Publications by authors named "Lara M Stepleman"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

The Effects of Polyvictimization on Mental and Physical Health Outcomes in an LGBTQ Sample.

J Trauma Stress 2021 Feb 17;34(1):161-171. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Augusta University/Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia, USA.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) individuals are at elevated risk for violent victimization and often experience increased health disparities compared to their non-LGBTQ counterparts. The present study examined associations between polyvictimization and mental and physical health in an LGBTQ sample. Participants included 385 LGBTQ individuals involved in a larger health-needs assessment of LGBTQ individuals living in the southeastern United States. The sample primarily identified as gay/lesbian (63.4%), cisgender (78.7%), and White (66.5%), and the mean participant age was 34.82 years (SD = 13.45). A latent class analysis (LCA) was conducted on seven items assessing different types of violence exposure. The LCA identified a three-class model, with classes characterized by low trauma exposure (71.4%), nondiscriminatory violence (15.1%), and high trauma exposure (13.5%). Differences in demographic characteristics, perceptions of mental and physical health, and diagnoses of specific health conditions were assessed across classes. The high-trauma class reported poorer perceived physical and mental health compared to the other two classes, with mean differences in past-month poor health days ranging from 11.38 to 17.37. There were no differences between the classes regarding specific physical health conditions; however, the high-trauma and nondiscriminatory violence classes had significantly higher rates of anxiety, depression, drug abuse, and suicidality than the low-trauma class, ORs = 2.39-23.83. The present findings suggest that polyvictimization is an important risk factor for poor health among LGBTQ individuals. These results have implications for addressing health disparities among the broader LGBTQ community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jts.22579DOI Listing
February 2021

Gender Minority Stress and Health Perceptions Among Transgender Individuals in a Small Metropolitan Southeastern Region of the United States.

Transgend Health 2019 21;4(1):247-253. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, Georgia.

Transgender individuals continue to face wide-ranging health disparities, which may be due in part to unique and chronic gender identity-related stressors. The present study assessed the relationships between barriers to health care, proximal minority stress related to perceived community safety, and overall health perceptions of transgender individuals living in a small metropolitan region of the Southern United States. Participants included 66 transgender individuals who took part in a larger lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community needs assessment study. Participants completed measures of barriers to health care, inclusive of medical access barriers, psychosocial needs barriers, and personal resource barriers, perceptions of LGBTQ safety within the region, and overall perceptions of health. Results revealed that psychosocial needs barriers, personal needs barriers, and perceived lack of community safety were correlated with poorer self-perceptions of overall health, with psychosocial needs barriers and perceived lack of community safety independently predictive of poor health perceptions. The study demonstrates the need for greater health resources and access to care, as well as improved community conditions for transgender individuals, particularly those in less populated, Southern regions of the United States, to improve health quality and ultimately reduce community health disparities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/trgh.2019.0028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6802727PMC
October 2019

Measurement of Key Constructs in a Holistic Framework for Assessing Self-Management Effectiveness of Pediatric Asthma.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 08 23;16(17). Epub 2019 Aug 23.

Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY 12222, USA.

The 2007 U.S. National Institutes of Health EPR-3 guidelines emphasize the importance creating a provider-patient partnership to enable patients/families to monitor and take control of their asthma, so that treatment can be adjusted as needed. However, major shortfalls continue to be reported in provider adherence to EPR-3 guidelines. For providers to be more engaged in asthma management, they need a comprehensive set of resources for measuring self-management effectiveness of asthma, which currently do not exist. In a previously published article in the , the authors conducted a literature review, to develop a holistic framework for understanding self-management effectiveness of pediatric asthma. The essence of this framework, is that broad socioecological factors can influence self-agency (patient/family activation), to impact self-management effectiveness, in children with asthma. A component of socio-ecological factors of special relevance to providers, would be the quality of provider-patient/family communication on asthma management. Therefore, the framework encompasses three key constructs: (1) Provider-patient/family communication; (2) Patient/family activation; and (3) Self-management effectiveness. This paper conducts an integrative review of the literature, to identify existing, validated measures of the three key constructs, with a view to operationalizing the framework, and discussing its implications for asthma research and practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16173060DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6747253PMC
August 2019

Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Knowledge and Use Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in a Small Metropolitan Region of the Southeastern United States.

