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Assessment of a Revised Wartime Experiences Scale for Vietnam-Era Women: The Health of Vietnam-Era Women's Study (HealthViEWS).

Sternke LM, Serpi T, Spiro A, Kimerling R, Kilbourne AM, Cypel Y, Frayne SM, Furey J, Huang GD, Reinhard MJ, Magruder K. Assessment of a Revised Wartime Experiences Scale for Vietnam-Era Women: The Health of Vietnam-Era Women's Study (HealthViEWS). Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2017 Jul 1; 27(4):471-477.

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PURPOSE: Few wartime experiences scales capture unique issues related to women''s service, address their military roles, or have been validated with women. The Women''s Wartime Stressor Scale was developed for use with women who served during the Vietnam era, primarily as nurses in Vietnam. We revised this measure by modifying existing items, adding new items, and revising response formats to create a scale less nursing specific and nondeployment specific, and conducted a preliminary assessment of the revised scale. METHODS: The Women''s Wartime Exposure Scale-Revised (WWES-R) was included in a mail survey as part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Health of Vietnam-Era Women''s Study (HealthViEWS) study. Construct and criterion validity, and internal consistency, were assessed with a sample of 4,839 women veterans using exploratory factor analysis, analysis of variance, and multiple linear regression. RESULTS: Six wartime experience factors consistent with previous research were identified and scales were created based on salient item loadings. Compared with women serving in the United States, women serving in Vietnam had higher mean scores on all scales, and nurses had significantly higher scores on three scales than non-nurses. CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation of the WWES-R suggests service and/or deployment location and service in a military health care versus a non-health care role may predict women veterans'' reports of certain wartime experiences. Further psychometric evaluation of the WWES-R is recommended with later era veterans and through comparisons to other wartime exposure measures.

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