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Hausmann LR, Gao S, Mor MK, Schaefer JH, Fine MJ. Patterns of sex and racial/ethnic differences in patient health care experiences in US Veterans Affairs hospitals. Medical care. 2014 Apr 1; 52(4):328-35.
BACKGROUND: Few studies have assessed sex or racial/ethnic differences in inpatient experiences in the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to compare inpatient experiences by sex and race/ethnicity within and between VA hospitals. RESEARCH DESIGN: We used mixed-effects multinomial regression to assess within-facility and between-facility sex and racial/ethnic differences in the 2010 VA Survey of Healthcare Experiences of Patients. SUBJECTS: 50,471 respondents from 144 VA hospitals (4.5% female; 75.4% non-Hispanic white, 14.7% non-Hispanic black, 5.4% Hispanic, and 4.4% other race/ethnicity). MEASURES: Negative and positive patient-reported experiences in 13 health care domains were included. RESULTS: Adjusted within-facility sex differences indicated that women reported more negative and less positive experiences than men in 4 domains, and less negative and more positive experiences on domains related to noise and privacy. Patients at facilities with more female patients reported more negative and less positive experiences in 4 domains. Blacks and Hispanics reported less negative and/or more positive experiences than whites within the same facility, although patients at facilities with more black and Hispanic patients reported more negative and less positive experiences overall. There were few and inconsistent within-facility differences between other racial/ethnic patients and whites. Patients at facilities with more other racial/ethnic patients reported slightly less negative and more positive experiences. CONCLUSIONS: Male, black, and Hispanic patients treated in VA hospitals tend to report more positive experiences than female and white patients treated at the same facilities. However, less positive experiences are reported by patients overall in hospitals that serve larger populations of women and racial/ethnic minorities.