Evaluation Design for Health and Wellness in the Military: Tracking Health Related Behaviors and Counseling Utilization with Active Duty Personnel

Session Number: MVE1
Track: Military and Veteran Evaluation
Session Type: TIG Multipaper
Session Chair: Danielle Kogut [Senior Consultant - Deloitte Consulting]
Discussant: Stephen H Axelrad [Lead Associate - Booz Allen Hamilton]
Presenter 1: J. Elizabeth Jackson [Principal Research Scientist - Battelle Memorial Institute]
Presenter 2: Danielle Kogut [Senior Consultant - Deloitte Consulting]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: J. Elizabeth Jackson [Principal Research Scientist - Battelle Memorial Institute]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Judith Berkowitz [Battelle Memorial Institute]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Danielle Kogut [Senior Consultant - Deloitte Consulting]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Sarah Godby [Specialist Master - Deloitte Consulting ]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Patrick Koeppl [Managing Director - Deloitte Consulting]
Time: Oct 29, 2016 (09:45 AM - 10:30 AM)
Room: L401

Abstract 1 Title: Counseling Utilization and Effectiveness among Individuals Experiencing Deployment and Reunion with their Service Member Spouses
Presentation Abstract 1:

Individuals experiencing deployment of and reunion with their active duty military spouses encounter stress and depression, and may seek counseling through military channels. This study employs data from the 2010 Military Family Life Project, a representative sample of service members’ spouses, to investigate predictors of seeking counseling, and effectiveness of counseling by demographic, socioeconomic, and counseling source factors. In preliminary analyses, 17% of respondents sought counseling in the prior 6 months. Among these, 53% and 41% of those with spouses who were currently deployed or had been deployed within the past 24 months, respectively, sought counseling for deployment and reunion issues. Those seeking counseling for deployment/reunion were most likely to access counseling via Tricare (57%) and the Military OneSource portal (40%). Barriers to seeking counseling included cost, lack of belief in counseling, a permanent change of station move, and residence in civilian housing. Marital and financial stress positively predicted counseling.


Abstract 2 Title: Evaluation Design for Department of Defense (DoD) Decision-Makers: Health Related Behaviors (HRB) Survey for Active Duty Personnel
Presentation Abstract 2:

Background: The Health Related Behaviors (HRB) Survey is the twelfth population-based survey about substance use, stress and mental health, and health behaviors among Active Duty military personnel. The study is a lynchpin in Department of Defense (DoD) evaluation, as it is the single source of self-reported data on these topics.

Aim: To design and deploy an evaluation of health behaviors to educate military decision-makers about the impact of health behavior on military readiness. To present trends and nascent issues through specially designed constructs that shed light on the prevalence and nature of hot button topics (i.e., substance use). To raise standards in data presentation to facilitate comprehension and use of survey results.

Method: To better understand the prevalence and nature of certain health behaviors, we designed an evaluation with the flexibility and capacity to study longitudinal trends and benchmark against civilian measures while exploring emerging issues. The evaluation design accounted for real-world constraints and the special circumstances of a vulnerable population without compromising rigor.

Results: 45,986 military personnel responded to the study, allowing for exceptional statistical power.

Conclusions and Comment: Results are currently being briefed to high level decision-makers in the DoD and are direct inputs into existing and developing policies and programs to support troop health and readiness. 

 


Audience Level: None

Session Abstract:  Evaluation Design for Health and Wellness in the Military: Tracking Health Related Behaviors and Counseling Utilization with Active Duty Personnel