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2014 VISN 20 MIRECC Staff Research Articles and Presentations

VISN 20 MIRECC Staff Research Articles and Presentations

The findings of NW MIRECC research are disseminated through MIRECC Presents, lectures and presentations, and publications. Below is a list of publications and presentations by VISN 20 NW MIRECC researchers and fellowship program faculty that were published in 2014. 

Bedard-Gilligan, M., Cronce, J. M., Lehavot, K., Blayney, J. A., & Kaysen, D. (2014). The relationship between assault and
physical health complaints in a sample of female drinkers: roles of avoidant coping and alcohol use. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(8), 1359-1379.

ABSTRACT: Trauma exposure and PTSD are associated with poorer physical health. Psychological and behavioral mechanisms may help account for this relationship. In this study, we tested avoidant coping and alcohol use as mediators of the relationship between trauma exposure, PTSD, and self-reported physical health complaints in female drinkers.

Blais, R. K., Hoerster, K. D., Malte, C., Hunt, S., & Jakupcak, M. (2014). Unique PTSD clusters predict intention to seek
mental health care and subsequent utilization in US veterans with PTSD symptoms. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 27(2), 168-174.

ABSTRACT: Many veterans return from deployment with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but most attend only a limited number of mental health care visits. Although global PTSD relates to seeking mental health care, it is unclear whether specific features of PTSD inform the low rates of mental health care utilization. This study examined PTSD cluster severities of avoidance, reexperiencing, dysphoria, and hyperarousal as predictors of intention to seek mental health care and prospective treatment utilization.

Blais, R. K., Renshaw, K. D., & Jakupcak, M. (2014). Posttraumatic stress and stigma in active-duty service members relate to
lower likelihood of seeking support. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 27(1), 116-119. doi: 10.1002/jts.21888

Callegari, L. S., Zhao, X., Nelson, K. M., Lehavot, K., Bradley, K. A., & Borrero, S. (2014). Associations of mental illness
and substance use disorders with prescription contraception use among women veterans. Contraception, 90(1), 97-103. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2014.02.028

Cummings, J., Mintzer, J., Brodaty, H., Sano, M., Banerjee, S., Devanand, D. P., … & Zhong, K. (2014). Agitation in cognitive
disorders: International Psychogeriatric Association provisional consensus clinical and research definition. International Psychogeriatrics, 14, 1-11.

Denneson, L., Corson, K., Helmer, D., Bair, M., & Dobscha, S. (2014). Mental health utilization of new-to-care Iraq and
Afghanistan Veterans following suicidal ideation assessment. Psychiatry Research, 217(3), 147-153. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.03.017

Dobscha, S., Denneson, L. M., Kovas, A. E., Corson, K., Helmer, D. A., & Bair, M. J. (2014). Primary care clinician responses
to positive suicidal ideation risk assessments in veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. General Hospital Psychiatry, 36(3), 310-317.

Dohi, K., Kraemer, B. C., Erickson, M., McMillan, P., Kovac, A., Flachbartova, Z., … & Banks, W. (2014). Molecular hydrogen
in drinking water protects against neurodegenerative changes induced by traumatic brain injury. PLoS ONE, 9(9), e108034. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0108034

Donahue, J. J., Goranson, A. C., McClure, K. S., & Van Male, L. M. (2014). Emotion dysregulation, negative affect, and
aggression: A moderated multiple mediator analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 70, 23-28.

Ebert, L., Malte, C., Hamlett-Berry, K., Beckham, J., McFall, M. E., & Saxon, A. J. (2014). Use of a learning collaborative
to support implementation of integrated care for smoking cessation for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. American Journal of Public Health, 104(10), 1935-42. Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301776.

Fredriksen-Goldsen, K., Simoni, J., Kim, H., Lehavot, K., Walters, K., Yang, J., … & Muraco, A. (2014). The health equity
promotion model: Reconceptualization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) health disparities. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 84(6), 653-663. doi:10.1037/ort0000030

Garcia, H. A., Finley, E. P., Ketchum, N., Jakupcak, M., Dassori, A., & Reyes, S. C. (2014). A survey of perceived barriers
and attitudes toward mental health care among OEF/OIF veterans at VA outpatient mental health clinics. Military Medicine, 179(3), 273-278. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-13-00076

Germino, J. C., Rapp, E. J., Hippe, D. S., Shah, A. C., McFall, M. E., & Bhargava, P. (2014). Assessing and optimizing
imaging of patients with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of the American College of Radiology, (6), 629-631. doi: 10.1016/j.jacr.2013.10.020

