Sometimes, ethnicity, social, physical, or mental health status can become barriers to receiving health care.
To ensure that every Veteran has barrier-free access to the same, high-quality, evidence-based care he or she may need, achieving health equity and eliminating health disparities are priorities for VA. To support these efforts, VAâ€™s Health Services Research & Development Service (VA HSR&D) investigators conduct a variety of studies designed to identify, explain and eliminate disparities, and improve healthcare equity among Veterans. In particular, HSR&D's Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion focuses specifically on promoting equity and quality in health and healthcare among Veterans and other populations.
Health equity and disparity research in VA addresses concerns specific to the general Veteran population, as well as unique groups (such as Veterans living in rural settings, women and minorities) or those who have served in specific deployments (such as to Iraq, Afghanistan, or Viet Nam). While focused research is critical in supporting improved care within VA, many VA HSR&D studies also provide data that can be translated to improvements outside the VA system. Examples of this research include:
In addition to these completed studies, VA HSR&D's Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion is currently conducting the following investigations into health equity and disparities:
To learn more about health equity and health disparities research, use the links in the resources box to the right.