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Psychological Services

Daniel M Blonigen, Brooke Harris-Olenak, Jon Randolph Haber, Eric Kuhn, Christine Timko, Keith Humphreys, Patrick L Dulin
Within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), 15-30% of patients seen in primary care are identified as hazardous drinkers, yet the vast majority of these patients receive no intervention. Time constraints on providers and patient-level barriers to in-person treatment contribute to this problem. The scientific literature provides a compelling case that mobile-based interventions can reduce hazardous drinking and underscores the role of peer support in behavioral change. Here, we describe the benefits of using a clinical app-Step Away-to treat hazardous drinking among VHA primary care patients as well as an approach to customizing the app to maximize its engagement and effectiveness with this population...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Donna M Kazemi, Brian Borsari, Maureen J Levine, Mohamed Shehab, Monica Nelson, Beau Dooley, Betria Stinson, Fang Fang, Shaoyu Li
Heavy alcohol use is a serious health issue in the United States with consequences such as illness, injury, and death. College students are among the most vulnerable to problems associated with risky drinking. This demographic is known as the Net Generation because members have grown up with digital technologies such as smartphones and apps. Thus, mobile health (mHealth) applications, successful in the delivery of health information and interventions to tech-savvy individuals, are a promising means of reaching them...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Sharon McCarthy, Matthew Chinman, Chantele Mitchell-Miland, Russell K Schutt, Susan Zickmund, Marsha Langer Ellison
Although peer specialists play an increasing role in mental health service delivery, little is known about the best program structures for maximizing effective service delivery. This study reports on qualitative data from a larger study on peer specialists working with veterans in a Veterans Affairs homelessness program who were dually diagnosed with substance abuse and mental health concerns. Peer specialists were trained to deliver a recovery support program that is carried out weekly over 9 months and includes 20 structured sessions using a workbook and 20 unstructured, individually planned sessions...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Nigel E Bush, Christina M Armstrong, Timothy V Hoyt
In this brief state of the science review, we provide a synopsis of the literature on psychological health mobile applications (apps) and discuss the impact of mobile technology on psychological health practice. We describe the variety of psychological health app uses from self-management, skills training, and supportive care to symptom tracking and data collection; and we summarize the current evidence for the efficacy and effectiveness of psychological health apps. Finally, we offer some pragmatic suggestions for evaluating psychological health apps for quality and clinical utility...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Quyen Q Tiet, Heather Duong, Laila Davis, Rebecca French, Christopher L Smith, Yani E Leyva, Craig Rosen
The number of health care mobile applications (MAs) has increased drastically in recent years, but research on efficacy and approaches to provide MA intervention is lacking. The PTSD Coach was designed to help individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms to understand and manage symptoms. Use of MA tends to drop off quickly; this pilot study tested the use of the PTSD Coach with brief telephone support by paraprofessionals. A total of 29 participants with elevated PTSD symptoms recruited from Veterans Affairs primary care clinics completed baseline and 4-month follow-up surveys including the PTSD Checklist, Patient Health Questionnaire for depressive symptoms, and Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Colleen Stiles-Shields, Enid Montague, Mary J Kwasny, David C Mohr
Depression is common in primary care settings, but barriers prevent many primary care patients from initiating treatment. Smartphone apps stand as a possible means to overcome such barriers. However, there is limited evidence to understand the use and efficacy of these apps. The purpose of the current study was to pilot an evaluation of the usage and efficacy of apps for depression based upon behavioral or cognitive intervention skills, compared to a wait-list control. Thirty adults with depression were randomized to the use of either a behavioral app (Boost Me) or a cognitive app (Thought Challenger) or to a wait-list control...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Margaret T Anton, Deborah J Jones