J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care 2020 Jan-Feb;31(1):80-91

Men who have sex with men (MSM) in the southeastern United States continue to be at high risk for HIV. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) provides effective prevention, but PrEP awareness varies across communities. We assessed sexual risk, HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing history, health care experiences associated with PrEP awareness, provider discussions, and PrEP use in a sample of 164 MSM in the Central Savannah River Area of the South. Results revealed that 80.5% of participants were aware of PrEP, 16.4% had discussed PrEP with a provider, and 9.2% had used PrEP. Education, gay identity, HIV status, recent HIV testing, and lack of provider awareness about sexual minorities independently predicted PrEP awareness. Recent STI testing independently predicted increased odds of PrEP discussion. Recent HIV and STI testing and non-White identity were associated with PrEP use. Effective, tailored marketing, provider competence, and open communication can increase PrEP adoption by southern MSM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JNC.0000000000000115DOI Listing
September 2020

The adaptation and validation of a stigma measure for individuals with multiple sclerosis.

Disabil Rehabil 2021 Jan 25;43(2):262-269. Epub 2019 May 25.

Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Augusta University - Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, GA, USA.

: Stigma negatively impacts quality of life for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Availability of instruments to assess levels of stigma are crucial for monitoring and targeted intervention. The study aims to adapt the Reece Stigma Scale for use with this specific population and examine its reliability and validity.: The scale was administered the 137 participants included in a larger study on identity and multiple sclerosis. Validity was evaluated utilizing the Downing model, as well as assessing potentially related constructs, including adherence, depression, anxiety, quality of life, self-efficacy, and post-traumatic growth.: Principal component analysis revealed a one factor solution with excellent internal consistency. Additional construct support offered evidence that higher levels of stigma are related to lower adherence and self-management efficacy, higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms, as well as more dissatisfaction with quality of life.: This study provides preliminary support for an adapted version of the Reece Stigma Scale, specific to the multiple sclerosis population. The validation data suggests strong psychometric properties. Our findings underscore the clinical importance of measuring and addressing stigma among these patients, with the potential to improve medical (i.e., adherence), psychological (i.e., depression and anxiety), and quality of life outcomes.Implications for rehabilitationUnderstanding stigma-related experiences is crucial to enhance psychosocial factors related to multiple sclerosis.Stigma-related experiences also impact disease treatment outcomes for individuals with multiple sclerosis.The Reece Stigma Scale is a valid and reliable measure of felt stigma created for use in HIV populations. This study adapted and validated the use of the scale among individuals with multiple sclerosis.Clinicians and researchers working within the rehabilitation and treatment area of multiple sclerosis may benefit from using the adapted Reece Stigma Scale to measure and address stigma experiences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09638288.2019.1617793DOI Listing
January 2021

Improving Wellness for LGB Collegiate Student-Athletes Through Sports Medicine: A Narrative Review.

Sports Med Open 2018 Nov 6;4(1):48. Epub 2018 Nov 6.

Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, Augusta, GA, 30912, USA.

In comparison to their heterosexual peers, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) student-athletes encounter substantial challenges during their intercollegiate and professional athletic careers including detrimental stereotypes, harassment, and discrimination. Such non-inclusive environments promoted throughout the current Western culture of sport are notably associated with higher incidences of mental health and substance use disorders among LGB athletes across youth, collegiate, and professional sports. There have been significant gains at the collegiate level to address LGB-inclusive practices aimed towards administrators, educators, coaches, and student-athletes; however, there is currently no literature that addresses the unique role of the sports medicine team. As first-line healthcare providers for student-athletes, sports medicine physicians and athletic trainers are uniquely positioned to support collegiate LGB athletes through affirming sexual identity, recognizing distinctive health risks, and advocating inclusivity within the athletic training room. By examining major themes of concern among current LGB student-athlete experiences across the unique setting of US colleges and universities, this review article aims to further identify opportunities for sports medicine providers to promote positive health outcomes and improve the overall wellness of collegiate LGB student-athletes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40798-018-0163-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6219993PMC
November 2018

Predictors of anxiety among sexual minority individuals in the Southern US.

