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Barriers to the use of Veterans Affairs health care services among female veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Newins AR, Wilson SM, Hopkins TA, Straits-Troster K, Kudler H, Calhoun PS. Barriers to the use of Veterans Affairs health care services among female veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Psychological Services. 2019 Aug 1; 16(3):484-490.

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Abstract:

The study investigated barriers to the utilization of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care services among female veterans who served in served in Iraq and Afghanistan, including reasons for not choosing VA health care, reasons for not seeking mental health treatment, and types of desired VA services. Female respondents to a survey assessing Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans'' needs and health (N = 186) completed measures of military history, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, barriers to VA health care, and preferences for services. Barriers to use of VA health care endorsed by female veterans included receiving care elsewhere and logistical issues. Barriers to utilization of mental health services among female veterans who screened positive for depression or posttraumatic stress disorder included negative treatment biases and concerns about stigma, privacy, and cost. Female veterans endorsed preferences for services related to eligibility education, nonprimary care physical health services, vocational assistance, and a few behavioral/mental health services. Findings highlight the need for ongoing outreach and education regarding eligibility and types of resources for physical and mental health problems experienced by female veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as inform types of VA programming and services desired by female veterans. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).





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