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Grubaugh AL, Gros K, Frueh C, Davidson T, Ruggiero KJ. Providers' Perspectives Regarding the Feasibility and Utility of an Internet-Based Mental Health Intervention for Veterans. Psychological trauma : theory, research, practice and policy. 2014 Nov 30; 6(6):624-631.
Although support for Internet-based interventions (IBIs) has grown significantly in the past decade, few interventions are designed specifically for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and other mental health problems. Additionally, research guiding IBI development is limited. We solicited feedback from providers familiar with the needs and preferences of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) veterans with mental health problems to inform the development of an IBI. Thematic interviews were conducted with 17 Veterans Affairs providers to (a) gain insight into the unique problems and needs of OIF/OEF veterans, (b) obtain feedback on the content and presentation of the IBI, and (c) generate suggestions regarding the effective delivery of the IBI. Providers were receptive to the use of IBIs and were vocal in their need for novel approaches and tools to address the mental health needs of their patients. They noted several advantages to IBIs such as their ability to circumvent access-to-care barriers and their ease of use and likely appeal to OIF/OEF veterans. They also noted challenges associated with IBIs, including obtaining sufficient motivation and buy-in from veterans given the distal nature of IBIs. Finally, providers offered several recommendations regarding the content and design of the IBI, as well as strategies for effective marketing and dissemination. Provider feedback was valuable in the development of an IBI that is responsive to the mental health needs of OIF/OEF veterans and in learning about how best to promote IBIs. Similar approaches can be used by stakeholders interested in developing IBIs for novel populations and settings.