Motivational Interviewing to Engage Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans in Mental Health Treatment

The recruitment status of this study is unknown because the information has not been verified recently.
Verified January 2009 by San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center.
Recruitment status was  Recruiting
Information provided by:
San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center Identifier:
First received: January 4, 2007
Last updated: January 26, 2009
Last verified: January 2009

The goal of this randomized controlled trial is to evaluate the efficacy of telephone-administered motivational interviewing (TAMI) to enhance VA mental health treatment engagement among veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF) who screen positive for mental health disorders on telephone assessment. The investigators will evaluate whether TAMI results in improved mental health treatment engagement, decreased mental health symptoms and increased quality of life among OEF/OIF veterans with mental health disorders. The long-term aim of this study is to conduct rapid assessment and intervention to prevent chronic mental illness and associated disability among our newest generation of veterans.

Condition Intervention
Combat Disorders
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Substance-Related Disorders
Behavioral: telephone-administered motivational interviewing (TAMI)

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Screening
Official Title: Motivational Interviewing to Engage OEF/OIF Veterans in Mental Health Treatment

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • To determine the efficacy of TAMI, the primary outcome is the binary distinction between those who make an initial phone call to the OEF/OIF Combat Case Manager to arrange for a mental health treatment appointment versus those who do not (Aim 1).

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • the binary distinction between attending an initial or re-engagement VA mental health treatment appointment versus not
  • the total number of VA mental health treatment sessions attended and
  • the proportion of sessions attended per those scheduled during the 6-month follow-up period
  • change in mental health symptom scores between the TAMI and Control groups
  • change in quality of life score from baseline at 1, 3, and 6 months.

Estimated Enrollment: 1000
Study Start Date: September 2007
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2009
Detailed Description:

Project Background/Rationale: Recent reports suggest that a substantial proportion of OEF/OIF veterans suffer from one or more co-occurring mental health disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and substance use disorders. Many newly returning veterans fail to initiate or complete an adequate course of mental health treatment largely owing to barriers that include inherent features of the mental illness, practical and logistical concerns, and stigma. Untreated mental illness threatens to produce functional and occupational disability as occurred with Vietnam-era veterans. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is an evidence-based, client-centered, therapeutic technique shown to enhance mental health treatment engagement in high-risk populations by helping patients explore and resolve barriers to care.

Project Objectives: The aims of this proposal are: (1) to evaluate the efficacy of telephone-administered motivational interviewing (TAMI) compared to telephone-administered informational support sessions (Control) to enhance mental health treatment initiation and retention among OEF/OIF veterans who screen positive for one or more mental health disorders; (2) to compare change in mental health symptoms and quality of life among veterans assigned to TAMI versus Control, and (3) to describe barriers to mental health treatment engagement among OEF/OIF veterans and assess the putative mechanism by which TAMI increases mental health treatment engagement.

Project Methods: The study is a two-arm randomized controlled trial. We will conduct telephone-administered psychometric screening for PTSD, depression, high-risk alcohol and substance use among 1,000 OEF/OIF veterans residing in Northern California. In addition, we will collect baseline data on sociodemographic and military service-related characteristics, VA and non-VA mental health treatment experiences, barriers and motivation to initiate and/or follow-up with VA mental health appointments. Approximately 300 OEF/OIF veterans screening positive for one or more mental health disorders will receive a referral to mental health treatment in their area and will be randomly assigned to either an initial TAMI session followed by two booster TAMI sessions at 1 and 3 months versus three informational support sessions balanced for time and attention. We will measure outcomes at baseline, one, three, and six months. We will test the hypotheses that OEF/OIF veterans receiving TAMI as compared to the Control condition will be more motivated and hence more likely to overcome barriers to initiate and attend follow-up VA mental health treatment appointments and will have greater improvements in mental health symptoms and quality of life.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Veteran of OEF/OIF with service in Iraq or Afghanistan, or areas surrounding these combat theaters
  • Military service separation date after 9/30/01
  • Has a zip code that corresponds to a Northern California address and no plans to relocate
  • May be contacted by telephone
  • Must screen positive for one or more of the following: PTSD, depression, high-risk alcohol and/or illicit substance use to enroll in the randomized controlled trial.

Exclusion criteria:

  • Veterans who served post-9/11/01 but who did not serve in Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • In VA or non-VA mental health treatment currently
  • Residing more than 60 miles from SFVAMC or a CBOC associated with SFVAMC
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00419029

Contact: Karen H Seal, MD, MPH 415 221-4810 ext 4852

United States, California
San Francisco VA Medical Center Recruiting
San Francisco, California, United States, 94121
Sub-Investigator: David Mohr, Ph.D.         
Sub-Investigator: Charles Marmar, MD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Karen H Seal, MD, MPH San Francisco VA Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco
  More Information

No publications provided Identifier: NCT00419029     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: MH 06-004
Study First Received: January 4, 2007
Last Updated: January 26, 2009
Health Authority: United States: Federal Government

Keywords provided by San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center:
substance abuse

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Combat Disorders
Depressive Disorder
Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorders, Traumatic
Substance-Related Disorders
Anxiety Disorders
Mental Disorders
Behavioral Symptoms
Mood Disorders
Chemically-Induced Disorders processed this record on August 21, 2014