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Collaborating across the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to integrate mental health and chaplaincy services.
J Gen Intern Med 2014; 29 Suppl 4:885-94JG

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Recognizing that clergy and spiritual care providers are a key part of mental health care systems, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) jointly examined chaplains' current and potential roles in caring for veterans and service members with mental health needs.

OBJECTIVE

Our aim was to evaluate the intersection of chaplain and mental health care practices in VA and DoD in order to determine if improvement is needed, and if so, to develop actionable recommendations as indicated by evaluation findings.

DESIGN

A 38-member multidisciplinary task group partnered with researchers in designing, implementing, and interpreting a mixed methods study that included: 1) a quantitative survey of VA and DoD chaplains; and 2) qualitative interviews with mental health providers and chaplains.

PARTICIPANTS

Quantitative: the survey included all full-time VA chaplains and all active duty military chaplains (n = 2,163 completed of 3,464 invited; 62 % response rate). Qualitative: a total of 291 interviews were conducted with mental health providers and chaplains during site visits to 33 VA and DoD facilities.

MAIN MEASURES

Quantitative: the online survey assessed intersections between chaplaincy and mental health care and took an average of 37 min to complete. Qualitative: the interviews assessed current integration of mental health and chaplain services and took an average of 1 h to complete.

KEY RESULTS

When included on interdisciplinary mental health care teams, chaplains feel understood and valued (82.8-100 % of chaplains indicated this, depending on the team). However, findings from the survey and site visits suggest that integration of services is often lacking and can be improved.

CONCLUSIONS

Closely coordinating with a multidisciplinary task group in conducting a mixed method evaluation of chaplain-mental health integration in VA and DoD helped to ensure that researchers assessed relevant domains and that findings could be rapidly translated into actionable recommendations.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Mental Health and Chaplaincy, Department of Veterans Affairs, Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Durham, NC, USA, jason.nieuwsma@duke.edu.No affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

25355089

Citation

Nieuwsma, Jason A., et al. "Collaborating Across the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to Integrate Mental Health and Chaplaincy Services." Journal of General Internal Medicine, vol. 29 Suppl 4, 2014, pp. 885-94.
Nieuwsma JA, Jackson GL, DeKraai MB, et al. Collaborating across the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to integrate mental health and chaplaincy services. J Gen Intern Med. 2014;29 Suppl 4:885-94.
Nieuwsma, J. A., Jackson, G. L., DeKraai, M. B., Bulling, D. J., Cantrell, W. C., Rhodes, J. E., ... Meador, K. G. (2014). Collaborating across the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to integrate mental health and chaplaincy services. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 29 Suppl 4, pp. 885-94. doi:10.1007/s11606-014-3032-5.
Nieuwsma JA, et al. Collaborating Across the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to Integrate Mental Health and Chaplaincy Services. J Gen Intern Med. 2014;29 Suppl 4:885-94. PubMed PMID: 25355089.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Collaborating across the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to integrate mental health and chaplaincy services. AU - Nieuwsma,Jason A, AU - Jackson,George L, AU - DeKraai,Mark B, AU - Bulling,Denise J, AU - Cantrell,William C, AU - Rhodes,Jeffrey E, AU - Bates,Mark J, AU - Ethridge,Keith, AU - Lane,Marian E, AU - Tenhula,Wendy N, AU - Batten,Sonja V, AU - Meador,Keith G, PY - 2014/10/31/entrez PY - 2014/10/31/pubmed PY - 2015/7/23/medline SP - 885 EP - 94 JF - Journal of general internal medicine JO - J Gen Intern Med VL - 29 Suppl 4 N2 - BACKGROUND: Recognizing that clergy and spiritual care providers are a key part of mental health care systems, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Defense (DoD) jointly examined chaplains' current and potential roles in caring for veterans and service members with mental health needs. OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to evaluate the intersection of chaplain and mental health care practices in VA and DoD in order to determine if improvement is needed, and if so, to develop actionable recommendations as indicated by evaluation findings. DESIGN: A 38-member multidisciplinary task group partnered with researchers in designing, implementing, and interpreting a mixed methods study that included: 1) a quantitative survey of VA and DoD chaplains; and 2) qualitative interviews with mental health providers and chaplains. PARTICIPANTS: Quantitative: the survey included all full-time VA chaplains and all active duty military chaplains (n = 2,163 completed of 3,464 invited; 62 % response rate). Qualitative: a total of 291 interviews were conducted with mental health providers and chaplains during site visits to 33 VA and DoD facilities. MAIN MEASURES: Quantitative: the online survey assessed intersections between chaplaincy and mental health care and took an average of 37 min to complete. Qualitative: the interviews assessed current integration of mental health and chaplain services and took an average of 1 h to complete. KEY RESULTS: When included on interdisciplinary mental health care teams, chaplains feel understood and valued (82.8-100 % of chaplains indicated this, depending on the team). However, findings from the survey and site visits suggest that integration of services is often lacking and can be improved. CONCLUSIONS: Closely coordinating with a multidisciplinary task group in conducting a mixed method evaluation of chaplain-mental health integration in VA and DoD helped to ensure that researchers assessed relevant domains and that findings could be rapidly translated into actionable recommendations. SN - 1525-1497 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/25355089/Collaborating_across_the_Departments_of_Veterans_Affairs_and_Defense_to_integrate_mental_health_and_chaplaincy_services_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-014-3032-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -