Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Provider perceptions of challenges to identifying women Veterans with hazardous substance use.

Giannitrapani KF, Holliday JR, Dawson AW, Huynh AK, Hamilton AB, Timko C, Hoggatt KJ. Provider perceptions of challenges to identifying women Veterans with hazardous substance use. BMC health services research. 2022 Mar 4; 22(1):300.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Approximately one-third of women Veterans Health Administration (VHA) users have substance use disorders (SUD). Early identification of hazardous substance use in this population is critical for the prevention and treatment of SUD. We aimed to understand challenges to identifying women Veterans with hazardous substance use to improve future referral, evaluation, and treatment efforts. METHODS: Design: We conducted a secondary analysis of semi-structured interviews conducted with VHA interdisciplinary women's SUD providers at VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. PARTICIPANTS: Using purposive and snowball sampling we interviewed 17 VHA providers from psychology, social work, women's health, primary care, and psychiatry. APPROACH: Our analytic approach was content analysis of provider perceptions of identifying hazardous substance use in women Veterans. RESULTS: Providers noted limitations across an array of existing identification methodologies employed to identify women with hazardous substance use and believed these limitations were abated through trusting provider-patient communication. Providers emphasized the need to have a process in place to respond to hazardous use when identified. Provider level factors, including provider bias, and patient level factors such as how they self-identify, may impact identification of women Veterans with hazardous substance use. Tailoring language to be sensitive to patient identity may help with identification in women Veterans with hazardous substance use or SUD who are not getting care in VHA but are eligible as well as those who are not eligible for care in VHA. CONCLUSIONS: To overcome limitations of existing screening tools and processes of identifying and referring women Veterans with hazardous substance use to appropriate care, future efforts should focus on minimizing provider bias, building trust in patient-provider relationships, and accommodating patient identities.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.