Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

To use or not to use. What influences why women veterans choose VA health care.

Washington DL, Yano EM, Simon B, Sun S. To use or not to use. What influences why women veterans choose VA health care. Journal of general internal medicine. 2006 Mar 1; 21 Suppl 3:S11-8.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Effects of advances in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) women's health care on women veterans' health care decision making are unknown. Our objective was to determine why women veterans use or do not use VA health care. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional survey of 2,174 women veteran VA users and VA-eligible nonusers throughout southern California and southern Nevada. MEASUREMENTS: VA utilization, attitudes toward care, and socio-demographics. RESULTS: Reasons cited for VA use included affordability (67.9%); women's health clinic (WHC) availability (58.8%); quality of care (54.8%); and convenience (47.9%). Reasons for choosing health care in non-VA settings included having insurance (71.0%); greater convenience of non-VA care (66.9%); lack of knowledge of VA eligibility and services (48.5%); and perceived better non-VA quality (34.5%). After adjustment for socio-demographics, health characteristics, and VA priority group, knowledge deficits about VA eligibility and services and perceived worse VA care quality predicted outside health care use. VA users were less likely than non-VA users to have after-hours access to nonemergency care, but more likely to receive both general and gender-related care from the same clinic or provider, to use a WHC for gender-related care, and to consider WHC availability very important. CONCLUSIONS: Lack of information about VA, perceptions of VA quality, and inconvenience of VA care, are deterrents to VA use for many women veterans. VA WHCs may foster VA use. Educational campaigns are needed to fill the knowledge gap regarding women veterans' VA eligibility and advances in VA quality of care, while VA managers consider solutions to after-hours access barriers.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.