Your browser doesn't support javascript.
Show: 20 | 50 | 100
Results 1 - 20 de 38
Filter
1.
J Gen Intern Med ; 37(8): 2033-2040, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1872683

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Moral injury has primarily been studied in combat veterans but might also affect healthcare workers (HCWs) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVE: To compare patterns of potential moral injury (PMI) between post-9/11 military combat veterans and healthcare workers (HCWs) surveyed during the COVID-19 pandemic. DESIGN: Cross-sectional surveys of veterans (2015-2019) and HCWs (2020-2021) in the USA. PARTICIPANTS: 618 military veterans who were deployed to a combat zone after September 11, 2001, and 2099 HCWs working in healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic. MAIN MEASURES: Other-induced PMI (disturbed by others' immoral acts) and self-induced PMI (disturbed by having violated own morals) were the primary outcomes. Sociodemographic variables, combat/COVID-19 experience, depression, quality of life, and burnout were measured as correlates. KEY RESULTS: 46.1% of post-9/11 veterans and 50.7% of HCWs endorsed other-induced PMI, whereas 24.1% of post-9/11 veterans and 18.2% of HCWs endorsed self-induced PMI. Different types of PMI were significantly associated with gender, race, enlisted vs. officer status, and post-battle traumatic experiences among veterans and with age, race, working in a high COVID-19-risk setting, and reported COVID-19 exposure among HCWs. Endorsing either type of PMI was associated with significantly higher depressive symptoms and worse quality of life in both samples and higher burnout among HCWs. CONCLUSIONS: The potential for moral injury is relatively high among combat veterans and COVID-19 HCWs, with deleterious consequences for mental health and burnout. Demographic characteristics suggestive of less social empowerment may increase risk for moral injury. Longitudinal research among COVID-19 HCWs is needed. Moral injury prevention and intervention efforts for HCWs may benefit from consulting models used with veterans.


Subject(s)
Burnout, Professional , COVID-19 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Veterans , Burnout, Professional/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Personnel/psychology , Humans , Pandemics , Quality of Life , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/etiology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Veterans/psychology
2.
J Psychiatr Res ; 151: 546-553, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867420

ABSTRACT

Loneliness was deemed a behavioral epidemic even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent social distancing policy measures have raised concerns about increased social isolation and loneliness, especially in vulnerable populations such as military veterans. However, little is known about the impact of the pandemic on longitudinal changes in loneliness in veterans, and potential protective psychosocial factors that may mitigate loneliness in this population. We analyzed data from the 2019-2020 National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study, which surveyed a nationally representative, prospective cohort of 3,078 US veterans before and 1-year into the pandemic. Prevalence, and risk and protective factors associated with changes in loneliness were examined. Results revealed that the prevalence of loneliness decreased over the study period-17.3% pre-pandemic to 15.9% peri-pandemic (p = 0.032). A total of 5.4% (n = 164) of veterans reported increased loneliness, 6.4% (n = 196) decreased loneliness, and 10.6% (n = 325) persistent loneliness during the pandemic. Multivariable logistic regression models indicated that not being married/partnered, and scoring lower on pre-pandemic measures of purpose in life and cognitive functioning were most strongly associated with increased loneliness. Pre-pandemic psychiatric disorder, unpartnered marital status, and pandemic-related social restriction and financial stressors were most strongly associated with persistent loneliness. Collectively, these results suggest that, contrary to concerns, the prevalence of loneliness subtly decreased one year into the pandemic. Veterans who are not partnered, have pre-existing psychiatric conditions, and endorse more COVID-related stressors may be at higher risk for experiencing loneliness during the pandemic. Interventions that promote social connectedness, as well as that target the aforementioned risk and protective factors, may help mitigate loneliness in veterans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Veterans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Humans , Loneliness/psychology , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Veterans/psychology
3.
J Med Internet Res ; 24(4): e32570, 2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1834151

