196831 Primary Care Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for Service Members' Spouses Experiencing Substance Use Disorders

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 12:45 PM

Scott Green, PhD , Altarum Institute, Washington, DC, DC
Halima Ahmadi, MPH , Community Health Systems - Policy, planning, and evaluation practice area, Altarum Institute, Washington, DC
Jamie Davis, PhD , Altarum Institute, Washington, DC, DC
The stressors of deployment and combat place service members at increased risk for developing mental health problems such as depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and alcohol misuse. Additionally, family members are also at risk; child maltreatment and spousal abuse rates are correlated with substance misuse and chronic mental health problems. Despite little research focusing on spouses of service members, stigma and distrust in specialty mental health care have been implicated as major barriers for spouses receiving care before, during, and after deployment. Left untreated, these problems lead to long term health consequences such as injuries, neurological problems, and even death. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) guidelines urge primary care providers (PCPs) to integrate and coordinate screening and treatment approaches into their practice. PCPs who use screening tools and brief interventions to identify and treat patients provide immediate attention to patients struggling with mental health and substance use issues. Additionally, brief interventions implemented with patients on waiting lists for specialized programs may be an effective initial treatment well as an adjunct to more extensive treatment for substance-dependent persons and those with more seriouse mental health disorders. SBIRT is easily implemented in PCP offices and may be a valuable model for addressing behavioral health needs of post-deployed veterans. The presentation describes findings from a series of focus groups held with veterans' spouses and PCPs to identify barriers to behavioral health treatment and perceived PCP training needs to better serve this population.

Learning Objectives:
1. Attendees will gain a deeper appreciation of challenges facing the spouses of returning veterans and service members with regards to access and barriers to behavioral health treatment (mental health and substance use) 2. Attendees will gain a better understanding of the training needs for Primary Care Providers (PCPs) to improve treatment provision to veterans and service members experiencing mental health and substance use disorders 3. Attendees will have a better understanding of how Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment enables health care providers to identify individuals who have or who may be at risk for developing, mental health and substance use related disorders

Keywords: Mental Health Services, Primary Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Clinical Psychologist who has worked in primary care settings and have a background in brief screening and referral to treatment. I am currently conducting a research study on issues that impact veterans and prevent them from accessing care in behavioral health settings. I am also in the process of developing a training component for primary care physicians based on the results of that study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Veterans Mental Health
See more of: Mental Health