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Family Involvement in PTSD Treatment: Perspectives from a Nationwide Sample of Veterans Health Administration Clinicians.

Thompson-Hollands J, Rando AA, Stoycos SA, Meis LA, Iverson KM. Family Involvement in PTSD Treatment: Perspectives from a Nationwide Sample of Veterans Health Administration Clinicians. Administration and policy in mental health. 2022 Nov 1; 49(6):1019-1030.

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Social support is bidirectionally linked to symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Evidence suggests that family involvement in veterans'' mental health treatment is desired by both veterans and family members, and that such involvement has the potential to improve treatment outcomes. However, rates of family involvement are low in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). We sought to understand VHA clinicians'' perspectives on family involvement in PTSD treatment by conducting qualitative interviews with 31 providers at 10 VHA facilities across the U.S. The i-PARIHS framework was used to guide the interviews and analysis, and several major themes were identified. All clinicians reported that they at least occasionally offered family-inclusive sessions, and they frequently referenced both the influence of family behaviors or attitudes on veterans'' functioning, and also how veterans'' symptoms could cause tremendous disruption in the family. Clinicians'' past experience with supervised family- or couple-based work strongly influenced their current comfort with family-inclusive sessions. Multiple potential avenues exist to support increased family involvement in PTSD treatment in VHA.

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