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Rural Project Examples: Veterans

Evidence-Based Examples

Telepsychology-Service Delivery for Depressed Elderly Veterans
Added December 2016
  • Need: To treat depression in elderly veterans who are unable to seek mental health treatment due to distance or stigma.
  • Intervention: Telepsychology-Service Delivery for Depressed Elderly Veterans compared providing behavioral activation therapy via telehealth and face-to-face for those with major depressive disorder.
  • Results: A 2015 study and two 2016 studies show that providing treatment via telehealth to elderly veterans in South Carolina resulted in the same health outcomes, quality of life, satisfaction with care, and cost of healthcare as those receiving face-to-face treatment.

Effective Examples

Rural Telemental Health (RTMH) Program
Added July 2016
  • Need: To provide high-quality mental healthcare to rural veterans.
  • Intervention: The Rural Telemental Health (RTMH) program, stationed at the Portland VA Medical Center, reaches rural veterans in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington via telehealth.
  • Results: From 2010 to 2013, 1,754 veterans received diagnoses, therapy, medication management, and other mental health services.

Promising Examples

STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation)
Updated/reviewed December 2017
  • Need: To increase access to telemental health services for rural women veterans with a history of trauma.
  • Intervention: STAIR (Skills Training in Affective and Interpersonal Regulation) is a 10-week program designed to reduce PTSD and depression symptoms and increase emotional regulation and social functioning in clients.
  • Results: Therapists reported that clients attended more sessions when offered via teleconferencing, and clients reported satisfaction with the program.

Other Project Examples

Telehealth Collaborative Care
Added July 2017
  • Need: To increase access to specialty care for rural veterans with HIV.
  • Intervention: The Telehealth Collaborative Care (TCC) study connects these patients with HIV specialists via telehealth and works to create shared care relationships with primary care teams in rural areas.
  • Results: TCC provides HIV specialty care to 600 rural veterans in Georgia and Texas.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy ASPIN Network: Community Health Worker Program
Updated/reviewed June 2017
  • Need: Improved approach in addressing the behavioral health and primary care disparities of Indiana’s underserved rural counties by increasing access through health insurance enrollment and providing health literacy education.
  • Intervention: A network was established to address behavioral health integration, which included the use of dually trained community health workers (CHW) and certified health insurance enrollment navigators.
  • Results: Creation of a certification process, the “Indiana Integrated Care Training Program: Community Health Worker/Certified Recovery Specialist,” for CHWs and cross-training of mental health peers to also work as CHWs
Community Clergy Training to Support Rural Veterans Mental Health
Updated/reviewed May 2017
  • Need: To educate rural clergy and chaplains about the ways they can help improve veterans' access to physical or mental healthcare by referring veterans to available resources.
  • Intervention: Trained VA Chaplains and U.S. Army Reserve Chaplains provide free interactive training sessions to rural community clergy partners.
  • Results: Since 2010, more than 4,000 clergy members, chaplains, behavioral health professionals, and others supporting rural veterans have participated in a Community Clergy Training Program (CCTP) event.
Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center Rural MOVE! Outreach Program
Updated/reviewed May 2017
  • Need: To bring weight management education to veterans living in rural Virginia.
  • Intervention: The Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center created an outreach team to hold classes in rural communities that focus on physical activity, healthy eating habits, and making healthy behavioral choices.
  • Results: The outreach initiative is the only VA-sponsored weight management program of its kind for rural communities in the Virginia region, and in 2015, they reached over 900 participants.
funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Indiana Veterans Behavioral Health Network (IVBHN)
Updated/reviewed April 2017
  • Need: To address the lack of mental healthcare options for rural veterans.
  • Intervention: A telebehavioral health hub network was created to connect community mental health centers to the VA Medical Center.
  • Results: To date, 2,071 IVBHN appointments have been made, saving veterans time and money.