Hoerster, K. D., Lai, Z., Goodrich D. E., Damschroder L. J., Littman A. J., Klingaman, E., … & Kilbourne AM (2014). Weight
loss after participation in a national VA weight management program among veterans with or without PTSD. Psychiatric Services, 65(11), 1385-8. doi: 10.1177/

Hoerster, K. D., Lai, Z., Goodrich, D. E., Damschroder, L. J., Littman, A. J., Klingaman, E., … & Kilbourne, A. M. (2014).
Weight loss for Veterans with and without PTSD after participation in a national VA weight management program. Psychiatric Services, 65(11), 1385-1388. Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.1176/

Imel, Z., Baldwin, S., Baer, J., Hartzler, B., Dunn, C., Rosengren, D., & Watkins, L. E. (2014). Evaluating therapist
adherence in motivational interviewing by comparing performance with standardized and real patients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(3), 472-481. doi:10.1037/a0036158

Imel, Z., Barco, J., Brown, H., Baucom, B., Baer, J., Kircher, J., & Watkins, L. E. (2014). The association of therapist
empathy and synchrony in vocally encoded arousal. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 61(1), 146-153. doi:10.1037/a0034943

Jakupcak, M., Blais, R. K., Grossbard, J., Garcia, H., & Okiishi, J. (2014). "Toughness" in association with mental health
symptoms among Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans seeking Veteran Affairs Health Care. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 15, 100-104. doi: 10.1037/a0031508

Kaysen, D., Kulesza, M., Balsam, K. F., Rhew, I. C., Blayney, J. A., Lehavot, K., & Hughes, T. L. (2014). Coping as a
mediator of internalized homophobia and psychological distress among young adult sexual minority women. Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 1, 225-233.

Lehavot, K., & Simpson, T. L. (2014). Trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression among sexual minority and
heterosexual women veterans. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 61(3), 392-403. doi: 10.1037/cou0000019

Lehavot, K., Browne, K., & Simpson, T. L. (2014). Examining sexual orientation disparities in alcohol misuse among women
veterans. American Journal of Preventitive Medicine. Advance Online Publication. doi:

ABSTRACT: Alcohol misuse is a significant health concern among women veterans, especially among lesbian and bisexual veterans. Mediators that might explain alcohol disparities between heterosexual and sexual minority veterans have not yet been identified. Purpose: To examine the role of civilian and military traumas and mental health symptoms (i.e., depression, post-traumatic stress disorder) in explaining sexual orientation disparities in alcohol misuse between sexual minority and heterosexual women veterans across the U.S.

Lehavot, K., Katon, J. G., Williams, E. C., Nelson, K. M., Gardella, C. M., Reiber, G. E., & Simpson, T. L. (2014). Sexual
behaviors and sexually transmitted infections in a nationally representative sample of women veterans and nonveterans. Journal of Women's Health, 23(3), 246-252. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2013.4327

Lehavot, K., Stappenbeck, C. A., Luterek, J. A., Kaysen, D., & Simpson, T. L. (2014). Gender differences in relationships
among PTSD severity, drinking motives, and alcohol use in a comorbid alcohol dependence and PTSD sample. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28(1), 42-52. doi: 10.1037/a0032266

Li, G., Millard, S., Peskind, E. R., Zhang, J., Yu, C. E., Leverenz, J., … & Montine, T. (2014). Cross-sectional and
longitudinal relationships between cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers and cognitive function in subjects without cognitive impairment from across the adult life span. JAMA, 71(6), 742-751. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.445

Liachko, N. F., McMillan, P. J., Strovas, T. J., Greenup, L., Ghetti, B., Raskind, M. A., … & Kraemer, B. C. (2014). The tau
tubulin kinases TTBK1/2 promote accumulation of pathological TDP-43. PLOS Genetics, 10(12). Advance Online Publication.

Malte, C., Dennis, P. A., Saxon, A. J., McFall, M. E., Carmody, T. P., Unger, W., & Beckham, J. (2014). Tobacco use trajectories
among a large cohort of treated smokers with posttraumatic stress disorder. Addictive Behaviors, 41C, 238-246.

Molina, Y., Lehavot, K., Beadnell, B., & Simoni, J. M. (2014). Racial disparities in health behaviors and conditions among
lesbian and bisexual women: The role of internalized stigma. LGBT Health, 1, 31-139.

Morasco, B., Lovejoy, T., Turk, D., Crain, A., Hauser, P., & Dobscha, S. (2014). Biopsychosocial factors associated with pain
in veterans with the hepatitis C virus. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 37(5), 902-911.