Researchers propose that technology has the capacity to promote therapeutic alliance; however, clinicians worry the opposite is true. Behavioral parent training (BPT), an approach that is reliant on the parent as the mechanism of change, is the standard of care for early-onset (3-8 years old) behavior disorders. Importantly, behavior disorders are among the most common reasons parents seek mental health services for their children; therefore, BPT affords an ideal context within which to better understand the potential interrelationship between technology and therapeutic alliance...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Robyn L Shepardson, Emily M Johnson, Kyle Possemato, Danielle Arigo, Jennifer S Funderburk
Peer support is increasingly recognized as consistent with the goals of integrated primary care and is being implemented in primary care settings as a patient-centered approach that increases patient activation and access to care. Within the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), peer support specialists (PSSs) have traditionally worked in specialty mental health settings and only recently started working in Primary Care-Mental Health Integration (PC-MHI) settings. Prior research has identified implementation challenges, such as role confusion, when integrating peer support into new settings...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Mark Daniel, Dustin Wahlstrom
The adaptation of individually administered psychological tests from paper to app-based administration formats can present unique threats to the construct and raw-score equivalence of the paper and digital formats. We discuss these potential threats and describe a study evaluating the equivalence of paper and digital versions of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, fifth edition (WISC-V), which has been adapted to an app-based testing platform called Q-interactive. The present study (N = 350) used an equivalent-groups design to assess the raw-score equivalence of 18 WISC-V subtests that were designed with the intent of minimizing format effect...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Áine Maguire, Jennifer Martin, Hannes Jarke, Kai Ruggeri
Dementia is an increasing concern in today's aging society. Despite the limited evidence for dementia screening at a population level, a push to improve diagnosis and the expansion of technology usage within health-care settings has led to the rising popularity of computerized neuropsychological assessment devices (CNADs). Some CNADs are completely new tests, others are direct translations of traditional pen-and-paper cognitive functioning tests. This study is an investigation of the equivalence between two existing pen-and-paper tests and their translated versions on mobile platforms...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Anusha Kumar, Kathryn J Azevedo, Adam Factor, Elon Hailu, Jeremy Ramirez, Steven E Lindley, Shaili Jain
Veterans returning from recent conflicts present with increased rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and veterans from prior service eras continue to seek trauma-based services. Peer support for veterans with PTSD has the potential to resolve ongoing challenges in access and engagement in mental health care. Assessing the value of peer support services requires a thorough understanding of the expected role and the empirical mechanisms of peer support participation in PTSD recovery. To better understand these mechanisms, this study interviewed 29 veteran participants from an established peer support program (PSP), located in the Central Valley of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) in Northern California...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Jon Nolan, Sarah Lindeman, Femina P Varghese
Deployment to foreign wars leads to many challenges for military families. Unique risk factors for behavioral and psychological problems have been identified before, during, and after the deployment of a loved one. This brief report outlines these challenges and risk factors at each stage of the deployment process and describes mobile applications that may be beneficial in addressing them. The mobile applications, Babies on the Homefront, The Big Moving Adventure, and Sandboxx, were identified as relevant for addressing the parenting, communication, and relocation difficulties experienced by military families before and during the deployment process...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Christina M Armstrong, Kile M Ortigo, Sarah N Avery-Leaf, Tim V Hoyt
Traditional cultural models typically address factors like ethnicity, language, and race as important concerns pertaining to treatment efficacy, but over the years, professionals have expanded the focus to include gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, and other aspects of identity and experience, including military cultural issues. As the integration of mobile health increases in clinical care, another important cultural factor that can impact care is technological culture. Differences in perception of technological competence by patient and provider can impact the provider's ability to effectively connect with the patient and fully leverage tools to support evidence-based treatment...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Ellen E Fitzsimmons-Craft, Marie-Laure Firebaugh, Andrea K Graham, Dawn M Eichen, Grace E Monterubio, Katherine N Balantekin, Anna M Karam, Annie Seal, Burkhardt Funk, C Barr Taylor, Denise E Wilfley
