New Podcast Series for Military Beneficiaries and Health Care Teams

This is the first of a blog series on new military health podcasts produced by the Defense Health Agency. This initial post highlights why podcasts are a useful resource both for military beneficiaries and their health care teams. Stay tuned for blog posts over the next couple of months describing each of the three podcast series: A Better Night’s Sleep, Military Meditation Coach, and Next Generation Behavioral Health.

“What’s the best podcast you’ve heard lately?”

With a quarter of Americans regularly listening to podcasts (internet audio shows) and even more listening occasionally, bringing up this topic is bound to be a conversation starter when you’re at your next party.

Podcasts are a growing source of entertainment, comedy, news, and information, with millions of episodes available on nearly every topic. A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about podcasts for health care teams to introduce podcasts to providers who haven’t yet listened to one of these free audio shows. They present another way for the Military Health System to provide information and tools to both beneficiaries and health care teams.

Podcasts are ideal ways to learn because they’re:

  • Conversational and engaging.
  • Available for listening in multiple ways (downloaded or streamed on computers or mobile devices).
  • Easily downloaded before entering an area without internet access (shipboard, hospital setting, transit).
  • Easy to access anonymously and at any time of day, and can be listened to repeatedly.
  • Inexpensive to produce and maintain.

If you’re a provider, what should you know about podcasts?

  • Kick the tires. Just like our advice for prescribing mobile apps, listen to a podcast before recommending it.
  • Realize podcasts aren’t for everyone. While audio is a fantastic way to share information, some beneficiaries prefer reading or watching videos. Generally, those who commute long distances or do a lot of work around the house are more likely to enjoy podcasts.
  • Find out who makes a podcast. Anyone can produce a podcast, so help your patients find podcasts made by experts. The military health podcasts produced within the Defense Health Agency are written by medical professionals.

In upcoming posts, I describe each of our three different podcast series:

  • A Better Night’s Sleep: Listen to conversations with experts about insomnia and other sleep disorders, and about evidence-based treatments that can help.
  • Military Meditation Coach: Learn about a wide variety of meditation, mindfulness and relaxation exercises that can be used alone or in a treatment setting. These podcasts are co-produced with the Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control.
  • Next Generation Behavioral Health: Tune in for 10-minute tips for providers on how to safely use connected health technology with military beneficiaries.

I hope you’ll listen, share and give us feedback on the best ways to use this new medium to help service members, veterans and their families.

Julie T. Kinn, Ph.D. is a research psychologist at DHA Connected Health.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.


Read other posts by Dr. Julie Kinn