Am J Orthopsychiatry 2018 10;88(6):723-731. Epub 2018 Sep 10.

Department of Psychiatry & Health Behavior.

Sexual minority individuals experience a disproportionate burden of mental health issues, particularly in less populous cities of the southern United States. Unique identity-related stressors may explain these disparities. The current study examines relationships between sexual minority stress, identity, and anxiety in sexual minority individuals from a small metropolitan area of the South. Sexual minority individuals ( = 249) from the Central Savannah River Area completed a survey assessing minority stress (i.e., identity-based discrimination, internalized homophobia), identity (i.e., outness comfort, community connectedness) and history of anxiety as part of a larger lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer community health needs assessment. All minority stress variables were significantly, positively associated with an anxiety history whereas community connectedness was significantly, negatively associated with anxiety history at the bivariate level. A multiple logistic regression model revealed that assault history was significantly associated with increased odds of anxiety history, whereas community connectedness was associated with decreased odds of anxiety history. These results demonstrate an influence of discriminatory experiences on anxiety in sexual minority individuals of the South and the protective value of community connectedness. Providers and advocates should work at the individual, community, and systemic levels to eliminate lesbian, gay, bisexual discrimination and facilitate community involvement, thereby reducing mental health disparities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/ort0000363DOI Listing
March 2019

Health Needs and Experiences of a LGBT Population in Georgia and South Carolina.

J Homosex 2019 10;66(7):989-1013. Epub 2018 Aug 10.

a Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior , Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University , Augusta , Georgia , USA.

The 2016 Municipal Equality Index rated Augusta, the largest city in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA), as one of the least lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) friendly cities in America. To understand the context of our region in relation to LGBT wellness, we conducted the first LGBT health needs assessment of the CSRA, assessing physical and mental health status and health care needs and experiences in the community. Participants (N = 436) were recruited using venue and snowball sampling and completed an anonymous online survey. Overall, the health problems experienced (i.e., obesity, depression) were not uniformly experienced across sexual orientation and gender identity; some groups experienced significantly higher rates of these conditions than others. Similarly, transgender individuals in particular reported higher rates of negative experiences with health care providers. Regional and national dissemination of these findings is critical to reducing health disparities and improving wellness of our local LGBT community.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2018.1490573DOI Listing
April 2019

Mental Health Correlates of Cigarette Use in LGBT Individuals in the Southeastern United States.

Subst Use Misuse 2018 05 5;53(6):891-900. Epub 2018 Jan 5.

a Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior , Augusta University , Augusta , Georgia , USA.

Background: Smoking prevalence for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals is higher than for heterosexual, cisgender individuals. Elevated smoking rates have been linked to psychiatric comorbidities, substance use, poverty, low education levels, and stress.

Objectives: This study examined mental health (MH) correlates of cigarette use in LGBT individuals residing in a metropolitan area in the southeastern United States.

Methods: Participants were 335 individuals from an LGBT health needs assessment (mean age 34.7; SD = 13.5; 63% gay/lesbian; 66% Caucasian; 81% cisgender). Demographics, current/past psychiatric diagnoses, number of poor MH days in the last 30, the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) 2 depression screener, the Three-Item Loneliness Scale, and frequency of cigarette use were included. Analyses included bivariate correlations, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and regression.

