Veteran Community Engagement and Social Connection Needs Following Inpatient Psychiatric Hospitalization

Jason I. Chen, Sarah S. Ono, Avery Z. Laliberte, Brandon Roth, Steven K. Dobscha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To understand barriers and facilitators to engaging in community activities for increasing social connectedness among recently psychiatrically hospitalized veterans, a population at elevated risk for suicide. Method: We completed 30 semistructured qualitative interviews with veterans within 1 week of discharge from inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. Our interviews focused on understanding past and current barriers, facilitators, and needs for engaging in community activities after psychiatric hospitalization. Data were analyzed using amodified grounded theory approach. Results: Veterans shared feeling a lack of belonging and discussed several barriers to community engagement including lack of self-confidence, limited knowledge of opportunities, and negative expectations. Veterans identified several ways to facilitate engagement in community activities such as centralizing information on community activities and providing active support posthospitalization. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Veterans by and large valued community and the role of community activities for increasing social connectedness. However, more active intervention for supporting engagement in community activities appears necessary to facilitate connection posthospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Community integration
  • Military veterans
  • Social connectedness
  • Suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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