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Veterans' views of PARTNER-MH, a peer-led patient navigation intervention, to improve patient engagement in care and patient-clinician communication: A qualitative study.

Eliacin J, Matthias MS, Cameron KA, Burgess DJ. Veterans' views of PARTNER-MH, a peer-led patient navigation intervention, to improve patient engagement in care and patient-clinician communication: A qualitative study. Patient education and counseling. 2023 Sep 1; 114:107847.

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OBJECTIVE: In this study, we report on participants'' experiences of PARTNER-MH, a peer-led, patient-navigation intervention for racially and ethnically minoritized patients in Veterans Health Administration mental health services aimed at improving patient engagement in care and patient-clinician communication. Participants described their views of PARTNER-MH, barriers and facilitators to the intervention''s implementation, and their application of varied intervention concepts to improve engagement in care and communication with their mental health clinicians. METHODS: This is a qualitative analysis of the PARTNER-MH pilot randomized controlled trial. Participants participated in semi-structured interviews guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Rapid data analysis approach was used to analyze the data. RESULTS: Participants (n  =  13) perceived PARTNER-MH as an acceptable intervention, and viewed use of peers as interventionists, long-term outreach and engagement efforts, and navigation services favorably. Barriers to implementation included limited flexibility in peers'' schedules and lack of peer/participant gender concordance, as well as limited options for program delivery modality. Three main themes summarized participants'' views and perceived benefits of PARTNER-MH that contributed to improved patient-clinician communication: 1) increased patient engagement, 2) improved patient-clinician relationship, and 3) enhanced communication self-efficacy. CONCLUSIONS: Participants viewed PARTNER-MH as beneficial and identified several intervention components that contributed to improved engagement in care, communication self-efficacy, and patient-clinician communication. PRACTICE IMPLICATION: Some patients, especially minoritized patients and those who have been disenfranchised from healthcare systems may benefit from peer-led interventions that facilitate engagement in care and communication self-efficacy to improve patient-clinician communication and healthcare outcomes. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT04515771.

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