Online Program

An update on Civilian Health and Mental Health Services for Active Duty and Veteran Military Personnel

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Howard Waitzkin, MD, PhD, Department of Sociology and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy, University of New Mexico, Loves Park, IL
Mario Cruz, MD, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Bryant Shuey, BS, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Objective: To describe active duty GIs and veterans who have sought health and mental health services via the Civilian Medical Resources Network (CMRN). CMRN is a volunteer run tele-health web-based outreach program serving active duty GIs and veterans. In addition, we will explore the relationship between CMRN client characteristics and their mental health status.

Methods: Our sample (N=128) was drawn between October/2010 and December/2012. We conducted descriptive and bivariate analyses of client reported demographic information, trauma exposure, AWOL (absent without leave) status, and mental health diagnoses using the Patient Health Questionnaire and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist- Military version.

Results: Sixty-three percent of clients were between 18 and 26 years of age, 32% reported belonging to a minority group, and 17% were female. Twenty-five percent of clients were AWOL. Twenty percent of CMRN clients reported a pre-military mental health disorder and 42% reported a pre-military trauma history. Last, major depression (72%) and post traumatic stress disorder (59%) were the most common diagnoses. In bivariate analyses, being non-white (chi-square= 5.8, df=2, p=.05) or female (chi-square=3.6, df=1, p=.05) was significantly associated with reports of non-combat related trauma. In addition, AWOL status was significantly associated with reports of combat related trauma (chi-square= 10.6, df=1, p=0.001) and meeting criteria for post traumatic stress disorder (chi-square=5.1, df=1, p=.02).

Conclusion: CMRN, a unique volunteer run tele-health web-based outreach program serves a difficult to reach and significantly ill military population. Our findings suggest potential relationships between socio-demographic factors and military mental health.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the characteristics of active duty GIs and veterans who seek civilian health and mental health services; Explore the relationships between their selected characteristics; Conceptualize the rationale for civilian services as an alternative to military services for active duty GIs.

Keyword(s): War, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have performed extensive and grant supported work in the health care services research area assessing improving care access for the poor and underserved. Presently, I serve as the research coordinator for the Civilian Medical Resources Network.
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.