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Factors Affecting Women's Disclosure of Alcohol Misuse in Primary Care: A Qualitative Study with U.S. Military Veterans.

Cucciare MA, Lewis ET, Hoggatt KJ, Bean-Mayberry B, Timko C, Durazo EM, Jamison AL, Frayne SM. Factors Affecting Women's Disclosure of Alcohol Misuse in Primary Care: A Qualitative Study with U.S. Military Veterans. Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2016 Mar 1; 26(2):232-9.

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BACKGROUND: One in five women veterans screens positive for alcohol misuse. Women may be less likely than men to disclose alcohol use to a primary care provider (PCP), resulting in women being less likely to receive effective interventions. We sought to qualitatively examine factors that may affect women veterans'' willingness to disclose alcohol use to a PCP. METHODS: Between October 2012 and May 2013, in-depth interviews were conducted with 30 women veterans at two Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities. Qualitative data analyses identified common themes representing factors that influence women''s decision to disclose alcohol use to a PCP. FINDINGS: Nine themes were endorsed by women veterans as influencing their willingness to disclose alcohol use to their PCP. Themes included provider behaviors perceived as encouraging or discouraging disclosure of alcohol misuse, perceived positive relationship with provider, negative emotions such as concerns about being judged or labeled an "alcoholic," health concerns about drinking, non-health-related concerns about drinking, self-appraisal of drinking behavior, social support, and clinic factors. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrate the importance of social relationships, comfort with one''s provider, and education on the potential harms (especially health related) associated with alcohol in encouraging disclosure of alcohol use in women veterans. Our results also support VA national health care efforts, including the provision of brief alcohol counseling and the use of primary care clinics specializing in the care of women veterans.

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