ABSTRACT: Little research has examined etiological factors associated with pain in patients with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between biopsychosocial factors and pain among patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and pain completed self-report measures of pain, mental health functioning, pain-specific psychosocial variables (pain catastrophizing, self-efficacy for managing pain, social support), prescription opioid use, and demographic characteristics. Read full research article: Biopsychosocial factors associated with pain in veterans with the hepatitis C virus

Morasco, B. J., O’Hearn, D., Turk, D. C., & Dobscha, S. K. (2014). Associations between prescription opioid use and sleep
impairment among veterans with chronic pain. Pain Medicine, 15(11), 1902-1910. DOI: 10.1111/pme.12472

ABSTRACT: Chronic pain is associated with impairments in sleep; however, the relationship between prescription opioid status and sleep is unclear. This is a cross-sectional study with retrospective review of patient medical records. The primary aim of this study was to examine differences in self-reported sleep quality between groups of patients who varied based on chronic pain and prescription opioid status. Read full research article: Associations between prescription opioid use and sleep impairment among veterans with chronic pain

Morasco, B. J., O'Neil, M. E., Duckart, J. P., & Ganzini, L. (2014). Comparison of health service use among veterans with
methamphetamine versus alcohol use disorders. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 8(1), 47-52.

ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine use disorders (MUD) are associated with severe health effects and psychiatric comorbidities, but little is known about the health care utilization of patients with Methamphetamine use disorders (MUD). The goal of this study was to describe health service use among veterans with Methamphetamine use disorders (MUD) relative to a group of veterans with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Using Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative data, we identified 718 patients who were diagnosed with Methamphetamine use disorders (MUD) and had confirmatory drug testing. Data were compared with those of 744 patients who had diagnoses of an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Using Veterans Affairs (VA) administrative data, we identified 718 patients who were diagnosed with Methamphetamine use disorders (MUD) and had confirmatory drug testing. Data also with confirmatory testing. Read full research article: Comparison of health service use among veterans with methamphetamine versus alcohol use disorders

Pagulayan, K. F., & Fann, J. R. (2014). Neuropsychiatric and behavioral sequelae. In P. Vos, & Diaz-Arrostia (Eds.), Traumatic
Brain Injury (pp. 192-210). Indianapolis: Blackwell Publishing Inc.

Peskind, E. R., Li, G., Shofer, J. B., Millard, S., Leverenz, J. B., Yu, C., … & Montine, T. J. (2014). Influence of lifestyle
modifications on age-related free radical injury to brain. JAMA Neurology, 71(9), 1150-1154. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.1428

Petrie, E., Cross, D. J., Richards, T., Martin, N., Pagulayan, K. F., Hoff, D., … & Peskind, E. R. (2014). Neuroimaging,
behavioral, and psychologic sequelae of repetitive combined blast/impact mild traumatic brain injury in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Journal of Neurotrauma, 31, 425-432.

Raskind, M. A., & Wang, L. Y. (2014). Antipsychotic drugs for psychosis and agitation in dementia: efficacy, safety, and a
possible noradrenergic mechanism of action. International Psychogeriatrics, 26(6), 879-883. doi: 10.1017/S1041610214000477

Raskind, M. A., McCaslin, C., & Jakupcak, M. (2014). Violence in war and violence back home. American Journal of Psychiatry,
171(7), 701-704.

Rasmussen, D. D., & Kincaid, C. (2014). Acoustic startle in alcohol-naïve male rats predicts subsequent voluntary alcohol
intake and alcohol preference. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 50(1), 56-61. doi:10.1093/alcalc/agu065

Rasmussen, D. D., Alexander, L., Malone, J., Federoff, D., & Froehlich, J. (2014). The a2-adrenergic receptor agonist,
clonidine, reduces alcohol drinking in alcohol-preferring (P) rats. Alcohol, 48(6), 543-549. doi:10.1016/j.alcohol.2014.07.002

Shore, P., Goranson, A. C., Ward, M., & Lu, M. (2014). Meeting veterans where they're @: A VA home-based telemental health
(HBTMH) pilot program. The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 48(1), 5-17.

ABSTRACT: The first Home-Based Telemental pilot program (HBTMH) in the Department of Veterans Affairs addresses the significant challenge of access to mental health treatment for rural veterans. Though the feasibility of telemental healthcare in clinic-based settings has been well documented, the feasibility of telemental health via webcam and computer in a patient's home or other non-clinic settings is unknown.

