Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

CDA 15-257 – HSR Study

CDA 15-257
Patient-centered Strategies to Engage Veterans in Behavioral Health Services
Jessica Yelena Breland, PhD MS BA
VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA
Funding Period: October 2016 - December 2022
Almost 80% of Veterans using the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) are overweight or obese, putting millions at risk for costly and debilitating chronic conditions. Weight loss treatments improve health, but there is an implementation gap: VHA offers weight loss treatments to 94% of overweight/obese Veterans, but only 10% use them. Therefore, improving weight loss treatment engagement could prolong millions of lives. Motivational interviewing can improve treatment engagement (i.e., help patients initiate/maintain treatments), but clinicians have limited time to use it. As a result, there is a need for a motivational, self-help tool that can increase Veterans' weight loss treatment engagement without requiring clinicians' time.

Aim 1: Identify patient and organizational predictors of weight loss treatment engagement.
Aim 2: Develop a motivational, self-help tool to increase weight loss treatment engagement.
Aim 3: Pilot-test a motivational, self-help tool to engage Veterans in weight loss treatments.

Aim 1 used interviews with clinicians and national leaders to identify VHA behavioral weight loss treatments, including, but not limited to MOVE! (VHA's primary weight loss treatment). Next, gender stratified administrative database analyses will be used to identify patient and organizational predictors of Veterans' engagement in those treatments. Aim 2 uses Aim 1 results and interviews with VHA clinicians and patients to develop a motivational, self-help tool to increase women and men Veterans' weight loss treatment engagement. Aim 3 will be a pilot test of the tool to assess the feasibility of methods for a subsequent randomized trial of the tool's effects on weight loss treatment engagement.

Not yet available.

The proposed research will help identify Veteran populations most in need of improved weight loss treatment engagement and inform efforts to implement VHA weight management programs. Findings may ultimately lead to increased engagement in effective weight loss treatments that will improve the health of Veterans through weight loss, improved physical health, and improved quality of life. Results may also facilitate understanding of and improvements in engagement and outcomes related to other behavioral health treatments.

External Links for this Project

NIH Reporter

Grant Number: IK2HX002125-01A1

Dimensions for VA

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

Learn more about Dimensions for VA.

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
    Search Dimensions for this project


