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E-mental health preferences of Veterans with and without probable posttraumatic stress disorder.

Whealin JM, Seibert-Hatalsky LA, Howell JW, Tsai J. E-mental health preferences of Veterans with and without probable posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of rehabilitation research and development. 2015 Nov 1; 52(6):725-38.

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Mental health care practices supported by electronic communication, referred to as e-mental health, offer ways to increase access to mental health resources. In recent years, e-mental health interventions using clinical video teleconferencing, Internet-based interventions, social networking sites, and telephones have emerged as viable, cost-effective methods to augment traditional service delivery. Whereas some research evaluates attitudes about e-mental health, few studies have assessed interest in using these approaches in a contemporary sample of U.S. Veterans. This study sought to understand willingness to use e-mental health in a diverse group of Veterans residing in Hawaii. Mailed surveys were completed by 600 Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom Veterans and National Guard members. Results suggest that overall willingness to use e-mental health ranged from 32.2% to 56.7% depending on modality type. Importantly, Veterans who screened positive for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were significantly less likely to report willingness to use each e-mental health modality than their peers without PTSD, despite their greater desire for mental health services. These results suggest that despite solutions to logistical barriers afforded via e-mental health services, certain barriers to mental health care may persist, especially among Veterans who screen positive for PTSD.

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