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