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Newsletter | South Central MIRECC

Banner of the SC MIRECC communique newsletter

Spring 2019, Volume 21, Issue 2 - In this Issue

Thoughts on the VA Research Experience from a Veteran’s Point of View
Research to Practice | Increasing Participation of Iraq- and Afghanistan Veterans in Research
New Clinical Demonstration Project TheraMetrics Begins
Researchers Awarded Pilot Study Research Grants
Recent Publications
Pilot Study Research Program Applications Due July 1
Implementation, Design and Analysis Support Available for Affiliates

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New Clinical Demonstration Project TheraMetrics Begins

By Tracey L. Smith, PhD

Dr. Tracey L. Smith
Dr. Tracey L. Smith

TheraMetrics is a clinical demonstration project developed and supported by the SC MIRECC. As the SC MIRECC Associate Director for Improving Clinical Care, I lead the project. The TheraMetrics team includes Zenab Yusuf, Senior Project Coordinator (also at the SC MIRECC) and Joseph Mignogna at the VISN 17 Center for Research on Returning War Veterans. The project team coordinates with Dr. Irving Kuo, VISN 16 Mental Health Lead and Dr. Steve Holliday, V17 Mental Health Lead.

The goal of TheraMetrics is to increase the use of measurement-based care in mental health among VA psychotherapists, and provide a way for their supervisors to track and improve the efficiency of psychotherapy delivery to increase Veteran access to care. Measurement-based care is the practice of basing clinical care on Veteran self-report mental health symptom data collected throughout treatment.

Research demonstrates measurement-based care in mental health has many robust benefits, including:

  • Improved clinical outcomes,
  • Facilitation of shared decision-making between the Veteran and provider on treatment decisions,
  • Identification of mental health symptoms, improved access to evidence-based care, and
  • Identification of when a patient is not benefiting from treatment and is at risk of premature termination

A key component of TheraMetrics is the use of Behavioral Health Lab software. Consistent with project aims, the Behavioral Health Lab was designed to make it easier for providers to incorporate measurement-based care into clinical practice. Implementation efforts have been underway since January and has begun at two sites. Over the next year, we will collaborate with clinicians to implement TheraMetrics into clinics at two more VA Medical Centers in VISNs 16 and 17.

Last updated: April 29, 2019