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Comprehensive care for women veterans: indicators of dual use of VA and non-VA providers.

Bean-Mayberry B, Chang CC, McNeil M, Hayes P, Scholle SH. Comprehensive care for women veterans: indicators of dual use of VA and non-VA providers. Journal of the American Medical Women's Association. 2004 Jul 1; 59(3):192-7.

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OBJECTIVE: To compare women who use Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care providers only with women who use VA and non-VA providers (dual users). METHODS: An anonymous survey was mailed to women veterans randomly sampled from 10 VA medical centers in 3 states. We measured reports of dual use of VA and non-VA providers according to the VA provider's gender, provision of routine gynecological care by VA provider, use of VA women's clinic, and overall satisfaction with VA care. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed with adjustment for patient demographics, health status, VA service connection status, and clustering by site to determine what factors influenced dual use of providers. RESULTS: In the fully adjusted logistic regression model, provision of routine gynecological care by VA providers (odds ratios [OR] 0.37; 95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.22, 0.60) and use of VA women's clinics (OR 0.56; CI 0.35, 0.90) were strongly associated with a lower likelihood of dual use. Dissatisfaction with care (OR 1.88; CI 1.04,3.41) and higher income (OR 1.89; CI 1.32, 2.71) were also associated with an increased likelihood of dual use. Having a female VA provider was not associated with dual use. CONCLUSIONS: Women veterans' use of VA and non-VA providers is influenced by the scope of clinical services and dissatisfaction with those services. VA clinics should either promote routine gynecological care within primary care clinic settings or pair traditional primary care with VA women's clinics to enhance coordination and comprehensiveness and, thus, reduce fragmentation of care for veteran women.

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