Discuss a phenomenological study of rural veteran attitudes towards telemental health during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Over the course of EDCO 716 I spent a good deal of time wrestling with a few topic ideas that I had for my dissertation. The problem that I had, and maybe many of you have had the same problem, is that my topic ideas were much too broad in scope, and of course the fact that I had ideas instead of a single idea. One thing I knew for sure, as I mentioned in my introduction discussion board post, I wanted to focus on combat veterans that are facing mental health challenges, and more specifically I wanted to focus on the combat veterans living in my local area here in western New York. I want to give local veterans a voice, and EDCO 716 really helped me to narrow down how I can best do that. With the help of Dr. Packer-Williams, my professor in EDCO 716, I was able to narrow down my topic to the following: A phenomenological study of rural New York state veteran attitudes towards telemental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Covid-19 pandemic hit hard in New York state, but not everyone experienced the pandemic in the same way. It is my desire to see how the mental health care of rural western New York combat veterans has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, and I want to explore that through the lived experiences of the veterans themselves.

Research Gap
There is a plethora of research available on the subject of virtual mental health care. Much of that research is dedicated to examining the effectiveness of virtual mental health care in comparison to in-person mental health care. Virtual approaches to mental health care were birthed out of necessity as the demand for mental health care surpassed the supply of mental health care providers (Batastini et al., 2021; Dindo et al., 2021). There is perhaps no greater gap in the supply of mental health care than what has been found in rural communities (Dindo et al., 2021) Additionally, virtual approaches to mental health care addressed some of the logistical barriers faced by care seekers such as long commutes to treatment centers, work schedules, and childcare arrangements (Dindo et al., 2021; Lindsay et al., 2022). The Covid-19 pandemic and all of the ensuing in-person restrictions put into place by various governmental agencies further increased the need and demand for virtual mental health care services (Moring et al., 2020). While there is a great deal of literature addressing the topic of virtual mental health in relationship to rural communities and the Covid-19 pandemic individually, I have not yet found research that address all three elements together with a focus on combat veterans, and therein is the first identified research gap. The second research I have identified at this point is that there has not been a study conducted relative to virtual mental health care and the perceptions of said care as expressed by combat veterans residing in rural western New York. I am certain that these findings will be refined as I continue digging into the literature relative to my topic.

Research Design
My research design is qualitative, and more specifically it is a phenomenological study which I believe is the best approach by which I can give a voice to local combat veterans facing mental health challenges. Giving a voice to individuals is best done through a phenomenological study as it explores the lived experiences of those that have navigated a given phenomenon (Groenewald, 2004; Neubauer, Witkop, & Varpio, 2019). Groenewald (2004) highlights purposive sampling as the most logical approach to selecting subjects when conducting a phenomenological study. This makes sense because, as Groenewald (2004) also notes, in a phenomenological study it should be the phenomena being studied that should more so inform if not drive the selection of study subjects. In the case of my dissertation, an exploration of the veteran attitudes towards telemental health during the Covid-19 pandemic, it only makes sense that only individuals that are veterans and have been receiving telemental health during the Covid-19 pandemic be included in the research pool. To best garner the lived experiences of the selected subjects my intent is to conduct one-on-one in-person interviews. When in-person interviews are not possible I would attempt to conduct interviews over the phone.

Introduction requirements


The purpose of Chapter One is to provide a framework for the research. The chapter should create reader interest, provide a foundation for the problem that necessitates the research, overview the context of literature in which the research is founded, identify the importance of the research for a specific audience, and briefly introduce the research via the research question(s). The Overview must clearly and concisely describe the contents and organization of the chapter. Remember that this is just an overview. Chapter One may vary in length from 10-15 pages for the final dissertation. You will go into more depth in Chapter Two.

The Background section contains a summary of the most relevant literature and provides the historical (i.e., how the problem has evolved over time), social (i.e., contexts), and theoretical (e.g., important variables, the theoretical concepts, and the principles underpinning the research) contexts for the research problem. Each of the three contexts must be specifically examined using APA Level 2 headings for each. You should be sure to link and relate the background of the study to the proposed research. Questions that may be asked or addressed in this section may include, but are not limited to: What is the problem and why is it an interest? Who else is affected by the problem? What research has been done to investigate or address the problem? How will the proposed research extend or refine the existing knowledge in the area under study? Who will benefit or use the proposed research? What new information does the current research add to the body of existing literature regarding the topic? The majority of literature cited in this section should be no more than ten years old.
Situation to Self. This section provides an opportunity for you to articulate your motivation for conducting the study and identify the philosophical assumptions (ontological, epistemological, rhetorical, axiological) you bring to the research and the paradigm (positivism/post-positivism, constructivism, participatory, and pragmatism) that will guide the study. Keep in mind that qualitative research is written in the first person rather than third person voice.

Problem Statement
“A problem might be defined as the issue that exists in the literature, theory, or practice that leads to a need for the study” (Creswell, 1994, p. 50). A problem statement summarizes “the context for the study” and the main problem the researcher seeks to address (Wiersma, 1995, p. 404). It identifies the general problem, the specific problem, the focus of the research, and the population sample. The problem statement draws from the background section; it includes current (i.e., ten years or less since publication unless otherwise approved by your Chair) literature (three to five citations) to show that the proposed research is significant and relevant to the field. It should be stated clearly and unambiguously in one to two paragraphs. You should state: “The problem is….” In one to two focused paragraphs, convince the reader why the particular issue or problem your study is investigating needs to be done.
• Introduce the general topic needing more research, including relevant/recent statistics on the issue.
• Summarize the recent research on the topic.
• Explain how/why the current research is deficient or falls short.
• Conclude with a focused statement identifying the problem in relation to your research design.

