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

Health Services Research & Development

Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

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

Experiences with VHA care: a qualitative study of U.S. women veterans with self-reported trauma histories.

Kehle-Forbes SM, Harwood EM, Spoont MR, Sayer NA, Gerould H, Murdoch M. Experiences with VHA care: a qualitative study of U.S. women veterans with self-reported trauma histories. BMC women's health. 2017 May 30; 17(1):38.

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 vaww.hsrd.research.va.gov/dimensions/

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



Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Women veterans in the United States, particularly those with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a history of military sexual assault, have unique health care needs, but their minority status in the US Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has led to documented healthcare disparities when compared to men. This study''s objective was to obtain a richer understanding of the challenges and successes encountered by women veterans with self-reported service-related trauma histories (particularly those with a history of military sexual assault and/or posttraumatic stress symptomology) receiving VHA care. METHODS: Thirty-seven female Vietnam and post-Vietnam (1975-1998) era veterans were randomly selected from a cohort of PTSD disability benefit applicants to complete semi-structured interviews in 2011-2012. Grounded-theory informed procedures were used to identify interview themes; differences between veterans with and without a history of military sexual assault were examined through constant comparison. RESULTS: At the time of the interviews, many women believed that VHA was falling short of meeting women veterans'' needs (e.g., lack of women-only mental health programming). Also common, but particularly among those with a military sexual assault history, was the perception that VHA''s environment was unwelcoming; being "surrounded by men" yielded emotions ranging from discomfort and mistrust to severe anxiety. A few veterans reported recent positive changes and offered additional suggestions for improvement. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that while at the time of the interviews gains had been made in the delivery of gender-sensitive outpatient medical care, women veterans with a history of military sexual assault and/or posttraumatic stress symptomology perceived that they were not receiving the same quality of care as male veterans.





Questions about the HSR&D 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.