Journal Articles

  1. Breland JY, Agha K, Mohankumar R. Adoption and Appropriateness of mHealth for Weight Management in the Real World: A Qualitative Investigation of Patient Perspectives. JMIR formative research. 2021 Dec 8; 5(12):e29916. [view]
  2. Breland JY, Stanton MV. Anti-Black racism and behavioral medicine: confronting the past to envision the future. Translational behavioral medicine. 2022 Jan 18; 12(1). [view]
  3. Breland JY, Wong JJ, McAndrew LM. Are Common Sense Model constructs and self-efficacy simultaneously correlated with self-management behaviors and health outcomes: A systematic review. Health psychology open. 2020 Jan 23; 7(1):2055102919898846. [view]
  4. Breland JY, Wong MS, Steers WN, Yuan AH, Haderlein TP, Washington DL. BMI and Risk for Severe COVID-19 Among Veterans Health Administration Patients. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.). 2021 May 1; 29(5):825-828. [view]
  5. Breland JY, Dawson DB, Puran D, Mohankumar R, Maguen S, Timko C, Frayne SM, Nevedal AL. Common Sense Models of Obesity: a Qualitative Investigation of Illness Representations. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2023 Apr 1; 30(2):190-198. [view]
  6. Wong JJ, Hood KK, Breland JY. Correlates of health care use among White and minority men and women with diabetes: An NHANES study. Diabetes research and clinical practice. 2019 Apr 1; 150:122-128. [view]
  7. Altman M, Huang TTK, Breland JY. Design Thinking in Health Care. Preventing chronic disease. 2018 Sep 27; 15:E117. [view]
  8. Breland JY, Joyce VR, Frayne SM, Phibbs C. Differences in body mass index based on self-reported versus measured data from women veterans. Obesity science & practice. 2020 Aug 1; 6(4):434-438. [view]
  9. Zimmermann M, Greenberg L, Breland JY. Engagement and Use of a Blended mHealth Intervention for Health Behavior Change. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. 2023 May 22. [view]
  10. Zulman DM, O'Brien CW, Slightam C, Breland JY, Krauth D, Nevedal AL. Engaging High-Need Patients in Intensive Outpatient Programs: A Qualitative Synthesis of Engagement Strategies. Journal of general internal medicine. 2018 Nov 1; 33(11):1937-1944. [view]
  11. O'Brien CW, Breland JY, Slightam C, Nevedal A, Zulman DM. Engaging high-risk patients in intensive care coordination programs: the engagement through CARInG framework. Translational behavioral medicine. 2018 May 23; 8(3):351-356. [view]
  12. Sterling MR, EcheverrĂ­a SE, Commodore-Mensah Y, Breland JY, Nunez-Smith M. Health Equity and Implementation Science in Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep-Related Research: Emerging Themes From the 2018 Saunders-Watkins Leadership Workshop. Circulation. Cardiovascular quality and outcomes. 2019 Oct 1; 12(10):e005586. [view]
  13. Breland JY, Frayne SM, Timko C, Washington DL, Maguen S. Mental Health and Obesity Among Veterans: A Possible Need for Integrated Care. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2020 May 1; 71(5):506-509. [view]
  14. Hayes JF, Hoggatt KJ, Breland JY. Mental Health Diagnostic Patterns in Behavioral Weight Loss Program Attendees. Military medicine. 2020 Aug 14; 185(7-8):e1263-e1270. [view]
  15. Breland JY, Donalson R, Nevedal A, Dinh JV, Maguen S. Military experience can influence Women's eating habits. Appetite. 2017 Nov 1; 118:161-167. [view]
  16. Breland JY, Donalson R, Li Y, Hebenstreit CL, Goldstein LA, Maguen S. Military sexual trauma is associated with eating disorders, while combat exposure is not. Psychological trauma : theory, research, practice and policy. 2018 May 1; 10(3):276-281. [view]
  17. Patel ML, Wakayama LN, Bass MB, Breland JY. Motivational interviewing in eHealth and telehealth interventions for weight loss: A systematic review. Preventive medicine. 2019 Sep 1; 126:105738. [view]
  18. Gray KE, Hoerster KD, Spohr SA, Breland JY, Raffa SD. National Veterans Health Administration MOVE! Weight Management Program Participation During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Preventing chronic disease. 2022 Mar 10; 19:E11. [view]
  19. Breland JY, Wong MS, Frayne SM, Hoggatt KJ, Steers WN, Saechao F, Washington DL. Obesity and Health Care Experiences among Women and Men Veterans. Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2019 Jun 25; 29 Suppl 1:S32-S38. [view]
  20. Timko C, Ilgen M, Haverfield M, Shelley A, Breland JY. Polysubstance use by psychiatry inpatients with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2017 Nov 1; 180:319-322. [view]
  21. Lohnberg JA, Salcido L, Frayne S, Mahtani N, Bates C, Hauser ME, Breland JY. Rapid conversion to virtual obesity care in COVID-19: Impact on patient care, interdisciplinary collaboration, and training. Obesity science & practice. 2022 Feb 1; 8(1):131-136. [view]
  22. Winograd DM, Fresquez CL, Egli M, Peterson EK, Lombardi AR, Megale A, Tineo YAC, Verile MG, Phillips AL, Breland JY, Santos S, McAndrew LM. Rapid review of virus risk communication interventions: Directions for COVID-19. Patient education and counseling. 2021 Aug 1; 104(8):1834-1859. [view]
  23. Breland JY, Stanton MV. Should we give up on motivational interviewing? Not so fast. Heart (British Cardiac Society). 2020 Mar 1; 106(6):409-410. [view]
  24. Breland JY, Quintiliani LM, Schneider KL, May CN, Pagoto S. Social Media as a Tool to Increase the Impact of Public Health Research. American journal of public health. 2017 Dec 1; 107(12):1890-1891. [view]
  25. Kim B, Wilson SM, Mosher TM, Breland JY. Systematic Decision-Making for Using Technological Strategies to Implement Evidence-Based Interventions: An Illustrated Case Study. Frontiers in psychiatry. 2021 May 14; 12:640240. [view]
  26. McAndrew LM, Martin JL, Friedlander M, Shaffer K, Breland JY, Slotkin S, Leventhal H. The Common Sense of Counseling Psychology: Introducing the Common Sense Model of Self-Regulation. Counselling psychology quarterly. 2017 Aug 1; [view]
  27. Breland JY, Phibbs CS, Hoggatt KJ, Washington DL, Lee J, Haskell S, Uchendu US, Saechao FS, Zephyrin LC, Frayne SM. The Obesity Epidemic in the Veterans Health Administration: Prevalence Among Key Populations of Women and Men Veterans. Journal of general internal medicine. 2017 Apr 1; 32(Suppl 1):11-17. [view]
  28. Breland JY, Donalson R, Dinh JV, Maguen S. Trauma exposure and disordered eating: A qualitative study. Women & health. 2018 Feb 1; 58(2):160-174. [view]
  29. Dawson DB, Mohankumar R, Puran D, Nevedal A, Maguen S, Timko C, Kunik ME, Breland JY. Weight Management Treatment Representations: A Novel Use of the Common Sense Model. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings. 2023 Dec 1; 30(4):884-892. [view]
  30. Breland JY, Patel ML, Wong JJ, Hoggatt KJ. Weight Perceptions and Weight Loss Attempts: Military Service Matters. Military medicine. 2020 Mar 2; 185(3-4):e397-e402. [view]

DRA: Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Other Endocrine Conditions, Other Conditions
DRE: Prevention, TRL - Development, Technology Development and Assessment, Treatment - Preclinical
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms: none

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.