Implementation of a Coordinated Specialty Care Program for Veterans with First Episode Psychosis

Poster C106, Wednesday, October 10, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Essex Ballroom

Rachelle Calixte1, Angela Taveira-Dick1, Amy Wilson1, Diana Arntz1, Vanessa Enriquez1; 1Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial VA Hospital, Bedford, MA, USA

Research studies have demonstrated that reduction in duration of untreated psychosis (DUP) and use of comprehensive interventions can improve long-term outcomes associated with symptom impact and quality of life. Early detection and intervention for first episode psychosis (FEP) may be improved by identifying and promoting effective practices for implementation of FEP programs, especially within complex health care systems such as the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). The Specialized Team for Early Engagement and Recovery (STEER) is a Coordinated Specialty Care program that was developed at a VHA site in Bedford, Massachusetts in 2015. Examination of STEER, which is at the forefront of implementation of FEP programs within the VHA, can offer guidance for navigating the non-linear phases of consulting key stakeholders, establishing program criteria, determining services delivered, coordinating a team, promoting the program, collaborating with providers in the VHA or community-based agencies, and evaluating impact. Measures intended for continuous program evaluation and tracking progress of Veterans include program census, sources of referrals, services utilized, duration and frequency of engagement in services, duration and frequency of hospitalizations, symptom change, quality of life, and engagement in meaningful life activities. Preliminary data collected in the first three years of implementation of the STEER program will be presented. Discussion will highlight unique implications for Veteran service users and challenges for program development within the VHA. Future directions that may advance FEP intervention within the VHA will be explored (e.g., collaboration with peer support specialists and other sites within each Veterans Integrated Service Network, or VISN).

Topic Area: Service System Development and Reform

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