Results of the Behavioral Health Readiness Evaluation and Decision-Making Instrument Study

Justin M Curley, Katie L Nugent, Kristina M Clarke-Walper, Elizabeth A Penix, James B Macdonald, Jennifer L McDonald, Joshua E Wilk
2021 Military medicine  
Introduction Recent reports have demonstrated behavioral health (BH) system and individual provider challenges to BH readiness success. These pose a risk to winning on the battlefield and present a significant safety issue for the Army. One of the most promising areas for achieving better BH readiness results lies in improving readiness decision-making support for BH providers. The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) has taken the lead in addressing this challenge by developing and
more » ... pirically testing such tools. The results of the Behavioral Health Readiness Evaluation and Decision-Making Instrument (B-REDI) field study are herein described. Methods The B-REDI study received WRAIR Institutional Review Board approval, and BH providers across five U.S. Army Forces Command installations completed surveys from September 2018 to March 2019. The B-REDI tools/training were disseminated to 307 providers through random clinic assignments. Of these, 250 (81%) providers consented to participate and 149 (60%) completed both initial and 3-month follow-up surveys. Survey items included a wide range of satisfaction, utilization, and proficiency-level outcome measures. Analyses included examinations of descriptive statistics, McNemar's tests pre-/post-B-REDI exposure, Z-tests with subgroup populations, and chi-square tests with demographic comparisons. Results The B-REDI resulted in broad, statistically significant improvements across the measured range of provider proficiency-level outcomes. Net gains in each domain ranged from 16.5% to 22.9% for knowledge/awareness (P = .000), from 11.1% to 15.8% for personal confidence (P = .001-.000), and from 6.2% to 15.1% for decision-making/documentation (P = .035-.002) 3 months following B-REDI initiation, and only one (knowledge) failed to maintain a statistically significant improvement in all of its subcategories. The B-REDI also received high favorability ratings (79%-97% positive) across a wide array of end-user satisfaction measures. Conclusions The B-REDI directly addresses several critical Army BH readiness challenges by providing tangible decision-making support solutions for BH providers. Providers reported high degrees of end-user B-REDI satisfaction and significant improvements in all measured provider proficiency-level domains. By effectively addressing the readiness decision-making challenges Army BH providers encounter, B-REDI provides the Army BH health care system with a successful blueprint to set the conditions necessary for providers to make more accurate and timely readiness determinations. This may ultimately reduce safety and mission failure risks enterprise-wide, and policymakers should consider formalizing and integrating the B-REDI model into current Army BH practice.
doi:10.1093/milmed/usaa401 pmid:33499474 fatcat:pzsl4nbs4fax7f3hpjdnfjyzmy