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 Citation Abstract

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

Women Veterans' Healthcare Needs, Utilization, and Preferences in Veterans Affairs Primary Care Settings.

Sheahan KL, Goldstein KM, Than CT, Bean-Mayberry B, Chanfreau CC, Gerber MR, Rose DE, Brunner J, Canelo IA, Darling Mshs JE, Haskell S, Hamilton AB, Yano EM. Women Veterans' Healthcare Needs, Utilization, and Preferences in Veterans Affairs Primary Care Settings. Journal of general internal medicine. 2022 Sep 1; 37(Suppl 3):791-798.

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: The Veterans Health Administration (VA) is the largest integrated health system in the US and provides access to comprehensive primary care. Women Veterans are the fastest growing segment of new VA users, yet little is known about the characteristics of those who routinely access VA primary care in general or by age group. OBJECTIVE: Describe healthcare needs, utilization, and preferences of women Veterans who routinely use VA primary care. PARTICIPANTS: 1,391 women Veterans with 3+ primary care visits within the previous year in 12 VA medical centers (including General Primary Care Clinics, General Primary Care Clinics with designated space for women, and Comprehensive Women's Health Centers) in nine states. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey (45% response rate) of sociodemographic characteristics, health status (including chronic disease, mental health, pain, and trauma exposure), utilization, care preferences, and satisfaction. Select utilization data were extracted from administrative data. Analyses were weighted to the population of routine users and adjusted for non-response in total and by age group. KEY RESULTS: While 43% had health coverage only through VA, 62% received all primary care in VA. In the prior year, 56% used VA mental healthcare and 78% used VA specialty care. Common physical health issues included hypertension (42%), elevated cholesterol (39%), pain (35%), and diabetes (16%). Many screened positive for PTSD (41%), anxiety (32%), and depression (27%). Chronic physical and mental health burdens varied by age. Two-thirds (62%) had experienced military sexual trauma. Respondents reported satisfaction with VA women's healthcare and preference for female providers. CONCLUSIONS: Women Veterans who routinely utilize VA primary care have significant multimorbid physical and mental health conditions and trauma histories. Meeting women Veterans' needs across the lifespan will require continued investment in woman-centered primary care, including integrated mental healthcare and emphasis on trauma-informed, age-specific care, guided by women's provider preferences.

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.