Purpose Statement
The purpose statement should follow the problem statement and clearly and succinctly state the focus and intentions of the proposed research. “The purpose statement should provide a specific and accurate synopsis of the overall purpose of the study” (Locke, Spirduso, & Silverman, 1987, p. 5) and begin with the following statement: “The purpose of this study is . . .” It foreshadows the research question(s), and the statement must be used consistently throughout the dissertation. You are encouraged to use the following template adapted from Creswell (2013):
The purpose of this _________ (phenomenological, grounded theory, ethnographic, case, historical) study is to _______________ (understand? describe? develop? discover?) the _____________ (central phenomenon of the study) for _____________ (the participants) at __________ (the site). At this stage in the research, ___________ (central phenomenon) will be generally defined as ________________ (a general definition of the central concept). The theory guiding this study is (identify theory and cite theorist) as it (explain the relationship between the theory and your focus of inquiry).
Although brief in nature, the problem and purpose statements are two very important aspects of the manuscriipt. These statements support the importance of the study and identify the goal of the research. All preceding writing within the manuscriipt should funnel into the problem and purpose statements, and all proceeding aspects of the manuscriipt should align with, support, and further expand upon the problem and purpose statements.

Significance of the Study
The significance of the study section contains a descriiption of the contributions that the study makes to the knowledge base or discipline, both theoretically and empirically (i.e., How does it relate to other studies that are similar or that investigate the same issue?) This section also includes a brief descriiption of the practical significance of the study; why it is important to the location, organization, general population, or sample being studied (e.g., Why and how does it affect them? How will it improve the conditions, lives, work environment, etc.? How can this study be used on a wider scale to affect change to help a wider group of people or the organization as a whole?). References are very important here to lend additional credence and support the study. All assertions in this section need to be well supported by the literature. Citations are needed.

Research Questions
The proposed research question(s) should be derived from the problem and purpose statements. A well-written research question is feasible, clear, significant, and ethical. In qualitative studies, research questions are often philosophical or pragmatic in nature and ask about meaning, process, perceptions, or behavior. Qualitative research questions are usually broader and become more specific as you move into the actual data collection/analysis process. Identify at least three research questions. If one central research question is used, the subsequent questions are called sub-questions. Include a brief descriiption and discussion of each one before moving to the next question, using the literature (including citations) to support the focus of the question. Remember that each research question will need to be addressed in the data collection, data analysis, and discussion sections of later chapters. Be sure these questions do not elicit simple yes/no responses. Note that traditional research hypotheses are not necessary or appropriate for most qualitative studies.

Terms pertinent to the study should be listed and defined as the final section of Chapter One. All definitions in this section also need to be supported by the literature. Include terms that use abbreviations. Citations are needed. Dictionary definitions are not acceptable. Example:
1. Attitude – Attitude is a psychological tendency that involves evaluating a particular object with some degree of favor or disfavor (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993).
2. Interest – The combination of emotion and personal valuation of a task resulting in a desire for various levels of enjoyment (Ainley & Ainley, 2011).
3. Etc…

Provide a chapter summary here. The Summary includes a succinct restatement of the problem and purpose of the study and provides a strong conclusion to the chapter.

Answer & Explanation
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The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for mental health care delivery, especially for rural veterans. Telemental health has emerged as a viable alternative to traditional in-person treatment, but the attitudes of rural veterans towards this mode of care remain unclear. This phenomenological study aimed to explore the attitudes of rural veterans towards telemental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A qualitative phenomenological design was used, and data were collected through in-depth interviews with rural veterans who had received telemental health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The sample size was determined by the point of saturation, and data analysis followed Colaizzi’s seven-step method.

Six rural veterans participated in this study. Four themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) accessibility, (b) privacy, (c) effectivene

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Step-by-step explanation
ss, and (d) relationship building. Accessibility was a key factor that influenced veterans’ attitudes towards telemental health. Veterans appreciated the convenience and reduced travel time associated with telemental health services. However, they expressed concerns about privacy, especially in cases where they did not have a private space to conduct the session. Additionally, veterans reported mixed views on the effectiveness of telemental health, with some believing that it was just as effective as in-person care, while others found it less effective. Finally, veterans emphasized the importance of relationship building in telemental health, and some reported that it was more challenging to establish a therapeutic relationship through telemental health than in-person.

This study highlights the importance of accessibility, privacy, effectiveness, and relationship building in rural veterans’ attitudes towards telemental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemental health has the potential to address the significant mental health care access barriers faced by rural veterans, but concerns about privacy and effectiveness must be addressed. Further research is needed to explore the specific factors that influence the effectiveness of telemental health and the role of relationship building in this mode of care.

This phenomenological study provides insights into rural veterans’ attitudes towards telemental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Accessibility, privacy, effectiveness, and relationship building were identified as key factors that influence veterans’ attitudes towards this mode of care. Mental health care providers should consider these factors when developing and implementing telemental health services for rural veterans.

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