Results: Multiple demographic and MH factors were associated with smoker status and frequency of smoking. A logistic regression indicated that lower education and bipolar disorder were most strongly associated with being a smoker. For smokers, a hierarchical regression model including demographic and MH variables accounted for 17.6% of the variance in frequency of cigarette use. Only education, bipolar disorder, and the number of poor MH days were significant contributors in the overall model. Conclusions/Importance: Less education, bipolar disorder, and recurrent poor MH increase LGBT vulnerability to cigarette use. Access to LGBT-competent MH providers who can address culturally specific factors in tobacco cessation is crucial to reducing this health disparities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2017.1418087DOI Listing
May 2018

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Clinical Competence, Professional Training, and Ethical Care: Introduction to the Special Issue.

J Homosex 2017 ;64(10):1305-1329

b Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia , Augusta University , Augusta , Georgia , USA.

There are exigent reasons to foster lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) competence, training, and ethical care for health professionals within an interdisciplinary paradigm. LGBT individuals experience serious health and psychosocial disparities; moreover, these inequalities can be amplified when other aspects of diversity such as race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, disability, and socioeconomic status intersect with sexual orientation and gender identity (Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2011). While the origins of LGBT health and psychosocial disparities are manifold, deficiencies in professional training, ethical care, and clinical competence are underlying contributors (IOM, 2011). In addition, LGBT clinical competency advancements are often siloed within the various health care disciplines-thus advances by one group of health professionals often have limited impact for those practicing in different health and human service fields. This special issue explores LGBT clinical competence, professional training, and ethical care within an interdisciplinary context and, to our knowledge, represents the first attempt to address LGBT clinical competence from a multidisciplinary health care perspective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2017.1321360DOI Listing
July 2017

Developing a measure to assess identity reconstruction in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Rehabil Psychol 2017 05 27;62(2):165-177. Epub 2017 Apr 27.

Department of Neurology.

Purpose/objective: To develop and test initial validation of a theory-driven quantitative measure of identity reconstruction in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) based upon previous qualitative research. Research Method/Design: This study uses a cross-sectional survey design, in which 137 patients living with MS were recruited from an outpatient MS Center in the Southeastern U.S. Participants completed demographic items, Identity Reconstruction Assessment Scales (IRAS), Patient Determined Disease Steps, Medical Outcomes Study Measures of Patient Adherence, Chronic Disease Self-Efficacy Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Leeds MS Quality of Life Questionnaire, MS-Related Stigma Scale, and Posttraumatic Growth Inventory-Short Form.

Results: The IRAS conformed to a 3-factor solution consisting of 23 items accounting for 42.6% of the variance. The 3 factors, labeled as "sustained identity" (α = .84), "reactionary identity" (α = .74), and "integrated identity" (α = .65), were not significantly correlated with each other, necessitating and allowing for independent scoring of the scales. Higher scores on "sustained identity" scale were associated with less anxiety, depression, perceived disability, and MS-related stigma, as well as with increased self-efficacy, treatment adherence, and quality of life. "Reactionary identity" scale was positively correlated with anxiety and MS-related stigma. "Integrated identity" was significantly associated with age and perceived disability.

Conclusions/implications: Identity reconstruction provides needed context for understanding adjustment to and living with MS. Examination of the IRAS within a larger sample and in other disease groups can provide additional construct validity evidence. (PsycINFO Database Record
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/rep0000126DOI Listing
May 2017

The Changing Face of Treatment: Mental Health Concerns and Integrated Care in an HIV Clinic.

J Health Care Poor Underserved 2017 ;28(1):430-445

Though advances in medical treatment have increased lifespans for those living with HIV, quality of life concerns often remain under-treated by health care providers. The integration of mental health services within the HIV medical setting can provide comprehensive care for patients, including brief screening, intervention, and appropriate follow-up. In this study, investigators examined mental health concerns identified during behavioral health screens at appointments in an Infectious Disease Clinic and compared them with previously published data from the same setting to assess changes in patient-reported problems. Results indicated shifts in identified problems, as well as demographic changes in the patient population from the previous study. Analyses suggested anger and goal-setting problems significantly contribute to reports of psychiatric symptoms, and suggested that adjustment to diagnosis, depression, and sleep concerns significantly contribute to the likelihood of engaging in a mental health consultation. Our findings highlight the importance of behavioral health screening to identify psychosocial concerns in integrated HIV care settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/hpu.2017.0032DOI Listing
February 2018

A five-year retrospective evaluation of a faculty research fellowship programme at the medical college of Georgia.

