Whole Health from the Perspective of VA Caregivers: Findings from a Photovoice Study
David Meyer, Esq., MBA, CISSP
Gala True, PhD
Seminar date: 12/11/2017
Description: As many Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) return home with complex co-morbidities including traumatic brain injury, posttraumatic stress, chronic pain, and other physical and mental health conditions, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun to embrace a “whole health” approach. The emphasis of the whole health approach is on a customized health plan that puts Veteran and family needs first, a focus on preventive care and mind-body approaches, and empowerment of patients and families to improve care. Questions remain concerning what this approach looks like from the perspective of Veterans’ family members, what shifts need to happen in VA care to reach these aspirational goals, and how existing VA and community resources can be leveraged to move us closer to whole health. This presentation draws from a VA HSR&D-funded participatory action research study to address these questions through the photo-narratives and personal experiences of VA caregivers.
Intended audience: health care providers, program managers, administrators and policy makers concerned with improving post-deployment health and community reintegration for post-9/11 Veterans and their families, as well as researchers and others interested in community-engaged, whole health, and patient-centered approaches.