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Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services for Women in the Veterans Health Administration.

Timko C, Hoggatt KJ, Wu FM, Tjemsland A, Cucciare M, Rubin A, Simpson TL. Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services for Women in the Veterans Health Administration. Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2017 Nov 1; 27(6):639-645.

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PURPOSE: The present study used national Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facility-level data to examine the extent of women''s specialty substance use disorder (SUD) treatment programming in the VHA. In addition, the study compared facilities with women''s specialty SUD programming with facilities without to determine whether having this programming was associated with serving other special patient populations, treatment staffing, and breadth of service provision. METHODS: The study used data from the VHA Program Evaluation and Resource Center''s Drug and Alcohol Program Survey, conducted in 2015 (100% response rate among VHA specialty SUD treatment programs). Program responses were calculated at the facility level (n  =  140 VHA facilities). MAIN FINDINGS: The majority of VHA facilities (85%) provided women veterans with SUD-specific individual psychotherapy. However, only 30% of facilities provided SUD-specific groups for women only, and only 14% provided SUD-posttraumatic stress disorder groups for women only in specialty SUD treatment. VHA facilities with greater numbers of specialty SUD treatment staff members, a greater breadth of staff roles, and a broader scope of treatment services, activities, and practices were more likely to provide women-only groups. CONCLUSIONS: Because the number of women veterans in specialty SUD treatment is likely to continue to grow, these data serve as a benchmark against which future administrations of the Drug and Alcohol Program Survey will document the extent to which VHA services are responsive to their needs.

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