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Rose DE, Oishi SM, Farmer MM, Bean-Mayberry B, Canelo I, Washington DL, Yano EM. Association Between Availability of Women's Health Services and Women Veterans' Care Experiences. Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2022 Sep 15; 32(6):623-632.
INTRODUCTION: Few studies have focused on determinants of women''s ratings of care experiences in primary care. We assessed associations between availability of women''s health services and women veterans'' ratings of care experiences. METHODS: In a cross-sectional analysis, we linked Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 (October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017) survey data from 126 Veterans Health Administration (VA) primary care leaders to 4,254 women veterans'' ratings of care from VA''s Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients-Patient Centered Medical Home (FY 2017). The dependent variables were ratings of optimal access (appointments, information), care coordination, comprehensiveness (behavioral health assessment), patient-provider communication, and primary care provider. Key independent variables were number of women''s health services 1) routinely available all weekday hours (compared with some hours or not available) and 2) available in VA general primary care vs. other arrangements. In multilevel logistic regression models, we adjusted for patient-, facility-, and area-level characteristics. RESULTS: A greater number of women''s health services routinely available in VA primary care was associated with a higher likelihood of optimal ratings of care coordination (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.06; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.10), provider communication (AOR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.002-1.16), and primary care provider (AOR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.02-1.13). A greater number of services available in VA primary care was associated with a lower likelihood of optimal ratings for access (AOR, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.88-0.99). CONCLUSION: For the most part, routine availability of women''s health services in VA primary care clinics enhanced women''s healthcare experiences. These empirical findings offer healthcare leaders evidence-based approaches for improving women''s care experiences.