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The recent shift to video care has exacerbated disparities in health care access, especially among high-need, high-risk (HNHR) adults. Developing data-driven approaches to improve access to care necessitates a deeper understanding of HNHR adults' attitudes toward telemedicine and technology access. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to identify the willingness, access, and ability of HNHR veterans to use telemedicine for health care. METHODS: WWe designed a questionnaire conducted via mail or telephone or in person. Among HNHR veterans who were identified using predictive modeling with national Veterans Affairs data, we assessed willingness to use video visits for health care, access to necessary equipment, and comfort with using technology. We evaluated physical health, including frailty, physical function, performance of activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental ADL (IADL); mental health; and social needs, including Area Deprivation Index, transportation, social support, and social isolation. RESULTS: The average age of the 602 HNHR veteran respondents was 70.6 (SD 9.2; range 39-100) years; 99.7% (600/602) of the respondents were male, 61% (367/602) were White, 36% (217/602) were African American, 17.3% (104/602) were Hispanic, 31.2% (188/602) held at least an associate degree, and 48.2% (290/602) were confident filling medical forms. Of the 602 respondents, 327 (54.3%) reported willingness for video visits, whereas 275 (45.7%) were unwilling. Willing veterans were younger (P<.001) and more likely to have an associate degree (P=.002), be health literate (P<.001), live in socioeconomically advantaged neighborhoods (P=.048), be independent in IADLs (P=.02), and be in better physical health (P=.04). A higher number of those willing were able to use the internet and email (P<.001). Of the willing veterans, 75.8% (248/327) had a video-capable device. Those with video-capable technology were younger (P=.004), had higher health literacy (P=.01), were less likely to be African American (P=.007), were more independent in ADLs (P=.005) and IADLs (P=.04), and were more adept at using the internet and email than those without the needed technology (P<.001). Age, confidence in filling forms, general health, and internet use were significantly associated with willingness to use video visits. CONCLUSIONS: Approximately half of the HNHR respondents were unwilling for video visits and a quarter of those willing lacked requisite technology. The gap between those willing and without requisite technology is greater among older, less health literate, African American veterans; those with worse physical health; and those living in more socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods. Our study highlights that HNHR veterans have complex needs, which risk being exacerbated by the video care shift. Although technology holds vast potential to improve health care access, certain vulnerable populations are less likely to engage, or have access to, technology. Therefore, targeted interventions are needed to address this inequity, especially among HNHR older adults.


Subject(s)
Telemedicine , Veterans , Activities of Daily Living , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Veterans/psychology
4.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0266381, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1808561

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In response to the novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Million Veteran Program (MVP) organized efforts to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on Veterans by developing and deploying a self-reported survey. METHODS: The MVP COVID-19 Survey was developed to collect COVID-19 specific elements including symptoms, diagnosis, hospitalization, behavioral and psychosocial factors and to augment existing MVP data with longitudinal collection of key domains in physical and mental health. Due to the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic, a multipronged strategy was implemented to widely disseminate the COVID-19 Survey and capture data using both the online platform and mailings. RESULTS: We limited the findings of this paper to the initial phase of survey dissemination which began in May 2020. A total of 729,625 eligible MVP Veterans were invited to complete version 1 of the COVID-19 Survey. As of October 31, 2020, 58,159 surveys have been returned. The mean and standard deviation (SD) age of responders was 71 (11) years, 8.6% were female, 8.2% were Black, 5.6% were Hispanic, and 446 (0.8%) self-reported a COVID-19 diagnosis. Over 90% of responders reported wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and frequent hand washing. CONCLUSION: The MVP COVID-19 Survey provides a systematic collection of data regarding COVID-19 behaviors among Veterans and represents one of the first large-scale, national surveillance efforts of COVID-19 in the Veteran population. Continued work will examine the overall response to the survey with comparison to available VA health record data.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Veterans , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Surveys and Questionnaires , Veterans/psychology
5.
Med Care ; 60(7): 530-537, 2022 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1806715

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Of the 26.4 million family caregivers in the United States, nearly 40% report high levels of emotional strain and subjective burden. However, for the 5 million caregivers of Veterans, little is known about the experiences of caregivers of Veterans during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to examine pandemic-related changes of caregiver well-being outcomes. RESEARCH DESIGN, SUBJECTS, AND MEASURES: Using a pre/post design and longitudinal data of individual caregivers captured pre-COVID-19 and during COVID-19, we use multilevel generalized linear mixed models to examine pandemic-related changes to caregiver well-being (n=903). The primary outcome measures include Zarit Subjective Burden, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Short Depression Scale, perceived financial strain, life chaos, and loneliness. RESULTS: During the pandemic, we observe slight improvements for caregivers across well-being measures except for perceived financial strain. Before the pandemic, we observed that caregivers screened positive for clinically significant caregiver burden and probable depression. While we do not observe worsening indicators of caregiver well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, the average predicted values of indicators of caregiver well-being remain clinically significant for caregiving subjective burden and depression. CONCLUSIONS: These findings illuminate pandemic-related impacts of caregivers receiving support through the Veterans Affairs (VA) pre-COVID and during the COVID-19 pandemic while caring for a population of frail, older care-recipients with a high burden of mental illness and other chronic conditions. Considering the long-term impacts of the pandemic to increase morbidity and the expected increased demand for caregivers in an aging population, these consistently high levels of distress despite receiving support highlight the need for interventions and policy reform to systematically support caregivers more broadly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Veterans , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Caregivers/psychology , Chronic Disease , Humans , Pandemics , Veterans/psychology
6.
Psychiatry Res ; 312: 114570, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799752

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The goal of our study was to evaluate the development of new mental health diagnoses up to 6-months following COVID-19 hospitalization for in a large, national sample. METHOD: Data were extracted for all Veterans hospitalized at Veterans Health Administration hospitals for COVID-19 from March through August of 2020 utilizing national administrative data. After identifying the cohort, follow-up data were linked through six months post-hospitalization. Data were analyzed using logistic regression. RESULTS: Eight percent of patients developed a new mental health diagnosis following hospitalization. The most common new mental health diagnoses involved depressive, anxiety, and adjustment disorders. Younger and rural patients were more likely to develop new mental health diagnoses. Women and those with more comorbidities were less likely to develop new diagnoses. CONCLUSION: A subpopulation of patients hospitalized for COVID-19 developed new mental health diagnoses. Unique demographics predictors indicate the potential need for additional outreach and screening to groups at elevated risk of post-hospitalization, mental health sequelae.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Disorders , Veterans , Adjustment Disorders , Comorbidity , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Mental Disorders/diagnosis , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Disorders/therapy , United States/epidemiology , United States Department of Veterans Affairs , Veterans/psychology
7.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(4): e226250, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1777507

