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Increasing Use of Video Telehealth Among Veterans Experiencing Homelessness with Substance Use Disorder: Design of A Peer-Led Intervention.

Garvin LA, Greenan MA, Edelman EJ, Slightam C, McInnes DK, Zulman DM. Increasing Use of Video Telehealth Among Veterans Experiencing Homelessness with Substance Use Disorder: Design of A Peer-Led Intervention. Journal of technology in behavioral science. 2022 Dec 21;(21):1-12.

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Telehealth offers promising opportunities, but also challenges, for veterans experiencing homelessness - during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Recent research found low utilization of clinical video visits among homeless veterans receiving a VA tablet, and having a substance use disorder (SUD) further reduced visit likelihood. Hence, this study sought to identify unique barriers to telehealth use among veterans experiencing homelessness with a SUD and design an intervention to promote adoption. This qualitative study was guided by the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model. The study''s three phases included veteran interviews (? = 28) to identify barriers and facilitators to video telehealth use and propose intervention candidates, a provider expert panel to obtain feedback on interventions, and a focus group with veterans to complete the intervention. Finally, a prototype was designed using the intervention mapping approach. Veteran interviews revealed that barriers to video telehealth included complex physical and mental health issues, lack of digital literacy, and insufficient technical support. Together, veterans and experts proposed five intervention candidates. In the end, a veteran focus group combined two candidates, peer-led digital training and motivational interviewing. Intervention mapping was used to design a "stepped care" intervention that trains and activates veterans at all skill levels. This study demonstrates how inclusion of expert and veteran views led to development of a novel intervention to support and sustain video telehealth use among veterans experiencing homeless with SUD.

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