night 1 and night 2 study staff will arrive in your home to deliver and set up sleep monitoring equipment. On night 2, we will also provide you with supplies to collect overnight urine samples. At a convenient time between nights 3 and 10, you will wear a blood pressure monitor for 50 consecutive hours. The blood pressure monitors are portable devices which can be hidden under clothing.

Step 3

Video Interaction Visit: You will be asked to come back to our offices in the morning to provide a fasting blood draw, and you will be asked to engage in 2 videotaped discussions with your partner. This visit will last approximately 3 hours.

Final Payment: Up To $400 for completing all study procedures

**All information collected throughout the research study will remain confidential. No part of your participation in our research study will enter your military or medical records.


There is no benefit for taking part in this study.

Risks associated with participation are minimal and generally no greater than those associated with a routine physical exam.


The total duration of the study is designed to accommodate participant’s schedules, laboratory, and study staff schedules.
Participation ranges from 1 month following the consent phase of the study and up to 2 months, depending on scheduling.


Any information about you obtained from this research will be kept as confidential (private) as possible. All data obtained from this research, including the video recordings, will be kept in a locked file cabinet and on secure password-protected computer databases. Your identity on these records will be indicated by a random identification number rather than by your name, and the information linking these case numbers with your identity will be kept separate from the research records. You will not be identified by name in any publication of research results unless you sign a separate form giving permission (release).

To help us protect your privacy, we have obtained a Certificate of Confidentiality from the National Institutes of Heart, Blood, and Lung, effective as of 9/21/11. Under the protection of the approved Certificate, the researchers cannot be forced to disclose information that may identify you, even by a court subpoena, in any federal, state, or local civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceedings. The researchers will use the Certificate to resist any demands for information that would identify you.

Grants and Scholarships

The Links below will direct you to webpages and information related to grants and scholarship opportunities for veterans and/or family members:

-Military Spouse Scholarships (Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarships)

-Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) Scholarship