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What Drives Women Veterans' Trust in VA Healthcare Providers?

Carlson GC, Than CT, Rose D, Brunner J, Chanfreau-Coffinier C, Canelo IA, Klap R, Bean-Mayberry B, Agrawal A, Hamilton AB, Gerber MR, Yano EM. What Drives Women Veterans' Trust in VA Healthcare Providers? Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2022 Sep 1; 32(5):499-508.

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INTRODUCTION: Little is known about women veterans' trust in Veterans Affairs (VA) health care and what factors promote trust in VA providers. We examined provider behaviors and characteristics of women veterans associated with trust in their VA providers. METHODS: We used a 2015 survey of women veterans who were routine users of primary care at 12 VA medical centers (n  =  1,395). Patient trust in their VA provider was measured on a seven-item scale. We used multiple logistic regression to examine associations of patient-provider communication and gender appropriateness with complete trust in VA provider (100 [complete trust] vs. < 100 [less than complete trust]), controlling for patient characteristics. RESULTS: On average, 39.7% of women veterans reported complete trust in their VA providers. Those with complete trust reported greater patient-provider communication and gender appropriateness of VA services than those with less-than-complete trust (all ps  =  .001). In multiple logistic regression models, higher ratings of provider communication (adjusted odds ratio, 2.37), gender-appropriate care (adjusted odds ratio, 1.93), and trauma-sensitive communication (adjusted odds ratios, 1.79-6.08) were associated with a higher likelihood of reporting complete trust in their VA provider. CONCLUSIONS: Women veterans reported high levels of trust in their VA providers. Provider communication, gender-appropriate care, and trauma-sensitive communication were associated with greater patient trust. Although it is important to highlight the steps already taken by VA to increase the quality of care for women veterans, current findings suggest that women veterans' trust may be further increased by interventions to improve trauma-informed care by VA providers.

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