ABSTRACT

Importance: Suicide rates are rising disproportionately in rural counties, a concerning pattern as the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified suicide risk factors in these regions and exacerbated barriers to mental health care access. Although telehealth has the potential to improve access to mental health care, telehealth's effectiveness for suicide-related outcomes remains relatively unknown. Objective: To evaluate the association between the escalated distribution of the US Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA's) video-enabled tablets during the COVID-19 pandemic and rural veterans' mental health service use and suicide-related outcomes. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective cohort study included rural veterans who had at least 1 VA mental health care visit in calendar year 2019 and a subcohort of patients identified by the VA as high-risk for suicide. Event studies and difference-in-differences estimation were used to compare monthly mental health service utilization for patients who received VA tablets during COVID-19 with patients who were not issued tablets over 10 months before and after tablet shipment. Statistical analysis was performed from November 2021 to February 2022. Exposure: Receipt of a video-enabled tablet. Main Outcomes and Measures: Mental health service utilization outcomes included psychotherapy visits, medication management visits, and comprehensive suicide risk evaluations (CSREs) via video and total visits across all modalities (phone, video, and in-person). We also analyzed likelihood of emergency department (ED) visit, likelihood of suicide-related ED visit, and number of VA's suicide behavior and overdose reports (SBORs). Results: The study cohort included 13 180 rural tablet recipients (11 617 [88%] men; 2161 [16%] Black; 301 [2%] Hispanic; 10 644 [80%] White; mean [SD] age, 61.2 [13.4] years) and 458 611 nonrecipients (406 545 [89%] men; 59 875 [13%] Black or African American; 16 778 [4%] Hispanic; 384 630 [83%] White; mean [SD] age, 58.0 [15.8] years). Tablets were associated with increases of 1.8 psychotherapy visits per year (monthly coefficient, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.13-0.17), 3.5 video psychotherapy visits per year (monthly coefficient, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.27-0.31), 0.7 video medication management visits per year (monthly coefficient, 0.06; 95% CI, 0.055-0.062), and 0.02 video CSREs per year (monthly coefficient, 0.002; 95% CI, 0.002-0.002). Tablets were associated with an overall 20% reduction in the likelihood of an ED visit (proportion change, -0.012; 95% CI, -0.014 to -0.010), a 36% reduction in the likelihood of suicide-related ED visit (proportion change, -0.0017; 95% CI, -0.0023 to -0.0013), and a 22% reduction in the likelihood of suicide behavior as indicated by SBORs (monthly coefficient, -0.0011; 95% CI, -0.0016 to -0.0005). These associations persisted for the subcohort of rural veterans the VA identifies as high-risk for suicide. Conclusions and Relevance: This cohort study of rural US veterans with a history of mental health care use found that receipt of a video-enabled tablet was associated with increased use of mental health care via video, increased psychotherapy visits (across all modalities), and reduced suicide behavior and ED visits. These findings suggest that the VA and other health systems should consider leveraging video-enabled tablets for improving access to mental health care via telehealth and for preventing suicides among rural residents.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Drug Overdose , Mental Health Services , Suicide , Veterans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , Suicide/prevention & control , Suicide/psychology , Tablets , Veterans/psychology
8.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260033, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1708486

ABSTRACT

Medical leaders have warned of the potential public health burden of a "parallel pandemic" faced by healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals may have experienced scenarios in which their moral code was violated resulting in potentially morally injurious events (PMIEs). In the present study, hierarchical linear modeling was utilized to examine the role of PMIEs on COVID-19 pandemic-related difficulties in psychosocial functioning among 211 healthcare providers (83% female, 89% White, and an average of 11.30 years in their healthcare profession [9.31]) over a 10-month span (May 2020 -March 2021). Reported exposure to PMIEs was associated with statistically significant poorer self-reported psychosocial functioning at baseline and over the course of 10-months of data collection. Within exploratory examinations of PMIE type, perceptions of transgressions by self or others (e.g., "I acted in ways that violated my own moral code or values"), but not perceived betrayal (e.g., "I feel betrayed by leaders who I once trusted"), was associated with poorer COVID-19 related psychosocial functioning (e.g., feeling connected to others, relationship with spouse or partner). Findings from this study speak to the importance of investing in intervention and prevention efforts to mitigate the consequences of exposure to PMIEs among healthcare providers. Interventions for healthcare providers targeting psychosocial functioning in the context of moral injury is an important area for future research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Pandemics , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Military Personnel/psychology , Psychosocial Functioning , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Veterans/psychology
9.
Australas Psychiatry ; 30(3): 326-329, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673766

