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Newsletter | South Central MIRECC

Banner of the SC MIRECC communique newsletter

Winter 2019, Volume 21, Issue 1 - In this Issue

Little Rock Site Update
Researchers Awarded ORH Funds for FY19
VISN 16 Providers Train in ACT
Research to Practice | Veteran Attitudes about Smartphone App Use for MH Care
Clinicians, Researchers & Staff Recognized with SC MIRECC Awards
Recent Publications
Pilot Study Research Program Applications Due April 1
Implementation, Design and Analysis Support Available for Affiliates

VISN 16 Providers Train in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy

Twenty-eight VISN 16 mental health providers participated in a 5-week acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) training provided by the SC MIRECC Education Core. Dr. Lilian Dindo, the SC MIRECC Houston Anchor Site Leader, presented one 4-hour accredited webinar to an audience of social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, and psychologists. Participants then received four weeks of consultation from Drs. Dindo and Jim Marchman (Univ. of Iowa).

ACT was identified as a top VISN 16 training need by network mental health providers in our annual needs assessment survey. ACT enables Veterans to create rich, meaningful, and purposeful lives by promoting psychological flexibility through six key processes: values, committed action, self as context, defusion, acceptance, and contact with the present moment.

Twenty-four learners completed the program evaluation. Key findings:

Impression of ACT Training
Agreement with Statement about TrainingMean (1-5)
Overall, I was satisfied with this learning activity 4.62
I learned new knowledge and skills from this learning activity 4.58
The scope of the learning activity was appropriate to my professional needs 4.67
The training environment was effective for my learning 4.33
I would recommend this training course to others 4.67
The learning activities and/or materials were effective in helping me learn the content 4.50
The content was presented in a manner that was fair and unbiased 4.67

Learners identified ways they would use ACT in clinical practice with Veterans:

  • I would apply this with many of the MHICM patients who are struggling with rumination and negative thoughts.
  • I am identifying patients that could benefit from this therapy. I like the use of metaphors to explain concepts. I think patients will remember the concepts better. I also like the concept that life contains suffering and it is our relationship with it that we can change.
  • Will use ACT interventions with more Veterans referred to individual psychotherapy, will incorporate into existing EBPs when appropriate.

This ACT training event was an important training experience for learners and program staff. In the next few weeks, the Education Core will be conducting a follow-up survey with learners to discover their experiences of using ACT skills in clinical practice. This information will help the Core understand the effectiveness of the annual training program and improve future events.

Infographic of results presented in the above article. This graphic includes demographics of the class: 28 learners of thich 24 completed the evaluation (nurses 4%, occupational therapists 8%, psychologists 38%, social workers 50%). CEU was provided and it was given a 96% evaluation rating. Learners will use what they learned in the class with Veterans with rumination/negative thoughts, substance use disorder, chronic pain, depression, ptsd, and grief. Learners will use the skills in individual/group therapy, primary care, mental health intensive case management, and with existing evidence-based psychotherapies.
Infographic of results from the learner evaluation of the SC MIRECC ACT training for VISN 16.

Last updated: January 23, 2019