Originally published July 26, 2012
A brief therapeutic intervention called motivational interviewing, administered over the telephone, was significantly more effective than a simple "check-in" call in getting Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans with mental health diagnoses to begin treatment for their conditions, in a study led by a physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.
Participants receiving telephone motivational interviewing also were significantly more likely to stay in therapy, and reported reductions in marijuana use and a decreased sense of stigma associated with mental health treatment.
The study was published electronically recently in General Hospital Psychiatry (May 25, 2012).
Lead author Karen Seal, MD, MPH, director of the Integrated Care Clinic at SFVAMC and an associate professor of medicine and psychiatry at UCSF, noted that 52 percent of the approximately half-million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans currently being seen by the VA have one or more mental health diagnoses, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety or other related conditions.
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