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Abraham KM, Lai Z, Bowersox NW, Goodrich DE, Visnic S, Burk JP, Kilbourne AM. Health care utilization prior to loss to care among veterans with serious mental illness. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2013 Jun 1; 64(6):594-6.
OBJECTIVE: This study examined the association between utilization of Veterans Affairs (VA) health services and the probability of treatment dropout among veterans with serious mental illness. METHODS: Utilization of VA health services in the fiscal year (FY) before treatment dropout among veterans with serious mental illness who were lost to care for at least 12 months beginning in FYs 2008 or 2009 (N = 6,687) was compared with utilization in FYs 2007 or 2008 among veterans with serious mental illness who remained in care (N = 6,687). RESULTS: The veterans (mean age = 54) were predominantly male (91%) and Caucasian (76%). After accounting for demographic and clinical variables, the analyses found that more primary care and mental health outpatient visits and fewer general medical and mental health hospitalizations were associated with lower odds of dropout. CONCLUSIONS: Engagement in outpatient health care was associated with lower odds of loss to care among veterans with serious mental illness.