Female veterans seeking medical care at veterans affairs primary care clinics: Psychiatric and medical illness burden and service use

Anouk L. Grubaugh, Jeannine Monnier, Kathryn M. Magruder, B. Christopher Frueh, Rebecca G. Knapp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine rates of medical and psychiatric disorders among 187 female veterans recruited at four Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs), the recognition of such disorders by VAMC care providers, and the use of relevant medical and mental health services by women both within and outside of the VA setting. Methods: We used a cross-sectional, epidemiological design incorporating self-report measures, structured interviews, and chart reviews to obtain relevant information for analyses. Results: Forty-four percent (43.9%) of women met criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder; 34.0% of these women met criteria for two or more additional psychiatric diagnoses, and concordance rates between interview and chart diagnoses were low. Ninety-five percent (95.2%) of women had a medical condition noted in their charts; 86.6% had two or more additional medical conditions, and a significant number of women had both medical and psychiatric diagnoses. Forty-four percent (43.9%) of women with an identified mental health condition received specialized mental health care by the VA in the past year. Conclusions: Findings from this study suggest that female veterans treated in VAMCs had significant medical and psychiatric problems, and these women might not be getting their health care needs adequately met through the VA health care system. In light of our findings, we discuss relevant implications and future directions for research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-62
Number of pages22
JournalWomen and Health
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 14 2006

Keywords

  • Female veterans
  • Medical functioning
  • Primary care
  • Psychiatric status
  • PTSD
  • Service use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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