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

Understanding Gender Sensitivity of the Health Care Workforce at the Veterans Health Administration.

Than C, Chuang E, Washington DL, Needleman J, Canelo I, Meredith LS, Yano EM. Understanding Gender Sensitivity of the Health Care Workforce at the Veterans Health Administration. Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2020 Mar 1; 30(2):120-127.

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: Gender sensitivity of providers and staff has assumed increasing importance in closing historical gender disparities in health care quality and outcomes. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has implemented several initiatives intended to improve gender sensitivity of its health care workforce. The current study examines practice- and individual-level characteristics associated with gender sensitivity of primary care providers (PCPs) and staff. METHODS: We surveyed PCPs and staff (nurses, medical assistants, and clerks) at 12 VA medical centers (VAMCs) (n  =  256 of 649; response rate, 39%). Gender sensitivity was measured using a 10-item scale adapted from the Gender Awareness Inventory-VA. We used weighted multivariate regression with maximum likelihood estimation to identify individual- and practice-level characteristics associated with gender sensitivity of PCPs and staff. RESULTS: PCPs and staff had similar gender sensitivity but differed in most characteristics associated with that gender sensitivity. Among PCPs, women's health training and positive communication with others in the clinic were associated with greater gender sensitivity. For staff, prior work experience caring for women, working in Women's Health Patient-Aligned Care Teams, and rural location were associated with greater gender sensitivity, whereas more years of VA service was associated with lower gender sensitivity. Working at VA medical centers with a higher volume of women veteran patients was associated with greater gender sensitivity for both PCPs and staff. CONCLUSIONS: Women's health training and experience in working with other women's health professionals are strongly correlated with greater gender sensitivity in the clinical workforce.

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.