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An Examination of the Association Between Patient Experience and Quality of Mental Health Care Among Women Veterans.

Rossi FS, Javier SJ, Kimerling R. An Examination of the Association Between Patient Experience and Quality of Mental Health Care Among Women Veterans. Administration and policy in mental health. 2021 Jan 1; 48(1):61-69.

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Improving patient experience is one strategy that may increase the quality of mental health care if better experience is linked to the likelihood of a potentially therapeutic dose (PTD) of treatment. This study sought to examine: (1) the proportion of women veterans who obtained a PTD of mental health treatment; and (2) the association between women's experiences with Veterans Health Administration (VHA) mental health services and obtaining a PTD of mental health treatment. We assessed patient experience via a survey that measured experiences with gender-sensitive care, ease of getting care, perceived quality of care, and extent to which care met needs. We used VHA administrative data to determine mental health utilization across a national sample of 2109 women veterans with episodes of mental health care that included psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy. Results indicated that 71% of women received a PTD. Positive ratings regarding perceived quality of care and whether care met needs were associated with higher odds of receiving a PTD of treatment. Findings provide supporting evidence for the continued necessity  of offering patient-centered mental health care to women veterans. Careful consideration of women veterans' mental health care experiences may be crucial in promoting high value mental health care for this population in VHA.

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