Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Message Framing and Engagement in Specialty Mental Health Care.

Mavandadi S, Wright E, Klaus J, Oslin D. Message Framing and Engagement in Specialty Mental Health Care. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 2018 Mar 1; 69(3):308-314.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions



Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: Engagement rates in specialty mental health care for depression are suboptimal. This study examined the extent to which framing-by gain, by loss, or neutral- of health messages promotes appointment attendance among patients referred to specialty mental health care. METHODS: The study employed a randomized, prospective, experimental design. Patients meeting criteria for major depression and referred to specialty mental health care at the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center were randomly assigned (N = 360) to receive a patient reminder letter routinely mailed prior to scheduled specialty care appointments (neutral) or one of two messages (gain framed versus loss framed) that were added to the routine letter. Appointment and attendance data were extracted from the computerized system. Logistic regression was used to determine the association between message frame condition and initial appointment attendance. RESULTS: The sample (mean±SD age = 51.5±13.5) was primarily male (85%) and nonwhite (62%), and the mean depressive symptom score indicated moderately severe depression. Participants who received the gain-framed message after being referred to specialty mental health care were significantly more likely to attend their appointment than those who received a neutral letter (p = .04). No statistically significant differences were noted among those receiving a loss-framed message compared with the other two arms. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that highlighting the benefits of attending an initial specialty mental health care appointment, even if in writing, can affect engagement rates. If replicated, results have the potential to improve mental health treatment initiation rates in a timely, efficient, and cost-effective manner.





Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.