I am Dr. Jenna Ermold from the Center for Deployment Psychology and I’m here today with Dr. Christopher Keonig, who is a health communications scientist with San Francisco State University and a health services researcher at the San Francisco VA healthcare system. Dr. Keonig is one of the panelists on our Military Culture in Primary Care Roundtable. I wanted to have an additional conversation with him today about some of the research that he does.
Blog posts with the tag "Primary Care"
I was trained in the Primary Care Behavioral Health Consultation model (PCBH; Robinson & Reiter, 2016) while I was a pre-doctoral clinical psychology resident (intern) in early 2007. As a young U.S. Air Force (USAF) officer and clinician, I found the primary care rotation to be exciting and exhausting. However, as a colleague of mine says, the primary care bug bit hard and I was hooked! I enjoyed the fast-paced generalist environment and the need to be prepared for anything. After graduation, I was fortunate to continue doing part-time PCBH work until I separated from the USAF in 2015. The USAF calls their PCBH program the Behavioral Health Optimization Program, a.k.a. BHOP (USAF, 2014). I BHOPped along for a few years until I was certified as an official “mentor” by Patti Robinson in 2011. For three years thereafter, I trained residents in BHOP. I truly had no idea that the skills I learned during my residency rotation would prove so valuable not just in primary care clinics, but also in a variety of other military settings, including the deployed environment.
The percentage of 2,230 soldiers receiving a PTSD diagnosis within 90 days of return from Afghanistan who had only one mental health care visit, according to a recent study published in the journal Psychiatric Services -- PTSD Treatment for Soldiers After Combat Deployment: Low Utilization of Mental Health Care and Reasons for Dropout. The researchers further report that 41% of these 2,230 soldiers "received minimally adequate care (eight or more encounters in 12 months)."
The percentage increase in the number of prescriptions for any sleep medication between 1999 and 2010, from 5.3 million to 20.8 million, according to an article recently published in the journal Sleep -- Trends in Outpatient Visits for Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, and Prescriptions for Sleep Medications among US Adults: Findings from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey 1999-2010.
For many mental health providers, the focus on providing evidence-based treatments for deployment-related issues allows us to improve treatment outcomes for the patients in front of us. However, what about the patients who never make it to our door? While we know that many Service Members and Veterans are not likely to seek out specialty mental health care, patients do have regular contact with their primary care providers (PCPs).For many Service Members, the primary care clinic is the only contact with medical care, the place where the rubber meets the road, and all health care gets done.