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This study aims to provide a clinical update on moral injury from the perspective of a public sector community psychiatrist, and to outline approaches to addressing the issues raised. CONCLUSIONS: Although not considered a mental illness, moral injury is an important condition for psychiatrists to have an awareness of, as it is associated with psychological distress and/or impairments in emotional, social or behavioural functioning. Potentially morally injurious events (PMIEs) for community psychiatrists may include staff shortages and deficient resources rendering it difficult to provide an acceptable standard of professional care; time constraints negatively impacting teaching, supervising and mentoring medical students; cost-prohibition regarding preferred medication choices; lack of gender and cultural diversity of available psychiatrists; and work environments not conducive to psychiatrists speaking out about their concerns. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and exacerbated PMIEs for some community psychiatrists. Whether or not a PMIE transitions to a moral injury may be influenced by the individual's resilience and the quality of emotional, psychological and administrative support they receive before, during and after the potentially precipitating event. Preventative strategies to mitigate susceptibility to a moral injury may be implemented at both a systems level and individual level, and include collective healthcare advocacy action.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Community Mental Health Services , Psychiatry , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Veterans , Humans , Morals , Pandemics , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Veterans/psychology
10.
Behav Ther ; 53(3): 469-480, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664680

ABSTRACT

Post-9/11 U.S. veterans are clinically complex with multiple co-occurring health conditions that lead to increased morbidity and mortality, risk for suicide, and decreased quality of life, but underutilization and resistance to treatment remain significant problems. Increased isolation and decreased community and social support due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have exacerbated mental health risk. This study evaluated the safety and feasibility of home-based telemental health group workshops to improve reintegration and social connection in post-9/11 U.S. military personnel. Seventy-four (61 males/13 females) post-9/11 U.S. military veterans were randomized to receive 12 sessions of STEP-Home cognitive-behavioral group workshop or present-centered group therapy. Treatment was delivered either in person (traditional medical center setting, treatment as usual [TAU]), or via home-based synchronous videoconferencing (VC). The change to VC occurred due to social distancing guidelines during COVID-19. Mean age was 41.0 years (SD = 11.5, range 24-65). Forty-five (36 males/9 females) participated in VC and 29 (25 males/4 females) in TAU. Demographics were similar across treatment milieu. There were no differences in therapist treatment adherence for TAU versus VC. Therapist satisfaction was higher for TAU groups (q value < .05). Veterans showed higher enrollment, attendance, group cohesion, and veteran-to-veteran support for VC compared to TAU (q values < .05). Safety procedures were successfully implemented via VC. Results demonstrate the safety, feasibility, and high satisfaction of group telemental health in U.S. veterans. Higher enrollment and treatment adherence for telemental health delivery resulted in a greater likelihood of receiving an effective treatment dose than TAU. Strong group cohesion and veteran-to-veteran support were achievable via telehealth. Telemental health offers convenient, efficient, and cost-effective care options for veterans and may be particularly helpful for patients with high psychiatric burden.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Telemedicine , Veterans , Adult , COVID-19/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Quality of Life , Telemedicine/methods , Veterans/psychology
11.
Eur J Psychotraumatol ; 13(1): 2012374, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1651100

ABSTRACT

Background: The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have disproportionally affected different population groups. Veterans are more likely to have pre-existing mental health conditions compared to the general Canadian population, experience compounded stressors resulting from disruptions to familial, social, and occupational domains, and were faced with changes in health-care delivery (e.g. telehealth). The objectives of this study are to assess (a) the mental health impact of COVID-19 and related life changes on the well-being of Veterans and (b) perceptions of and satisfaction with changes in health-care treatments and delivery during the pandemic. Methods: A total of 1136 Canadian Veterans participated in an online survey. Participants completed questions pertaining to their mental health and well-being, lifestyle changes, and concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as experiences and satisfaction with health-care treatments during the pandemic. Results: Results showed that 55.9% of respondents reported worse mental health functioning compared to before the pandemic. The frequency of probable posttraumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol use disorder, and suicidal ideation were 34.2%, 35.3%, 26.8%, 13.0%, and 22.0%, respectively. Between 38.6% and 53.1% of respondents attributed their symptoms as either directly related to or exacerbated by the pandemic. Approximately 18% of respondents reported using telehealth for mental health services during the pandemic, and among those, 72.8% indicated a choice to use telehealth even after the pandemic. Conclusions: This study found that Veterans experienced worsening mental health as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The use of telehealth services was widely endorsed by mental health treatment-seeking Veterans who transitioned to virtual care during the pandemic. Our findings have important clinical and programmeadministrator implications, emphasizing the need to reach out to support veterans, especially those with pre-existing mental health conditions and to enhance and maintain virtual care even post-pandemic.


