Use of Psychotherapy by Rural and Urban Veterans

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ph.D. John Paul Jameson, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: Purpose: To examine whether differences exist between rural and urban veterans in terms of initiation of psychotherapy, delay in time from diagnosis to treatment, and dose of psychotherapy sessions.Methods: Using a longitudinal cohort of veterans obtained from national Veterans Affairs databases (October 2003 through September 2004), we extracted veterans with a new diagnosis of depression, anxiety, or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (n = 410,923). Veterans were classi?ed as rural (categories 6-9; n = 65,044) or urban (category 1; n = 149,747), using the US Department of Agriculture Rural-Urban Continuum Codes. Psychotherapy encounters were identi?ed using Current Procedural Terminology codes for the 12 months following patients’ initial diagnosis.Findings: Newly diagnosed rural veterans were signi?cantly less likely (P < .0001) to receive psychotherapy (both individual and group). Urban veterans were roughly twice as likely as rural veterans to receive 4 or more (9.46% vs 5.08%) and 8 or more (5.59% vs 2.35%) psychotherapy sessions (P < .001). Conclusions: Rural veterans are signi?cantly less likely to receive psychotherapy services, and the dose of the psychotherapy services provided for rural veterans is limited relative to their urban counterparts. Focused efforts are needed to increase access to psychotherapy services provided to rural veterans with depression, anxiety, and PTSD.

Additional Information

John P. Jameson, Jeffrey A. Cully, Laura L. Phillips, Mark E. Kunik, & John C. Fortney (2010) "Use of Psychotherapy by Rural and Urban Veterans" Journal of Rural Health #26 pp.225-233 Version of Record Available From
Language: English
Date: 2010
rural veterans, urban veterans, psychotherapy, VA

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