Public Policy Center, University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Military Psychology 2014, Vol. 25, No. 6, 557–567
DOI: 10.1037/mil0000019


This article is a U.S. government work, and is not subject to copyright in the United States.


Confidentiality can both facilitate and inhibit working relationships of chaplains and mental health professionals addressing the needs of service members and veterans in the United States. Researchers conducted this study to examine opportunities for improving integration of care within the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Interviews were conducted with 198 chaplains and 201 mental health professionals in 33 DoD and VA facilities. Using a blended qualitative research approach, researchers identified several themes from the interviews, including recognition that integration can improve services; chaplaincy confidentiality can facilitate help seeking behavior; and mental health and chaplain confidentiality can inhibit information sharing and active participation on interdisciplinary teams. Cross-disciplinary training on confidentiality requirements and developing policies for sharing information across disciplines is recommended to address barriers to integrated service delivery.