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HERC Health Economics Seminar

OEF/OIF Army Reservists’ Postdeployment Mental Health Screens and Linkage to the Veterans Health Administration

by Alex Sox-Harris, PhD, MS ; Megan Vanneman, PhD, MPH
Seminar date: 9/16/2015

Description: Following deployment, military service members complete the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA), which includes screens for alcohol misuse, depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In order to assess if Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Army Reserve Component (RC) members with positive screening scores on the PDHRA receive needed care, we examined the association between positive screening scores on the PDHRA and enrollment and utilization of care in (“linkage” to) the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), along with subsequent reassessment scores, diagnosis, and treatment in VHA. We used mixed effect regression models to predict linkage to VHA after completing the PDHRA, with mental health screening scores as key independent variables (n=73,164). Regressions were stratified by gender and component (Army National Guard (ARNG) and Reserve (AR)). For those who linked to VHA within six months (n=25,168), we examined mental health screen scores as well as subsequent diagnosis and treatment rates in VHA. Target audience: Health services researchers, mental health providers, policy makers

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