The Internet-based Healthy Body Image (HBI) Program platform uses online screening to identify individuals at low risk for, high risk for, or with an eating disorder (ED) and then directs users to tailored, evidence-based online/mobile interventions or referral to in-person care to address individuals' risk/clinical status. We examined findings from the first state-wide deployment of HBI over the course of 3 years in Missouri public universities, sponsored by the Missouri Eating Disorders Council and the Missouri Mental Health Foundation...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Annette S Crisanti, Jessica Reno, Julie G Salvador, Cynthia Killough, R Neil Greene
Peer providers have been associated with positive outcomes in behavioral health, but little is known about the perceived helpfulness of their services. We used a mixed-methods randomized controlled trial to compare the perceived helpfulness of seeking safety (SS) led by peer providers compared to its delivery by licensed behavioral health clinicians (including both a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor and licensed clinical mental health counselor). Participants (N = 278) rated the helpfulness of 12 SS topics at the end of every session...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Annemiek Huisman, Diana D van Bergen
The emergence of peer specialists with histories of suicidality in mental health care services is a recent but scarcely researched societal phenomenon. The current study aimed to explore how peer specialists who have experienced suicidality (either attempted suicide or suicidal ideation) use their experiences to contribute to suicide prevention in mental health care services. Qualitative interviews with 20 peer specialists who have personally dealt with suicidality in their past were conducted. Interviewees perceived their work to have unique value in terms of their approach to making contact with suicidal care consumers on an emotional level, which was perceived to lead to less reluctance on the part of suicidal care consumers to talk about suicidality, as well as affect feelings of being acknowledged and heard...
November 8, 2018: Psychological Services
Craig J Bryan, Alexis M May, Julia Harris
Cross-sectional and retrospective studies indicate that a primary motive for suicidal behavior among United States soldiers is the desire to alleviate or reduce emotional distress. This is also the aim of psychological services designed to prevent suicidal behavior. The prospective association of emotion relief (and other) motives with future suicidal behavior has yet to be examined, however. In a high-risk sample of 97 active duty soldiers presenting for an emergency behavioral health appointment, suicide motives were examined and compared between those with and without a history of suicide attempts...
November 1, 2018: Psychological Services
C Beau Nelson, Rebecca Lusk, Chelsea Cawood, Laurie Boore, Anusha Ranganathan, Mark Lyubkin
Mental illness is a major public health concern negatively affecting persons across multiple domains. To address this, health care systems have prioritized access to care and use of empirically supported treatments to better serve those with psychiatric concerns. Rates of dropout from psychotherapy are high, especially in routine clinical settings. Peer support has been promulgated as fostering treatment engagement and completion due to a connection forged from common experience (e.g., military service, psychiatric diagnosis, etc...
November 1, 2018: Psychological Services
Ruth L Firmin, Susan Mao, Chyrell D Bellamy, Larry Davidson
Microaggressions and their consequences have been observed among people with mental illness. However, little is known about ways in which peer support specialists, those with lived experience who also provide mental health services, experience microaggressions or the impacts of these experiences. Using an online survey of open-ended questions, peer support specialists (N = 65) provided examples of microaggressions they have experienced on the job and described the frequency of these experiences, the content of messages they received, and their responses and coping strategies...
November 1, 2018: Psychological Services
Robert D Shura, Sarra Nazem, Holly M Miskey, Trisha A Hostetter, Jared A Rowland, Lisa A Brenner, Va Mid-Atlantic Mirecc Workgroup, Katherine H Taber
This study evaluated whether a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) was associated with increased risk for recent suicidal ideation (SI) after accounting for demographics, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and sleep quality. In terms of increased risk, we hypothesized that a history of lifetime TBI would be associated with increased recent SI when compared with no history of TBI; multiple injuries were also evaluated. The sample included Iraq and Afghanistan war-era veterans (n = 838) who served in the United States military since 9/2001 and completed a structured TBI interview...
November 1, 2018: Psychological Services
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