Antecedentes: Los impactos de la pandemia del COVID-19 han afectado de manera desproporcionada a diferentes grupos de la población. Los veteranos tienen más probabilidades de tener afecciones de salud mental preexistentes en comparación con la población canadiense en general, experimentar factores estresantes agravados como resultado de las interrupciones en los dominios familiares, sociales, y ocupacionales, y se enfrentan a cambios en la prestación de la atención médica (por ejemplo, telesalud). Los objetivos de este estudio son evaluar (a) el impacto en la salud mental del COVID-19 y los cambios de vida relacionados en el bienestar de los Veteranos y (b) las percepciones y la satisfacción con los cambios en los tratamientos y la entrega de la atención médica durante la pandemia.Métodos: Un total de 1136 veteranos canadienses participaron en una encuesta en línea. Los participantes completaron preguntas relacionadas con su salud mental y bienestar, cambios en el estilo de vida, e inquietudes relacionadas con la pandemia del COVID-19, así como experiencias y satisfacción con los tratamientos de atención médica durante la pandemia.Resultados: Los resultados mostraron que el 55,9% de los encuestados informaron un peor funcionamiento de la salud mental en comparación con antes de la pandemia. La frecuencia de probable trastorno de estrés postraumático, trastorno depresivo mayor, trastorno de ansiedad generalizada, trastorno por consumo de alcohol, e ideación suicida fue del 34,2%, 35,3%, 26,8%, 13,0% y 22,0%, respectivamente. Entre el 38,6% y el 53,1% de los encuestados atribuyeron sus síntomas como directamente relacionados con la pandemia o agravados por ella. Aproximadamente el 18% de los encuestados informó haber utilizado la telesalud para los servicios de salud mental durante la pandemia, y entre ellos, el 72,8% indicó que había optado por utilizar la telesalud incluso después de la pandemia.Conclusiones: Este estudio encontró que los Veteranos experimentaron un empeoramiento de la salud mental como resultado de la pandemia del COVID-19. El uso de los servicios de telesalud fue ampliamente respaldado por los Veteranos en busca de tratamiento de salud mental que hicieron la transición a la atención virtual durante la pandemia. Nuestros hallazgos tienen importantes implicaciones clínicas y para los administradores de programas, enfatizando la necesidad de ayudar a los veteranos, especialmente a aquellos con condiciones de salud mental preexistentes, y de mejorar y mantener la atención virtual incluso después de una pandemia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Mental Disorders/epidemiology , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Veterans/psychology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Psychiatric Status Rating Scales , Surveys and Questionnaires , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Veterans/statistics & numerical data
12.
Eur J Psychotraumatol ; 13(1): 2013651, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650963

ABSTRACT

Background: Does exposure to events that transgress accepted norms, such as killing innocent civilians, prompt the psychological and emotional consequences of moral injury among soldiers? Moral injury is associated with negative emotions such as guilt, shame and anger, and a sense of betrayal and is identified among veterans following exposure to potentially morally injurious events (PMIE). Objective: We experimentally investigate how PMIE characteristics affect the intensity of MI and related negative moral emotions in participants with varied military experience. Method: We conducted three controlled, randomized experiments. Each exposed male respondents with active combat experience (Study 1) and varied military experience (Study 2) to four textual vignettes describing PMIE (child/adult and innocent/non-innocent suspect) that transpire at an Israeli checkpoint in the West Bank. In study 3, we exposed participants to two scenarios, where descriptions of police officers enforcing COVID 19 restrictions confronted lockdown violators. Results: Participants assigned to vignettes describing killing an innocent civilian exhibited more intense levels of shame and guilt than those assigned to vignettes describing killing a person carrying a bomb. Religiosity and political ideology were strong predictors of guilt and shame in response to descriptions of checkpoint shootings. These effects disappeared in Study 3, suggesting that political ideology drives MI in intergroup conflict. Conclusions: Background and PMIE-related characteristics affect the development of moral injury. Additionally, lab experiments demonstrate the potential and limitations of controlled studies of moral injury and facilitate an understanding of the aetiology of moral injury in a way unavailable to clinicians. Finally, experimental findings and methodologies offer further insights into the genesis of moral injury and avenues for therapy and prophylaxis.


Antecedentes: ¿La exposición a eventos que transgreden las normas aceptadas, como matar a civiles inocentes, provocan las consecuencias psicológicas y emocionales del daño moral entre los soldados? El daño moral (DM) se asocia con emociones negativas como la culpa, la vergüenza y la ira, y un sentido de traición y es identificado entre los veteranos después de la exposición a eventos potencialmente dañinos moralmente (EPDM).Objetivo: Investigamos experimentalmente cómo las características de EPDM afectan la intensidad del DM y emociones moralmente negativas relacionadas en participantes con vasta experiencia militar.Método: Realizamos tres experimentos controlados y aleatorizados. Cada varón expuesto respondió con experiencia en combate activo (Estudio 1) y vasta experiencia militar (Estudio 2) a cuatro viñetas textuales que describen EPDM (niño/adulto y sospechoso inocente/no inocente) que suceden en un puesto de control israelí en Cisjordania. En el estudio 3, expusimos a los participantes a dos escenarios, donde las descripciones de los agentes de policía que aplicaban las restricciones de COVID-19 enfrentaron a los infractores del confinamiento.Resultados: Los participantes asignados a viñetas que describen el asesinato de un civil inocente exhibieron niveles más intensos de vergüenza y culpa que los asignados a las viñetas que describen el asesinato de una persona llevando una bomba. La religiosidad y la ideología política fueron fuertes predictores de culpa y vergüenza en respuesta a descripciones de tiroteos en puestos de control. Estos efectos desaparecieron en el Estudio 3, lo que sugiere que la ideología política impulsa al DM en los conflictos intergrupales.Conclusiones: Los antecedentes y las características relacionadas con el EPDM afectan el desarrollo del daño moral. Adicionalmente, los experimentos de laboratorio demuestran el potencial y las limitaciones de los estudios de daño moral y facilitan una comprensión de la etiología del daño moral de una manera no disponible para los clínicos. Por último, los hallazgos y las metodologías experimentales ofrecen perspectivas adicionales en la génesis del daño moral y las vías para la terapia y la profilaxis.


