HEALTH / WELL-BEING

The Development and Evaluation of a Peer-Driven Engagement Intervention to Reach Older Veterans with Depression

Article

The authors developed and evaluated a peer-driven engagement intervention to reach older veterans, veteran spouses, and widowed veteran-spouses with an evidence-based depression management program called the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS).  Findings can inform future efforts to engage older veterans in depression treatment.

Abstract

The authors developed and evaluated a peer-driven engagement intervention to reach older veterans, veteran spouses, and widowed veteran-spouses with an evidence-based depression management program called the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS). The authors interviewed key informants in veteran service organizations to design the intervention and trained former PEARLS veterans/spouses/widowed veteran-spouses as peer educators (“champions”). The authors interviewed champions to identify facilitators and barriers to implementing the intervention. Facilitators included enjoying and finding honor in their role and using personal experiences to describe PEARLS. Barriers included competing priorities, difficulty addressing barriers raised by peers, and complicated materials. Findings can inform future efforts to engage older veterans in depression treatment.

Full Reference

Petrescu-Prahova, M., Steinman, L., Dronen, A., Rigor, S., Snowden, M., 2017. The Development and Evaluation of a Peer-Driven Engagement Intervention to Reach Older Veterans with Depression. Military Behavioral Health, 5(3), pp.274-283,