First Advisor

Dunemn, Kathleen

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Document Type


Date Created



The Air Force requires each airman (service member) accomplish a Web-based periodic health assessment (Web-PHA) yearly. This is a well-established health assessment program mandated and well-embedded within the Air Force that includes the Air National Guard. The Web-PHA is an on-line, self-administered health questionnaire. The questions were developed by a Department of Defense team guided by nationally recognized health screening and counseling recommendations. At the 140th Medical Group at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado, “trained” health technicians run the Web-PHA program. After an in-depth review of the current processes, it was found the Air Force, including this Air National Guard unit, did not provide any formal mental health education and training specific to the Web-PHA program. Nor did the 140th Medical Group have a unit-specific protocol to address mental health concerns. The purpose of this process improvement project was to improve the processes associated with the current mental health portion of the 140th Medical Group’s Web-PHA program. The aim was to obtain information from a panel of experts using the Delphi technique to advise and guide current and future training practices of health technicians running the program. This occurred in three phases. The first phase was targeted at developing an education program. The second phase included the development of a iv protocol and algorithm described by the Air Force Instruction (AFI 44-108, 2014). Finally, the third phase described a future pilot study not part of this capstone project and was for planning purposes only. To evaluate this project, both pre and post education tests were administered with an improvement from 44% (pre) to 85.2% (post)--a 41.2% increase. Feedback on both the education and Web-PHA mental health protocol (MHP) was all positive. Overall, this capstone project recognized the lack of mental health education, identified the current Web-PHA process, and developed a successful, much-needed streamlined approach for education and a Web-PHA MHP for the trained health technician to follow.


Web-based health assessment; Mental health education


175 pages

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