Simpson, T. L., Stappenbeck, C. A., Luterek, J. A., Lehavot, K., & Kaysen, D. L. (2014). Drinking motives moderate daily
relationships between PTSD symptoms and alcohol use. Journal of Abnormal Pyschology, 123(1), 237-247. doi: 10.1037/a0035193

Stappenbeck, C. A., Hellmuth, J. C., Simpson, T. L., & Jakupcak, M. (2014). The effects of alcohol problems, PTSD, and
combat exposure on physical and non-physical aggression among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 6, 65-72. doi: 10.1037/a0031468

Tsukuda, R., Zeiss, A., Supiano, K., Smith, H., Semla, T., Sanchez-Reilly, S., … & Montagnini, M. (2014). position
statement on interdisciplinary team training in geriatrics: An essential component of quality health care for older adults. The American Geriatrics Society, 62(5), 961-5. Advance Online Publication.

Wang, L. Y., & Raskind, M. A. (2014). Using psychotropic medications to manage problem behaviors in dementia. In
Quinn J. (Ed.), Dementia. Neurology in Practice Series (pp. 111-120). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Weimer, M. B., Macey, T. A., Nicolaidis, C., Dobscha, S., & Morasco, B. J. (2014). Sex differences in VA patients
with chronic pain. Drug & Alcohol Dependence, 140, e240.

ABSTRACT: Despite a growing number of women seeking medical care in the veterans affairs (VA) system, little is known about the characteristics of their chronic pain or the pain care they receive. This study sought to determine if sex differences are present in the medical care veterans received for chronic pain. Subjects: The subjects were 17,583 veteran patients with moderate to severe chronic non-cancer pain treated in the Pacific Northwest during 2008. Result: Compared with male veterans, female veterans were more often diagnosed with two or more pain conditions, and had more of the following pain-related diagnoses: fibromyalgia, low back pain, inflammatory bowel disease, migraine headache, neck or joint pain, and arthritis. After adjustment for demographic characteristics, pain diagnoses, mental health diagnoses, substance use disorders, and medical comorbidity, women had lower odds of being prescribed chronic opioid therapy, greater odds of visiting an emergency department for a pain-related complaint, and greater odds of receiving physical therapy. Primary care utilization was not significantly different between sexes. Read full research article: Sex differences in VA patients with chronic pain

NW MIRECC Research Articles:   In Press | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

NW MIRECCVeterans Integrated Service Network 20 (VISN 20) serves 135 counties in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and extending into Del Norte County California and Lincoln County Montana. VISN 20 is the largest geographic region of VA and home to 273 federally recognized American Indian and Alaskan Native tribes, 229 of which are located in Alaska. Encompassing 23% of the US land mass, VISN 20 spans three time zones over 817,417 square miles. VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS) and the Portland VA Health Care System (VAPORHCS) were commissioned by Congress and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as one of the first three Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Centers (MIRECCs) in the United States. VAPSHCS serves Veterans from a five-state area in the Pacific Northwest with two main divisions: American Lake VA Medical Center and Seattle VA Medical Center. VA Outpatient Clinics and Vet Centers in Washington are located in Bellingham, Bellevue, Bremerton, Chehalis, Edmunds, Everett, Federal Way, Lacey, Mount Vernon, Olympia, Port Angeles, Puyallup, Richland, Renton, Silverdale, Seattle, Spokane, Union Gap, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Wenatchee, and Yakima. Veterans in Washington are also served by VA Medical Centers in Spokane, Vancouver, and Walla Walla. VAPORHCS serves Veterans in Oregon and Southwest Washington with two main divisions: Portland VA Medical Center and Vancouver VA Medical Center. VA Outpatient Clinics and Vet Centers in Oregon are located in Bend, Boardman, Brookings, Enterprise, Eugene, Fairview, Grants Pass, Hines, Hillsboro, Klamath Falls, LaGrande, Lincoln City, Newport, Portland, Salem, The Dalles, Warrenton, and West Linn. Veterans in Oregon are also served by VA Medical Centers in Roseburg, White City, and Vancouver, Washington.

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VA provides health care for Veterans from providers in the local community outside of VA. Veterans may be eligible to receive care from a community provider when VA cannot provide the care needed. VA launched its new and improved Veterans Community Care Program (VCCP) on June 6, 2019, implementing portions of the VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018 (MISSION Act), which both ended the Veterans Choice Program and established VCCP. Types of care under the new VCCP include General Community Care, Urgent Care, Emergency Care, Foreign Medical Care, Home Health and Hospice Care, Indian and Tribal Health Services, In Vitro Fertilization, State Veterans Home, and Flu Shots. Veterans work with their VA health care provider or other VA staff to see if they are eligible to receive community care based on new criteria. The VA Community Care Network (CCN) is VA’s direct link with community providers to ensure Veterans receive timely, high-quality care.

