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Promoting Whole Health and Well-Being at Home: Veteran and Provider Perspectives on the Impact of Tele-Whole Health Services.

Khanna A, Dryden EM, Bolton RE, Wu J, Taylor SL, Clayman ML, Anwar C, Kasom D, McGowan M, Mullur RS, Bokhour BG, Hyde J. Promoting Whole Health and Well-Being at Home: Veteran and Provider Perspectives on the Impact of Tele-Whole Health Services. Global advances in health and medicine. 2022 Nov 25; 11(eCollection 2022):2164957X221142608.

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BACKGROUND: The Veterans Health Administration (VA) is undergoing a transformation in how healthcare is organized and provided. This transformation to a Whole Health System of Care encompasses the integration of complementary and integrative health services, education, and Whole Health coaching to develop Veterans' self-care skills. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these services were provided via telehealth (tele-WH). OBJECTIVE: We sought to understand Veteran and provider perspectives on how tele-WH impacts Veteran engagement in Whole Health-aligned services and the impact on their well-being. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 51 providers who delivered tele-WH at 10 VA Medical Centers (VAMCs) and 19 Veterans receiving tele-WH at 6 VAMCs. Participants were asked about their experiences with tele-WH, what they perceived to be the impact of tele-WH on Veterans, and their preferences moving forward. Interviews were transcribed, and a content analysis was performed using a rapid approach. RESULTS: We identified 3 major themes that describe the perceived impact of tele-WH on Veterans. These include: (1) increased use of Whole Health-aligned services; (2) deeper engagement with Whole-Health aligned services; and (3) improvements in social, psychological, and physical well-being. CONCLUSION: Tele-WH is perceived to be a strong complement to in-person services and is a promising mechanism for improving engagement with Whole Health-aligned services and promoting Veteran well-being. Future research is needed to measure outcomes identified in this study and to support more equitable access to telehealth for all.

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