Perspect Med Educ 2016 Dec;5(6):332-337

Educational Innovation Institute, Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, Augusta, USA.

Introduction: In institutional assessments of faculty, scholarly activity is often cited as a deficiency. Faculty lack the training and resources needed to produce peer-reviewed, quality scholarship. Although a variety of formats have been suggested and used to fill this void, fellowships are a commonly used format to foster educational leaders within institutions. In 2010, the Educational Innovation Institute at the Medical College of Georgia created an educational research fellowship to address this need.

Methods: To assess the success of our programme, we compared all graduating fellows' current curriculum vitae (CVs) with the version submitted at the time of their application, looking for educational scholarship produced during and after their participation in the fellowship. Qualitative data sources, such as article reflections, mid-fellowship surveys, and exit surveys were analyzed to identify the mechanisms that contributed to their success. The constant comparative method was used to identify themes and patterns.

Results: A comparison of CVs collected at the time of application with a current CV indicate the 11 participants produced: 60 presentations at regional or national meetings, 16 peer reviewed publications, received funding for 7 grants supporting educational research, and won 7 national research awards. Our qualitative analysis identified three major mechanisms: 1) dedicated time to conducting educational research, 2) opportunities to engage with others, and 3 ) understanding the differences between educational and clinical research.

Discussion: Previous criticisms of fellowships include faculty not producing educational scholarship after completing their programme. Our retrospective analysis indicates our research fellowship was successful in developing physicians and clinical educators to become educational researchers. What was most useful was having dedicated time to work with others interested in producing educational scholarship, and expert guidance in understanding the differences between clinical and educational research. The most challenging aspect of conducting education research was their need to use conceptual frameworks and learning theory in their work. Implications for this study include the need for a strong curricular focus on the differences between clinical and educational research for any fellowship programme.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40037-016-0303-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5122512PMC
December 2016

Student perspectives on sexual health: implications for interprofessional education.

J Interprof Care 2014 Jul 18;28(4):317-22. Epub 2014 Feb 18.

Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Georgia Regents University Medical College of Georgia , Augusta, GA , USA .

Interprofessional collaboration requires that health professionals think holistically about presenting concerns, particularly for multimodal problems like sexual dysfunction. However, health professions students appear to receive relatively little sexual health education, and generally none is offered on an interprofessional basis. To assess current degree of interprofessional thinking in sexual health care, 472 health professions students in Georgia, United States, were presented with a sexual dysfunction vignette and asked to rate the relevance of, and their familiarity with, interventions offered by several professionals. They also were asked to identify the most likely cause of the sexual dysfunction. Students rated relevance and familiarity with interventions as highest for physicians and lowest for dentists, with higher ratings of nurses by nursing students. More advanced students reported greater familiarity with mental health, physician, and physical therapy interventions. Finally, nursing students were less likely to attribute the dysfunction to a physical cause. These findings indicate that students may prioritize biomedical approaches in their initial assessment and may need additional supports to consider the spectrum of biopsychosocial factors contributing to sexual functioning. To encourage interprofessional critical thinking and prepare students for interprofessional care, sexual health curricula may be improved with the inclusion of interprofessional training. Specific recommendations for curriculum development are offered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/13561820.2014.884553DOI Listing
July 2014

Depression screening in Black Americans with multiple sclerosis.

Psychol Health Med 2014 20;19(1):33-9. Epub 2013 Mar 20.

a Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior , Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents University , Augusta , GA , USA .