VA Vet Center LogoVet Centers in the VISN 20 Health Care Network are community-based counseling centers that provide a wide range of social and psychological services, including professional readjustment counseling to eligible Veterans, active-duty Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Space Force service members, including National Guard and Reserve components, and their families. 1-877-WAR-VETS is an around the clock confidential call center where Veterans, service members and their families can talk about their military experience or any other issue they are facing in transitioning after military service or trauma and get connected to their nearest Vet Center.

Vet Centers in VISN 20

Vet Centers provide counseling to make a successful transition from military to civilian life or after a traumatic event experienced in the military. Individual, group, marriage and family counseling is offered in addition to referral and connection to other VA or community benefits and services. If you can’t make it to a nearby Vet Center, VA offers satellite Vet Center locations and Mobile Vet Centers that may be closer to you.


Anchorage Vet Center (Anchorage, AK)

Anchorage Satellite Vet Centers in Anchor Point and Homer

Fairbanks Vet Center (Fairbanks, AK)

Fairbanks Satellite Vet Centers in Fort Greely and Fort Wainwright

Kenai Vet Center Outstation (Soldotna, AK)

Wasilla Vet Center (Wasilla, AK)


Central Oregon Vet Center (Bend, OR)

Eugene Vet Center (Eugene, OR)

Eugene Satellite Vet Centers in Florence and Reedsport 

Grants Pass Vet Center (Grants Pass, OR)

Grants Pass Satellite Vet Center in Cave Junction and Grants Pass Mobile Vet Center

Portland, OR Vet Center (Portland, OR)

Portland Satellite Vet Centers in Oregon City, St. Helens, and Vancouver, Washington

Salem Vet Center (Salem, OR)

Salem Mobile Vet Center


Boise Vet Center (Boise, ID)

Boise Satellite Vet Center in Ontario, Oregon and Boise Mobile Vet Center

Spokane Satellite Vet Centers in Couer d'Alene, Kootenai, Post Falls, Fairchild AFB, and Newport, Washington


Bellingham Vet Center (Bellingham, WA)

Everett Vet Center (Everett, WA)

Federal Way Vet Center (Federal Way, WA)

Lacey Vet Center Outstation (Lacey, WA)

Seattle Vet Center (Seattle, WA)

Spokane Vet Center (Spokane, WA)

Spokane Satellite Vet Centers in Fairchild AFB, Newport, Post Falls and Couer d'Alene, Idaho

Spokane Mobile Vet Center

Tacoma Vet Center (Tacoma, WA)

Tacoma Mobile Vet Center

Vancouver Vet Center - Washington State University, Clark County (Vancouver, WA)

Walla Walla Vet Center (Walla Walla, WA)

Yakima Valley Vet Center (Yakima, WA)

Yakima Satellite Vet Center in Ellensburg

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VA has a variety of mental health resources, information, treatment options, and more — all accessible to Veterans, Veterans’ supporters, and the general public. Explore the pages below to learn more about a specific mental health topic. Each of these pages includes resources, information on treatment options, and more.

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Explore the latest mental health news, resources, and real-life stories of mental health recovery.

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In 1946, Veterans Canteen Service (VCS) was established by law to provide comfort and well-being to America’s Veterans. With our many retail stores, cafés and coffee shops across the country, we serve those who have served our country. Our Canteens are whole health spaces for Veterans to connect, relax, share and care for themselves in an environment that is their benefit. We are proud to Serve America’s Veterans and those who provide for their care.

VCS operates over 200 Patriot Stores in Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Centers nationwide. Many of our stores have been recently updated and expanded to provide our customers with a modern, clean and comfortable shopping experience. Our stores welcome our customers with wider aisles, wood-like floors, enhanced lighting and directional signage. PatriotStores have expanded hours of operation to provide service for customers on weekends at most locations.

The Patriot Cafe is the best place in the VA Medical Center to enjoy delicious, freshly prepared breakfast or lunch served hot or cold each weekday. Providing Veterans, their families, VA employees, volunteers and visitors a place to relax and enjoy a meal or take-out for their convenience. With a wide variety of food from traditional comfort food, specialized menu selections and a large assortment of healthy choices; there is something for everyone's taste buds.

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