National Guard Outreach and Linkage to Treatment

2015-04-29 15:53:24 | BioPortfolio


This project will add an evaluation/research component to an existing peer outreach program, now implemented for over 1100 soldiers in the Michigan Army National Guard. Preliminary work will be completed in three areas. We will conduct semi-structured interviews with soldiers, Buddies, and National Guard leadership and develop and pilot test survey items relevant to implementation. Further, we will develop and pretest survey items relevant to determining soldier symptomatic and functional status. We will also conduct a small feasibility study, fielding the newly developed survey to a representative sample of recently returned National Guard members from Michigan and Indiana, to determine response rates and veteran willingness to allow access to linkable PDHA/PDHRA data and health services data. Finally, we will construct a merged, de-identified longitudinal dataset comprised of Post-Deployment Health Assessment and Reassessment data, Military Health System/TRICARE, and VA services data from National Guard soldiers in Michigan and comparison states of Indiana and Ohio. This will allow a longitudinal assessment of services initiation and retention for the entire Guard populations in these states.



Soldiers returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) commonly experience symptoms of PTSD, depressive disorders, and interpersonal difficulties. Forty-two percent of National Guard (NG) soldiers report symptoms suggesting a need for evaluation. Unfortunately, only half with mental health needs initiate treatment in the VA or elsewhere. Stigma remains an important barrier. Proactive peer outreach may successfully address stigma and facilitate appropriate treatment use. In the recently implemented Michigan Guard Buddy*to*Buddy (B2B) program, all returning MIARNG soldiers are assigned a first-tier "Buddy" from their unit who systematically telephones them to "check in" regarding key areas of functioning and symptoms. Soldiers may also be referred to second-tier Buddies, veterans outside the Guard trained in motivational interviewing and supervised by professional staff. The goal of the program is to identify soldiers in need of evaluation and connect them to care in a timely fashion.

We will conduct preliminary work that will allow us to assess the need for and the feasibility of adding a rigorous evaluation/research component to the B2B program.


The goal of this RRP is to assess the need for AND the feasibility of a larger VA study that would use a strong quasi-experimental design (time series analysis with comparison groups) to examine the impact of the B2B program on returning NG veteran mental health treatment initiation, retention, symptoms, and functional outcomes.

Specific RRP aims are to:

1. Prepare for and initiate a formative evaluation of the Buddy*to*Buddy program in the Michigan Army National Guard (MI ARNG).

2. Develop and determine the feasibility of a confidential surveys for National Guard veterans in Michigan and Indiana that elicit information regarding B2B processes (in MI ARNG), VA outreach processes, mental health symptoms, substance use, and treatment initiation and retention.

3. Construct a de-identified linked dataset consisting of PDHA/PDHRA data, Military Treatment Facility/TRICARE service provider use, and VA service use for MI ARNG and NG soldiers in contiguous states of Indiana and Ohio. Conduct preliminary analyses of these data.


Preliminary work will be completed in two areas. We will begin a formative evaluation of the implementation of the B2B program, using an augmented qualitative RE-AIM Plus framework, multiple data sources and data collection techniques, and conducting field observations and interviews with program stakeholders. Personnel at all levels, including NG leadership, Buddies, and soldiers, will be part of this process.

We will also develop and refine survey items relevant to understanding B2B implementation and soldier symptom and functional status. We will test procedures for fielding this survey in Michigan and a comparison state, assessing response rates, and using data to inform the design of a larger study of soldier outcomes.

Study Design

Observational Model: Cohort, Time Perspective: Cross-Sectional




VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI
Ann Arbor
United States




Department of Veterans Affairs

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2015-04-29T15:53:24-0400

Clinical Trials [418 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

Characteristics of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Non-PTSD Subjects

Compare PTSD and non-PTSD subjects on several demographic, cognitive and military variables

Virtual Reality PE for Bus Bomb Survivors

This study will examine whether the use of a Virtual World will be effective in helping treat Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is a pilot study, with five victims of bus bombings...

Open Trial of Behavioral Activation and Social Engagement (BASE) for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

The purpose of the study is to see if "Behavioral Activation and Social Engagement for PTSD" (BASE for PTSD), an individual therapy for PTSD, will help Veterans with PTSD 1) through improv...

Nabilone in Cannabis Users With PTSD

Despite the prevalence of cannabis use among the PTSD population and self-reports that it is used to help cope with PTSD symptoms, the direct effects of cannabis on PTSD symptomology are u...

Evaluation of PTSD Family Coach, a Mobile Phone App for Family Members of Individuals With PTSD

The proposed pilot study is designed to test the feasibility, acceptability, and potential effectiveness of a mobile phone application (app) developed by the VA National Center for PTSD (V...

PubMed Articles [360 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

Psychological inflexibility predicts PTSD symptom severity in war veterans after accounting for established PTSD risk factors and personality.

Numerous risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have been identified; however, many do not inform treatment. Psychological inflexibility is a modifiable factor that can be targeted in p...

Self-stigma in PTSD: Prevalence and correlates.

Self-stigma is the internalization of negative societal stereotypes about those with mental illnesses. While self-stigma has been carefully characterized in severe mental disorders, like schizophrenia...

Lagged effects of substance use on PTSD severity in a randomized controlled trial with modified prolonged exposure and relapse prevention.

To advance understanding of the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments for comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder (SUD), research must provide a more nuanced pict...

Distance to threat and risk of acute and posttraumatic stress disorder following bank robbery: A longitudinal study.

Identifying pathways through which environmental risk factors influence PTSD is important for understanding PTSD etiology. Here, we hypothesized that the physical proximity to threat influences PTSD r...

Posttraumatic stress disorder with secondary psychotic features (PTSD-SP): Diagnostic and treatment challenges.

Trauma exposure leads to various psychiatric disorders including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and trauma related disorders, especially posttrauma...

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

None available.

More From BioPortfolio on "National Guard Outreach and Linkage to Treatment"

Quick Search


Relevant Topics

Within medicine, nutrition (the study of food and the effect of its components on the body) has many different roles. Appropriate nutrition can help prevent certain diseases, or treat others. In critically ill patients, artificial feeding by tubes need t...

Stress is caused by your perception of situations around you and then the reaction of your body to them. The automatic stress response to unexpected events is known as 'fight or flight'. Discovered by Walter Cannon in 1932, it is the release of h...

Searches Linking to this Trial