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Effects of military trauma exposure on women veterans' use and perceptions of Veterans Health Administration care.

Kelly MM, Vogt DS, Scheiderer EM, Ouimette P, Daley J, Wolfe J. Effects of military trauma exposure on women veterans' use and perceptions of Veterans Health Administration care. Journal of general internal medicine. 2008 Jun 1; 23(6):741-7.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Few studies have addressed how military trauma exposure, particularly sexual assault and combat exposure, affects women veterans' use and perceptions of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) care. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of military sexual assault and combat exposure on women veterans' use and perceptions of different aspects of VHA care. DESIGN: Cross-sectional telephone survey of a national sample of women veterans. PARTICIPANTS: Women from the VA's National Registry of Women Veterans. MEASUREMENTS: Sociodemographic characteristics, VHA care utilization, perceptions of care. RESULTS: Women veterans with histories of military sexual assault reported more use of VHA services, but less satisfaction, poorer perceptions of VHA facilities and staff, and more problems with VHA services compared to women veterans without histories of sexual assault. Combat exposure was related to more problems with VHA staff, although few other differences were observed for women with and without histories of combat exposure. CONCLUSIONS: Findings provide information on areas that can be targeted with respect to caring for women veterans exposed to military sexual trauma and combat exposure, including improving interactions with VHA staff and the ease of using VHA services.





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