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Prevalence of and Interventions to Reduce Health Disparities in Vulnerable Veteran Populations: A Map of the Evidence

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Prevalence of and Interventions to Reduce Health Disparities in Vulnerable Veteran Populations: A Map of the Evidence

Principal Investigator: Karli Kondo, PhD
Co-Investigators/Research Associates: Allison Low, BA; Makalapua Motu'apuaka, BA; Teresa Everson, MD, MPH; Aaron Mendelson, BA; Christine D. Gordon, MD; Mark Friesen, BA; Stephanie Veazie, MPH; Robin Paynter, MLI;S Crystal C. Lozier, PhD; Caroline Friesen Michele Freeman, MPH; Johanna Anderson, MPH; Erin Boundy, MS, MA; Devan Kansagara, MD, MCR

Evidence-based Synthesis Program (ESP) Center, Portland VA Health Care System, Portland, OR

Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs; May 2017.

Download PDF: Complete Report, Executive Summary, Report, Appendices


Despite the VHA's commitment to reducing disparities, the rate at which health and healthcare disparities affect Veterans remains unclear. In order to guide future research and policy decisions for the VA, the VA Office of Heath Equity (OHE) partnered with the VA ESP to examine the state of health disparities affecting vulnerable Veterans. Previous VA ESP and other VA-funded programs have examined disparities related to race/ethnicity, rural residence, distance, mental health, and women. However, disparities, or the potential for disparities in utilization, health, or healthcare may also affect other Veteran populations, such as older or younger Veterans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Veterans, and Veterans of low SES, as well as those with a physical or cognitive disability, or other characteristics. The purpose of this report was to identify studies, funded through the VA Office of Research and Development that are currently ongoing or were recently closed, 1) examining the prevalence of disparities in the utilization, the quality of healthcare, or the health of Veterans, 2) evaluating the interventions designed to mitigate disparities within the VHA, and 3) examining health disparities.

Key Questions

Key Question 1. For what Veteran groups/populations are health and healthcare disparities prevalent?

Key Question 2. What are the effects of interventions implemented within the VHA to reduce health disparities?

Key Question 3. What are the research projects designed to identify or mitigate health disparities currently being funded by the VA Office of Research and Development (ORD)?

See also

Evidence Map: Prevalence of and Interventions to Reduce Health Disparities (Management Brief)

Kondo K, Low A, Everson T, et al. Health Disparities in Veterans: A Map of the Evidence. Medical Care. 2017;55(9) Suppl 2:S9-15. DOI: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000756.

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