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Outreach to facilitate return to VA care for veterans with serious mental illness: A mixed-methods evaluation of best practices.
Abraham KM, Merrill SL, Quasarano JG, Mach J, Harrod M, Takamine L. Outreach to facilitate return to VA care for veterans with serious mental illness: A mixed-methods evaluation of best practices. Psychological Services. 2021 Aug 5.
Outreach to people with serious mental illness who are disengaged from treatment can facilitate return to care. However, little is known regarding what outreach strategies are effective. This mixed-methods evaluation assessed best practices for conducting outreach to Veterans with serious mental illness via the national Veterans Health Administration Re-Engaging Veterans with Serious Mental Illness program by comparing the strategies used by high-performing sites and low-performing sites. Quantitative data included the types and number of contact attempts used to reach Veterans. Qualitative data included interviews with clinicians from high- and low-performing sites. Results indicated making at least four contact attempts using methods of phone, certified letter, and next of kin differentiated high from low-performing facilities. Clinicians from high-performing sites also differed from low-performing sites in their expressed philosophy about outreach, demonstrated a broader array of strategies in attempting to contact Veterans, and described greater connections with others at their site, with clinicians around the country, and with national program resources. Implications of evaluation findings for outreach programs and research are discussed. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).