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Peter SC, Halverson TF, Blakey SM, Pugh MJ, Beckham JC, Calhoun PS, Kimbrel NA. The Veterans Health Administration's integrated model of care increases accessibility and delivery of mental health services. Psychological Services. 2022 Jul 4.
Depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are two of the most common mental health conditions experienced by veterans. It is unclear what individual and system level factors are associated with receiving mental health treatment for these concerns. Using a national sample of Gulf War Era veterans who endorsed lifetime diagnoses of either depression or PTSD ( = 425), regression analyses were used to predict past-year treatment utilization. Predictor variables were those indicated in the behavioral model of health care utilization, including predisposing demographic variables (e.g., age, race), enabling variables (e.g., service connection, enrollment in Veterans Health Administration [VHA]), and need-based variables (e.g., current symptom severity). VHA enrollment was associated with a three- and five-times higher odds of being treated for depression or PTSD, respectively. Income and symptom severity were also positively associated with treatment utilization. Among individuals with diagnoses of depression and/or PTSD, VHA enrollment was the strongest predictor of receiving mental health treatment for these diagnoses, controlling for all other variables in the model including recent contact with the health care system, current symptom severity, and the presence of other enabling resources. Results suggest that the VHA''s integrated model of care increases accessibility and delivery of effective mental health services. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).