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

Quality of end-of-life care for Vietnam-era Veterans: Implications for practice and policy.

Kutney-Lee A, Smith D, Griffin H, Kinder D, Carpenter J, Thorpe J, Murray A, Shreve S, Ersek M. Quality of end-of-life care for Vietnam-era Veterans: Implications for practice and policy. Healthcare (Amsterdam, Netherlands). 2021 Jun 1; 9(2):100494.

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: In federal response to the aging population of Vietnam-era Veterans, Congress directed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to create a pilot program to identify and develop best practices for improving hospice care for this population. A first step in VA''s response was to identify whether the end-of-life (EOL) care needs and outcomes of Vietnam-era Veterans differed from previous generations. METHODS: Using medical records and bereaved family surveys, we examined clinical characteristics, healthcare utilization, and EOL quality indicators for Vietnam-era Veterans who died in VA inpatient settings between fiscal year 2013-2017. Contemporaneous comparisons were made with World War II/Korean War-era Veterans. RESULTS: Compared to prior generations, higher percentages of Vietnam-era Veterans had mental health/substance use diagnoses and disability. Similar percentages of family members in both groups reported that overall EOL care was excellent; however, post-traumatic stress disorder management ratings by families of Vietnam-era Veterans were significantly lower. CONCLUSIONS: Although current VA EOL practices are largely meeting the needs of Vietnam-era Veterans, greater focus on mental health comorbidity, including post-traumatic stress disorder, Agent Orange-related conditions, and ensuring access to quality EOL care in the community is warranted. IMPLICATIONS: Policymakers and healthcare professionals should anticipate more physical and mental health comorbidities among Veterans at EOL as Vietnam-era Veterans continue to age. Findings are being used to inform the development of standardized EOL care protocols and training programs for non-VA healthcare providers that are tailored to the needs of this population.





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.