Subject(s)
Military Personnel/psychology , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Veterans/psychology , Adult , Anger , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child, Preschool , Guilt , Humans , Israel/epidemiology , Male , Pandemics/legislation & jurisprudence , Shame , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
13.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261921, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1635925

ABSTRACT

Universal screening for suicidal ideation in primary care and mental health settings has become a key prevention tool in many healthcare systems, including the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA). In response to the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare providers faced a number of challenges, including how to quickly adapt screening practices. The objective of this analyses was to learn staff perspectives on how the pandemic impacted suicide risk screening in primary care and mental health settings. Forty semi-structured interviews were conducted with primary care and mental health staff between April-September 2020 across 12 VHA facilities. A multi-disciplinary team employed a qualitative thematic analysis using a hybrid inductive/deductive approach. Staff reported multiple concerns for patients during the crisis, especially regarding vulnerable populations at risk for social isolation. Lack of clear protocols at some sites on how to serve patients screening positive for suicidal ideation created confusion for staff and led some sites to temporarily stop screening. Sites had varying degrees of adaptability to virtual based care, with the biggest challenge being completion of warm hand-offs to mental health specialists. Unanticipated opportunities that emerged during this time included increased ability of patients and staff to conduct virtual care, which is expected to continue benefit post-pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Health Personnel , Mass Screening/methods , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Suicidal Ideation , Veterans Health , Veterans/psychology , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Mental Health , Physical Distancing , Primary Health Care , Risk Assessment/methods , Telemedicine/methods
14.
Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis ; 32(3): 727-733, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586925

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Pandemics have previously resulted in increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. It is unclear if the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be amplified in individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease, such as military populations, resulting in augmented cardiovascular events in Veterans. The purpose of this study was to determine if traditional behavioral risk factors for cardiovascular disease are amplified due to the COVID-19 pandemic and if risk factors are more prevalent in Veterans compared to non-Veterans. METHODS AND RESULTS: Thirty-two student Veterans and 46 non-Veteran students between the ages of 18 and 35 completed a Qualtrics self-report questionnaire assessing health behaviors, physical activity, and mental health both before and during COVID-19. Veterans displayed worse pre-COVID cardiovascular health behaviors such as poor sleep habits, greater use of tobacco, alcohol, and energy drinks, and lower values of social engagement compared to non-Veterans. Many health behaviors remained unchanged in student Veterans during the pandemic. The non-Veteran group exhibited augmentation of cardiovascular health behaviors during COVID-19, shown through the worsening sleep habits, increased anxiety, and reduced physical activity. CONCLUSION: Student Veterans demonstrate heightened risk for cardiovascular disease based on the pre-COVID elevation of behavioral risk factors. These behavioral factors continued to remain elevated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-Veteran students displayed amplification of behavioral risk factors for cardiovascular disease due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These results highlight the need for resources and interventions for our student veterans and suggest long-term cardiovascular consequences for all students who suffered through the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Behavior , Students , Veterans , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Heart Disease Risk Factors , Humans , Pandemics , Students/psychology , Students/statistics & numerical data , Veterans/psychology , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
15.
Am Psychol ; 77(2): 249-261, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586036

ABSTRACT

The current study examined patient and provider differences in use of phone, video, and in-person mental health (MH) services. Participants included patients who completed ≥ 1 MH appointment within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from 10/1/17-7/10/20 and providers who completed ≥ 100 VA MH appointments from 10/1/17-7/10/20. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) are reported of patients and providers: (a) completing ≥1 video MH appointment in the pre-COVID (10/1/17-3/10/20) and COVID (3/11/20-7/10/20) periods; and (b) completing the majority of MH visits via phone, video, or in-person during COVID. The sample included 2,480,119 patients/31,971 providers in the pre-COVID period, and 1,054,670 patients/23,712 providers in the COVID period. During the pre-COVID and COVID periods, older patients had lower odds of completing ≥ 1 video visit (aORs < .65). During the COVID period, older age and low socioeconomic status predicted lower odds of having ≥ 50% of visits via video versus in-person or phone (aORs < .68); schizophrenia and MH hospitalization history predicted lower odds of having ≥ 50% of visits via video or phone versus in-person (aORs < . 64). During the pre-COVID and COVID periods, nonpsychologists (e.g., psychiatrists) had lower odds of completing video visits (aORs < . 44). Older providers had lower odds of completing ≥ 50% of visits via video during COVID (aORs <. 69). Findings demonstrate a digital divide, such that older and lower income patients, and older providers, engaged in less video care. Nonpsychologists also had lower video use. Barriers to use must be identified and strategies must be implemented to ensure equitable access to video MH services. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Mental Health Services , Telemedicine , Veterans , Humans , Pandemics , Veterans/psychology
16.
J Trauma Stress ; 35(2): 559-569, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1549271

