Family-involved mental healthcare among OEF/OIF veterans with and without PTSD using VHA administrative records
Harper, K. L., Thompson-Hollands, J., Keane, T. M., & Marx, B. P. (2022). Family-involved mental health care among OEF/OIF with and without PTSD using VHA administrative records. Behavior Therapy, 53(5), 819-827. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beth.2022.01.006
Abstract Created by REACH:
Using 4 waves of data from 1,329 Army and Marine Corps Veterans between 2008–2012, this study examined the extent to which Veterans included family members in their mental health therapy visits. Investigated predictors of family-involved therapy visits included romantic relationship functioning (e.g., emotional support for partner), mental health symptoms (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] diagnosis and severity, depressive symptoms, suicide risk), and demographics (e.g., race, marital status). These predictors were assessed via self-report questionnaires or diagnostic interviews at Time 1 (T1). In general, over the 4 years, less than one percent (0.9%) of these Veterans attended therapy visits with family members. Furthermore, Veterans with poorer romantic relationship functioning and higher PTSD severity at T1 were more likely to attend therapy that included family members over the next 4 years.
Branch of Service:
Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Harper, Kelly L., Thompson-Hollands, Johanna, Keane, Terence M., Marx, Brian P.
Prior research indicates that veterans are interested in including family members in healthcare and that family-inclusive mental health treatment can improve treatment outcomes. Consequently, the Veterans Health Administration’s (VHA) directive require providers to offer family-inclusive mental health services to veterans. However, the extent to which veterans engage in family-inclusive mental health services at VHA remains unclear. Using data from a longitudinal registry of male and female veterans with and without PTSD, we examined the extent to which veterans included family members in their mental healthcare and predictors of engagement in family-involved therapy visits using VHA administrative records over a 5-year timespan. Of the 1,329 veterans who received mental health care during the study, 8.4% received a family therapy visit and the number of visits per veteran ranged from 1 to 34. Results from logistic regressions indicate that relative to White veterans, Black veterans were 61% less likely to receive a family-involved therapy visit. Married veterans or veterans living with a partner and veterans with poor romantic relationship functioning, were more likely to receive a family-involved therapy visit. These findings indicate that only a small percentage of veterans received a family therapy visit across 5 years. Efforts to understand barriers to family-involved therapy visits and strategies to increase engagement in family-involved visits may improve clinical outcomes and promote patient-centered care.
National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System, KLH
National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System, JTH
National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System, TMK
National Center for PTSD at VA Boston Healthcare System, BPM
Boston University School of Medicine, JTH
Boston University School of Medicine, TMK
Boston University School of Medicine, BPM
ptsd, healthcare utilization, family involvement
REACH Publication Type:
The study was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense awards W81XWH-08-2-0102 and W81XWH-08-2-0100. Johanna Thompson-Hollands was supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Clinical Sciences Research and Development Service) under Career Development Award No. IK2 CX001589.