Military Behavioral Health Staff Perspectives on Telehealth Following the Onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic   [open html - 0B]

From the Document: "The Military Health System (MHS), like other health care systems, needed to pivot quickly in response to the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] pandemic to minimize disruptions in care for its beneficiaries. At the same time the MHS was facing operational challenges to delivering behavioral health (BH) care, increased distress related to the pandemic may have driven higher demand for BH care among service members and their dependents. For service members who receive care through the MHS for posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, or substance use disorder, telehealth offers a potentially promising alternative when in-person visits are not feasible. However, prior to the pandemic, telehealth use was low across the MHS. Between July and October 2020, RAND Corporation researchers interviewed staff who delivered or oversaw BH care at military treatment facilities to determine the extent to which MHS providers had used telehealth with these patients since the onset of the pandemic, what their experiences and concerns were, and what gaps or barriers needed to be addressed to expand the use of telehealth across the MHS. These findings subsequently informed recommendations to help the MHS continue to integrate telehealth in a way that meets the BH needs of service members."

2021 RAND Corporation
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