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented effects on lifestyle stability and physical and mental health. We examined the impact of preexisting posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol use disorder (AUD), and depression on biopsychosocial responses to the pandemic, including psychiatric symptoms, COVID-19 exposure, and housing/financial stability, among 101 U.S. military veterans enrolled in a longitudinal study of PTSD, a population of particular interest given veterans' trauma histories and defense-readiness training. Participants (83.2% male, 79.2% White, Mage  = 59.28 years) completed prepandemic, clinician-administered psychiatric diagnostic interviews and a phone-based assessment between May and September 2020 using a new measure, the Rapid Assessment of COVID-19-Related Experiences (RACE), which was used to assess pandemic responses and its effects on mental and physical health; COVID-19 diagnosis and testing were also extracted from electronic medical records. Multivariate regressions showed that, controlling for demographic characteristics, prepandemic PTSD, ß = .332; p = .003, and AUD symptoms, ß = .228; p = .028, were associated with increased pandemic-related PTSD symptoms. Prepandemic AUD was associated with increased substance use during the pandemic, ß = .391; p < .001, and higher rates of self-reported or medical record-based COVID-19 diagnosis, ß = .264; p = .019. Minority race was associated with pandemic-related housing/financial instability, ß = -.372; p < .001, raising concerns of population inequities. The results suggest that preexisting PTSD and AUD are markers for adverse pandemic-related psychiatric outcomes and COVID-19 illness. These findings carry implications for the importance of targeting prevention and treatment efforts for the highest-risk individuals.


Subject(s)
Alcoholism , COVID-19 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Veterans , Alcoholism/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Veterans/psychology
17.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0259696, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546942

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We aimed to determine factors independently associated with early COVID-19 vaccination and adherence to two-dose regimens. METHODS: Among persons receiving care in the Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system (n = 5,766,638), we identified those who received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination through the VA, during the first ~3months following emergency use authorization, from December 11, 2020 to March 9, 2021 (n = 1,569,099, or 27.2%, including 880,200 (56.1%) Moderna, 676,279 (43.1%) Pfizer-BioNTech and 12,620 (0.8%) Janssen vaccines). RESULTS: Follow-up for receipt of vaccination began on December 11, 2020. After adjustment for baseline characteristics ascertained as of December 11, 2020, factors significantly associated with vaccination included older age, higher comorbidity burden, higher body mass index category, Black (vs. White) race (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR] 1.19, 95% CI 1.19-1.20), Hispanic (vs. non-Hispanic) ethnicity (AHR 1.12, 95% CI 1.11-1.13), urban (vs. rural) residence (AHR 1.31, 95% CI 1.31-1.31), and geographical region, while AI/AN race (vs. White), was associated with lower vaccination rate (AHR 0.85, 95% CI 0.84-0.87). Among persons who received both doses of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, 95.3% received the second dose within ±4 days of the recommended date. Among persons who received the first vaccine dose, only 3.2% did not receive the second dose within 42 days for Pfizer versus 4.0% for Moderna (p<0.001). Factors independently associated with higher likelihood of missing the second dose included younger age (10.83% in 18-50 yo vs. 2.72% in 70-75 yo), AI/AN race, female sex, rural location, geographical region and prior positive test for SARS-CoV-2. CONCLUSIONS: We identified sociodemographic and clinical factors that may be used to target vaccination efforts and to further improve adherence to second vaccine dosing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Medication Adherence/statistics & numerical data , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Adolescent , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/virology , Comorbidity , Female , Humans , Male , Medication Adherence/ethnology , Middle Aged , Rural Population , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sex Factors , Veterans/psychology , Young Adult
18.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260033, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511836

ABSTRACT

Medical leaders have warned of the potential public health burden of a "parallel pandemic" faced by healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. These individuals may have experienced scenarios in which their moral code was violated resulting in potentially morally injurious events (PMIEs). In the present study, hierarchical linear modeling was utilized to examine the role of PMIEs on COVID-19 pandemic-related difficulties in psychosocial functioning among 211 healthcare providers (83% female, 89% White, and an average of 11.30 years in their healthcare profession [9.31]) over a 10-month span (May 2020 -March 2021). Reported exposure to PMIEs was associated with statistically significant poorer self-reported psychosocial functioning at baseline and over the course of 10-months of data collection. Within exploratory examinations of PMIE type, perceptions of transgressions by self or others (e.g., "I acted in ways that violated my own moral code or values"), but not perceived betrayal (e.g., "I feel betrayed by leaders who I once trusted"), was associated with poorer COVID-19 related psychosocial functioning (e.g., feeling connected to others, relationship with spouse or partner). Findings from this study speak to the importance of investing in intervention and prevention efforts to mitigate the consequences of exposure to PMIEs among healthcare providers. Interventions for healthcare providers targeting psychosocial functioning in the context of moral injury is an important area for future research.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Health Personnel/psychology , Pandemics , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/epidemiology , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Military Personnel/psychology , Psychosocial Functioning , Public Health , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/psychology , Veterans/psychology
19.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(11): e2132548, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1499192

