Clinical Services

ePoster Presentation

(EP-124) The Telehealth Resilience and Recovery Program: Accelerating Mental Health Recovery After Traumatic Injury

Monday, April 24
9:45 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Experience Zone - ePosters

Traumatic injuries affect all ages, genders, and races, and are responsible for the most deaths in the US among individuals aged 45 years and younger. Over 20% of patients who experience traumatic injury will develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and other mental health problems that have serious and long-lasting quality of life and physical health effects. However, most acute care settings in the US do not have the resources in place to identify and address the mental health needs of these patients. This is a costly missed opportunity as emotional health after traumatic injury is associated with productivity and long-term health outcomes, including general health, work status, and overall satisfaction with care.

Hospital discharge after traumatic injury involves a transition of care that is plagued by poor communication, differential access to providers and other resources, and lack of standardization in process. Some models of intervention designed to accelerate emotional recovery have been tested, but are not widely available and generally are resource intensive, costly, and have uncertain scalability and sustainability. We are currently piloting a new service, the Telehealth Resilience and Recovery Program, that we believe has tremendous potential to serve as a national, cost-efficient, scalable, and sustainable model of mental health care after traumatic injury. Our novel, primarily technology-supported model of consists of a four-step process: (1) in-hospital education; (2) 30-day mental health phone screening; (3) diagnostic assessment; and (4) delivery of best-practice treatment for PTSD or depression, or referral to address other mental health needs. This service evolved out of a strong partnership at the Medical University of South Carolina between leaders in Psychiatry, Trauma Surgery, Pediatrics, Nursing, and Telehealth. MUSC's Level 1 Trauma Center serves over 2,000 patients with serious traumatic injuries annually.

Since our launch in September 2015, we have identified 852 patients, approached 80% in hospital, and enrolled 53%. Of those enrolled, 40% screened positive for PTSD and/or Depression at 30-day follow-up and 69% of these accepted a referral for mental health care. Of those who accepted this referral, 80% preferred treatment delivered via telehealth, 33% of which were able to participate in telehealth using their own devices. This presentation will describe the feasibility of implementing a novel, technology supported model of care for patients affected by traumatic injury. Future directions for a state-wide dissemination and evaluation will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

Brian E. Bunnell

Postdoctoral Fellow
Medical University of South Carolina

Brian E. Bunnell, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Clinical Psychology at the Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Nursing. He also directs the Telehealth Research and Innovation Program which is part of the MUSC Center for Telehealth. Dr. Bunnell received his BA in Psychology from Arizona State University in 2010 and received his MS and PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida. He completed his Pre-Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Bunnell’s research emphasizes a developmental psychopathological approach to examining the evidence-based assessment and treatment of anxiety, mood, and stress-related disorders. His recent research has focused on the development and evaluation of technology-based solutions to improving the quality and dissemination of evidence-based mental health resources. He has a particular interest in examining mechanisms of change and reach while using these resources.

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Jennifer R. Winkelmann

Program Coordinator
Medical University of South Carolina

Jennifer Winkelmann is a program manager and clinician at TACHL. She received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 2008 and in 2012 she earned a M.S. in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Jennifer is currently a Licensed Professional Counselor – Intern working towards full licensure. One of her main roles is the treatment of patients after traumatic injury through the Telehealth Resilience and Recovery Program. She also works on federally-funded research projects that focus on the development and evaluation of technology-based interventions for traumatic stress populations.

Presentation(s):

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Danna L. Cook

Program Coordinator
Medical University of South Carolina

Danna Cook is a program assistant for the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles. She manages the day-to-day operations of several federally-funded research projects that focus on the development and evaluation of technology-based interventions for traumatic stress populations. Danna began working at MUSC's Crime Victims Center in 2011 as an undergraduate research assistant. One year later, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jewish Studies from the College of Charleston. She recently completed her Master of Arts in Psychology from the Citadel Graduate College.

Presentation(s):

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Kenneth J. Ruggiero

Professor
Medical University of South Carolina

Ken Ruggiero, PhD, is Professor and Co-Director of the Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles (TACHL). He is also Associate Director of an HSR&D Center of Innovation at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. Dr. Ruggiero received his BA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and his MA and PhD from West Virginia University. He completed his internship and NIMH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Ruggiero’s research centers on the development and evaluation of technology-based interventions for traumatic stress populations. Most of his early research focused specifically on brief behavioral self-help interventions designed for disaster victims and OEF/OIF Veterans. Over time, this work evolved into the use and evaluation of wholly technology based stepped care approaches for victims of disaster and serious injury. A second major line of research focuses on the development and evaluation of tablet-based resources to improve quality of care in child mental health treatment. This work aims specifically to improve child engagement and provider fidelity in delivery of best practices.

Dr. Ruggiero has had continuous extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health since 2001 and from VA Health Services Research and Development since 2007. Dr. Ruggiero also has served as a co-investigator on several grants funded by the Department of Defense, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Department of Homeland Security, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration. He has over 120 scholarly publications and 150 presentations. He is a standing member of an NIMH review panel, and serves on four editorial boards: Journal of Anxiety Disorders, Journal of Traumatic Stress, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and Psychological Injury and Law.

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Tatiana M. Davidson

Assistant Professor
Medical University of South Carolina

Tatiana M. Davidson, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Mental Health Disparities and Diversity Program at the Institute of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Davidson received her BS from the University of Washington and her MA and PhD from Clark University. She completed her pre-doctoral psychology internship and NIMH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dr. Davidson’s research has focused on addressing mental health care disparities by maximizing reach and receipt of evidence-based treatments among traumatic stress and other vulnerable populations through the development, evaluation, and dissemination of innovative, technology-based resources.

Over the last few years, Dr. Davidson has been involved in a number of federally and internally funded projects focusing on reducing mental health care disparities among underserved and vulnerable populations through the development and evaluation of e/m-health resources as dissemination strategies for evidence-based treatments) and the development of technology-based tools to enhance quality of care in health and mental health care among minority and underserved populations.

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(EP-124) The Telehealth Resilience and Recovery Program: Accelerating Mental Health Recovery After Traumatic Injury



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