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Age, ethnicity, and comorbidity in a national sample of hospitalized alcohol-dependent women veterans.

Ross R, Fortney J, Lancaster B, Booth BM. Age, ethnicity, and comorbidity in a national sample of hospitalized alcohol-dependent women veterans. Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.). 1998 May 1; 49(5):663-8.

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OBJECTIVE: Treatment patterns in a national sample of hospitalized women veterans diagnosed with alcohol dependence were identified with the goal of improving health services to women veterans with alcohol-related disorders. METHODS: Information from VA's patient treatment file for fiscal year 1993 was used to identify 854 women veterans diagnosed with alcohol dependence. Of that group, 546 received a primary diagnosis of alcohol dependence, and 308 received a secondary diagnosis of alcohol dependence after they sought treatment for other health problems. Chi square tests and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to examine relationships between the sociodemographic profiles of these women and the types of services they received. RESULTS: The study population's largest age group (49 percent) was 30 to 39 years old. Fifty-two percent of the women were divorced or separated, and 62 percent were Caucasian. The overwhelming majority of comorbid diagnoses were of psychiatric disorders. Overall, only 47 percent of the 854 patients received formal treatment for their alcohol disorder, and only 34 percent completed alcohol treatment. Women over age 60 were significantly less likely than women in other age groups to enter or complete formal treatment. Native-American women were significantly more likely than Caucasians or African Americans to receive formal alcohol treatment services. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate a need for targeting interventions more effectively in certain groups of women veterans diagnosed with alcoholism. Low completion rates also suggest a need for greater incentives for patients to complete treatment programs.

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