In FY2014, over 57,000 Veterans with diagnosed alcohol use disorders (AUDs) received VHA inpatient medical-surgical services. This likely underrepresents the prevalence of AUDs among Veteran inpatients, because these conditions often go undiagnosed during hospital stays. The high prevalence of AUDs among VHA medical-surgical inpatients is of critical concern because AUDs and medical conditions exacerbate one another, and their co-occurrence increases the use of costly health services. Yet, there are no evidence-based strategies that improve outcomes in this patient population by means of increased utilization (initiation, engagement) of AUD treatment services. We have identified Drinking Options: Motivate, Shared Decisions, Telemonitor (DO-MoST) as a potential solution to the critical need for evidence-based strategies. This project will evaluate DO-MoST as a new and innovative intervention to facilitate the transition from inpatient medical-surgical care to AUD treatment in primary and specialty care settings, thereby improving Veterans' AUD and medical outcomes. DO-MoST entails use of motivational interviewing and a decision aid during the inpatient stay to facilitate informed choices about post-discharge drinking options and resources for help to change drinking, if desired, followed by telephone calls with the patient to continue to motivate and support decisions. In addition to determining the effectiveness of DO-MoST, this project includes a process evaluation ? that is, will gather information from providers and patients on DO-MoST's implementation at the two project sites ? to inform VA's potential widespread implementation of DO-MoST with medical-surgical patients with AUDs. Using an effectiveness/implementation Hybrid Type 1 design, incorporating a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and process evaluation to facilitate future implementation, this project has three Specific Aims.
Aim 1 : Adapt a decision aid being implemented with AUD patients in non-VA primary care settings to be appropriate for Veterans with AUDs in medical-surgical inpatient settings. With this prototype, we will conduct alpha testing with patients and providers, and adapt and pilot the decision aid to finalize it for use in the RCT.
Aim 2 : Conduct DO-MoST at two VA facilities (Ann Arbor and Palo Alto) and evaluate its effectiveness. The primary hypotheses are: Patients in DO-MoST, compared to patients in usual care (UC), will be more likely to (1) utilize AUD help (initiate, engage), (2) have better AUD (fewer heavy drinking days) and medical (physical status) outcomes, and (3) have fewer and more delayed acute care episodes (Emergency Department visits, rehospitalizations). Patients will be assessed at baseline, and 3, 6, and 12 months post- discharge, for outcomes and non-VA health care; VA health care will be assessed with VA databases. GLMM analyses will be conducted to compare the UC and DO-MoST groups on course of outcomes.
Aim 3 : Conduct a qualitative process evaluation to inform the wider implementation of DO-MoST, using the RE-AIM (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance) framework. The purpose is to provide guidance for VA facilities' broader adoption of DO-MoST in the future, including its possible adaptation for diverse subpopulations of Veterans, such as patients with mental health diagnoses (e.g., PTSD). In summary, this project will develop a decision aid and comprehensively examine DO-MoST as a novel and groundbreaking approach to providing a bridge between inpatient medical-surgical treatment and AUD treatment. Decision Aids have been used successfully in a number of contexts, but never with medical- AUD inpatients. Our operations partners from VHA Mental Health Services and Medical Service are committed to directly addressing the dangerous, costly pattern of Veterans obtaining inpatient medical-surgical services but not receiving the AUD treatment they need. The project is focused on priorities in the VA Blueprint for Excellence, of HSR&D Service, and of the PIs' HSR&D Centers of Innovation.
This project aims to help Veterans who are in the hospital and have untreated alcohol problems. First, we will adapt a Decision Aid that explains alcohol-related treatment options and their risks and benefits. Then, we will determine the effectiveness of an intervention called DO-MoST (for Drinking Options-Motivate, Shared Decisions, Telemonitor), whereby a Decision Coach helps Veterans make decisions about alcohol-related behaviors and treatments they prefer, and keeps in contact by phone to continue to help with drinking and treatment decisions. DO-MoST is designed to increase rates at which Veterans decide to reduce or quit drinking, and begin and remain in treatment, and to improve drinking- and medical-related outcomes over time. It may also decrease Veterans' use of expensive health services such as hospitalizations and emergency visits. Finally, we will study how VA can use DO-MoST on an ongoing, more widespread basis. The project should increase patient-centered health care for Veterans with alcohol problems to benefit their recovery.