Improving Geropsychology Competencies of Veterans Affairs Psychologists.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Older adults are more likely to seek mental health care through integrated care settings such as primary care. Currently, there exists a significant shortage of mental health providers trained in geropsychology and integrated care competencies. To address this need within the Veterans Health Administration, a national workforce development program was extended to include psychologists, which is called the Geriatric Scholars Program-Psychology Track (GSP-P). The GSP-P has two overarching educational program aims: (1) to improve geropsychology competencies of practicing VA psychologists, particularly those working within integrated settings (e.g., primary care) and (2) enrich psychologists' abilities to enact change in their clinical settings. Ninety-eight VA clinicians participated in the GSP-P, which includes a multi-day in-person course, from 2014 to 2018. Participants completed measures assessing confidence and self-reported knowledge in geropsychology and integrated care competencies pre-course and 3-months post-completion. Two-weeks post-course participants responded to open-ended survey questions regarding their perceptions of the course and potential applications of learning. Significant improvements in confidence in and knowledge of geropsychology and integrated care competencies emerged from pre-course to 3-months post-completion. Qualitative findings demonstrated that participants valued the face-to-face, integrated multimodal educational program. Findings provided insights regarding clinicians' planned application of the knowledge acquired, such as modifying treatments for older patients. Specialized workforce programs such as the GSP-P have a significant, positive impact on the care of older Veterans.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Huh, JWT; Rodriguez, RL; Gregg, JJ; Scales, AN; Kramer, BJ; Gould, CE

Published Date

  • March 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 69 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 798 - 805

PubMed ID

  • 33453084

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-5415

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/jgs.17029


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States