ABSTRACT

Importance: Compared with the general population, veterans are at high risk for COVID-19 and have a complex relationship with the government. This potentially affects their attitudes toward receiving COVID-19 vaccines. Objective: To assess veterans' attitudes toward and intentions to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional web-based survey study used data from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients' Veterans Insight Panel, fielded between March 12 and 28, 2021. Of 3420 veterans who were sent a link to complete a 58-item web-based survey, 1178 veterans (34%) completed the survey. Data were analyzed from April 1 to August 25, 2021. Exposures: Veterans eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Main Outcomes and Measures: The outcomes of interest were veterans' experiences with COVID-19, vaccination status and intention groups, reasons for receiving or not receiving a vaccine, self-reported health status, and trusted and preferred sources of information about COVID-19 vaccines. Reasons for not getting vaccinated were classified into categories of vaccine deliberation, dissent, distrust, indifference, skepticism, and policy and processes. Results: Among 1178 respondents, 974 (83%) were men, 130 (11%) were women, and 141 (12%) were transgender or nonbinary; 58 respondents (5%) were Black, 54 veterans (5%) were Hispanic or Latino, and 987 veterans (84%) were non-Hispanic White. The mean (SD) age of respondents was 66.7 (10.1) years. A total of 817 respondents (71%) self-reported being vaccinated against COVID-19. Of 339 respondents (29%) who were not vaccinated, those unsure of getting vaccinated were more likely to report fair or poor overall health (32 respondents [43%]) and mental health (33 respondents [44%]) than other nonvaccinated groups (overall health: range, 20%-32%; mental health: range, 18%-40%). Top reasons for not being vaccinated were skepticism (120 respondents [36%] were concerned about side effects; 65 respondents [20%] preferred using few medications; 63 respondents [19%] preferred gaining natural immunity), deliberation (74 respondents [22%] preferred to wait because vaccine is new), and distrust (61 respondents [18%] did not trust the health care system). Among respondents who were vaccinated, preventing oneself from getting sick (462 respondents [57%]) and contributing to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic (453 respondents [56%]) were top reasons for getting vaccinated. All veterans reported the VA as 1 of their top trusted sources of information. The proportion of respondents trusting their VA health care practitioner as a source of vaccine information was higher among those unsure about vaccination compared with those who indicated they would definitely not or probably not get vaccinated (18 respondents [26%] vs 15 respondents [15%]). There were no significant associations between vaccine intention groups and age (χ24 = 5.90; P = .21) or gender (χ22 = 3.99; P = .14). Conclusions and Relevance: These findings provide information needed to develop trusted messages used in conversations between VA health care practitioners and veterans addressing specific vaccine hesitancy reasons, as well as those in worse health. Conversations need to emphasize societal reasons for getting vaccinated and benefits to one's own health.


Subject(s)
Attitude , Intention , Vaccination/psychology , Veterans/psychology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/immunology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology , Vaccination/statistics & numerical data , Veterans/statistics & numerical data
20.
Stress Health ; 38(2): 410-416, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1427213

ABSTRACT

This study examined the relationship between job loss and mental health during the pandemic among a nationally representative sample of middle- and low-income military veterans and civilians. Participants were recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk in May-June 2020. Our sample was comparable to the U.S. population with respect to key demographics (i.e., sex, race, ethnicity, and geographic region). More veterans were male (36.9% civilians vs. 74.1% veterans), and on average they were older than civilians (Mcivilians  = 47.86 vs. Mveterans  = 52.64). After controlling for sociodemographic factors, probable anxiety (adjusted odds ratio for veterans = 1.96, 95% [1.22-3.15]) was significantly associated with job loss among veterans, whereas among civilians, probable anxiety (adjusted odds ratio for civilians [AORc ] = 1.48, 95% [1.21-1.81]), probable COVID-19 era-related stress (AORc  = 1.73, 95% [1.45-2.07]), and loneliness (AORc  = 1.09, 95% [1.04-1.13]) were associated with job loss. Results demonstrated that veteran sample's effect sizes were larger than civilian sample's effect sizes; however, our moderation analyses results revealed that veteran status did not moderate the relationships between mental health and job loss. The findings in this study support a relationship between job loss and poorer mental health, suggesting that increased mental health services may be important to address ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Veterans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Male , Mental Health , Pandemics , Poverty , Veterans/psychology
SELECTION OF CITATIONS
SEARCH DETAIL