Depression is prevalent in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and impacts treatment adherence. Depression screening may be a useful mechanism to identify Blacks at risk for depression in an MS setting, as they frequently experience more disabling MS disease and also may be less likely than Whites to be accurately diagnosed with depression, which can further impact MS disease and diminish quality of life. The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical presentation (e.g. psychiatric histories, current symptoms, and provider treatment recommendations) of Black and White MS patients identified as at risk for depression using a validated depression screening instrument. Secondary analysis of an archival chart data-set of 279 MS patients (90 Blacks) indicated that Black patients were less likely than Whites to have a past mental health diagnosis (X(2) = 12.794, p < .001), prior experience with psychotropics (X(2) = 11.394, p < .001), or be prescribed psychotropics at the time of screening (X(2) = 10.225, p < .001). No differences in depression scores were observed between Black and White patients. Approximately 44% of patients received provider treatment recommendations following a positive screening with no between group differences in the likelihood of receiving at least one recommendation. Consistent with the literature, our Black patient sample was less likely than Whites to have a history of mental health diagnosis or to have been treated with psychotropics. Although more research is needed, screening programs for depression in MS may facilitate access to services for all MS patients while reducing health disparities in Black American patients and removing barriers to early intervention and ongoing care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13548506.2013.775466DOI Listing
May 2014

Improving access to mental health services via a clinic-wide mental health intervention in a Southeastern US infectious disease clinic.

AIDS Care 2010 Feb;22(2):133-6

Center for Health Quality Outcomes and Economic Research, Bedford, VA, USA.

Stepleman, Hann, Santos, and House (2006) described a brief psychological consultation model, which aims to improve integration of mental health services into HIV primary care. This retrospective chart review sought to examine which patients in our adult Infectious Disease clinic were served by this model in a one-year period. Furthermore, we examined whether the patients who subsequently engage in mental health care differ demographically from the consult population. Results indicated that 26.1% (n=252) of the patients at our Infectious Disease clinic (n=963; 36% female, 75% racial minority) received a mental health consultation. We observed no statistically significant differences between the consult and clinic populations with respect to gender, age, or race. Moreover, 43.3% (n=109) of those patients served by the consult model received specialized psychiatric care. There were statistically significant racial differences between those patients who engaged specialty psychiatric care and those who did not after receiving a consultation (chi(2)(1)=16.65, p<0.001; 70% racial minority in consult vs. 47.7% racial minority in psychiatric care). While our in-clinic consultation service reached a representative population, we had less success recruiting this diverse patient population into traditional psychiatric care. Future efforts will need to examine how mental health consultation and traditional psychiatric services can best reduce barriers to engagement and retention in care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540120903038358DOI Listing
February 2010

Factors associated with psychotherapy longevity among HIV-positive patients.

AIDS Patient Care STDS 2009 Feb;23(2):109-18

Department of Psychiatry & Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912, USA.

Mental health concerns are salient to many HIV-positive individuals, yet, there are also numerous challenges with regard to access and retention in care. The present study sought to investigate factors that are associated with longevity in outpatient psychological care for HIV-positive patients. We aimed to better understand what factors (e.g., race, gender, age, history of mental health service utilization) are associated with the length of participation in psychotherapy in our clinic. This is an archival study consisting of chart review of our clinical documentation related to the psychological services provided in our clinic from January 2005 through December 2007. Eligible charts included all HIV-positive individuals seeking psychotherapy in the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia (n = 87 records; 33.3% female; 52.9% ethnic minority, 57% sexual minority, middle-aged (42.0 years +/- 9.6 years). Results indicated that the presence of cohabitating social support distinguished between those who continued or terminated after the intake session, with social support being associated with continuation after intake. Furthermore, shorter distance from clinic, history of previous psychotherapy, concurrent pharmacotherapy, comorbid personality disorder diagnosis, and having an ethnic minority provider were associated with greater longevity in treatment. As a result of modest sample size relative to the number of predictor variables, analyses utilized multiple bivariate analyses and thus, results must be considered preliminary and should be replicated in a larger investigation. However, treatment providers may utilize these initial findings to improve retention in care and to improve the quality of mental health care provided to HIV-positive outpatients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/apc.2008.0081DOI Listing
February 2009