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Understanding Veterans' intimate partner violence use and patterns of healthcare utilization.

Relyea MR, Presseau C, Runels T, Humbert MM, Martino S, Brandt CA, Haskell SG, Portnoy GA. Understanding Veterans' intimate partner violence use and patterns of healthcare utilization. Health services research. 2023 Dec 1; 58(6):1198-1208.

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OBJECTIVE: To understand the association between Veterans'' healthcare utilization and intimate partner violence (IPV) use (i.e., perpetration) in order to (1) identify conditions comorbid with IPV use and (2) inform clinical settings to target for IPV use screening, intervention, and provider training. DATA SOURCES AND STUDY SETTING: We examined survey data from a national sample of 834 Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) Veterans. STUDY DESIGN: We assessed associations between past-year IPV use and medical treatment, health issues, and use of Veterans Health Administration (VA) and non-VA services using chi-square tests and logistic regression. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: Data were derived from the Department of Defense OEF/OIF/OND Roster. Surveys were sent to all women Veterans and a random sample of men from participating study sites. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Half (49%) of the Veterans who reported utilizing VA healthcare in the past year indicated using IPV. Q values using a 5% false discovery rate indicated that Veterans who used IPV were more likely than Veterans who did not use IPV to have received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; 39% vs. 27%), chronic sleep problems (36% vs. 26%), anxiety or depression (44% vs. 36%), severe chronic pain (31% vs. 22%), and stomach or digestive disorders (24% vs. 16%). Veterans who used IPV were also more likely than Veterans who did not use IPV to have received medical treatment in the past year (86% vs. 80%), seen psychiatrists outside VA (39% vs. 20%), and have outpatient healthcare outside VA (49% vs. 41%). IPV use was not related to whether Veterans received care from VA or non-VA providers. CONCLUSIONS: Veterans'' IPV use was related to greater utilization of services for mental health, chronic pain, and digestive issues. Future research should examine whether these are risk factors or consequences of IPV use.

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