Diverse veteran's perspectives on the accessibility and acceptability of the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) health services are presented.
The qualitative methodology uses 16 focus groups (N = 178) stratified by war cohort (World War II and Korean Conflict versus Vietnam War and Persian Gulf War) and four ethnic/racial categories (African American, Asian American, European American, Hispanic American).
Five themes emerged regarding veterans' health care expectations: (1) better information regarding available services, (2) sense of deserved benefits, (3) concern about welfare stigma, (4) importance of physician attentiveness, and (5) staff respect for patients as veterans. Although veterans' ethnic/racial backgrounds differentiated their military experiences, it was the informants' veteran identity that framed what they expected of VA health services.
Accessibility and acceptability of VA health care is related to veterans' perspectives of the nature of their entitlement to service. Provider education and customer service strategies should consider the identified factors to increase access to VA as well as improve veterans' acceptance of the care.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For more than a decade, the long wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have placed tremendous and cumulative strain on U.S. military personnel and their families. The high operational tempo, length, and number of deployments-and greater in-theater exposure to threat-have resulted in well-documented psychological health concerns among service members and veterans. In addition, there is increasing and compelling evidence describing the significant deleterious impact of the deployment cycle on family members, including children, in military-connected families. However, rates of engagement and service utilization in prevention and intervention services continue to lag far below apparent need among service members and their families, because of both practical and psychological barriers. The authors describe the dynamic and ultimately successful process of engaging military families with young children in a home-based reintegration program designed to support parenting and strengthen parent-child relationships as service member parents move back into family life. In addition to the integration of existing evidence-based engagement strategies, the authors applied a strengths-based approach to working with military families and worked from a community-based participatory foundation to enhance family engagement and program completion. Implications for engagement of military personnel and their loved ones are discussed.
Health & social work 02/2014; 39(1):47-54. DOI:10.1093/hsw/hlu001 · 0.94 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Women veterans are generally less healthy than their nonveteran female counterparts or male veterans. Accumulating evidence suggests there may be barriers to women veterans' access to and use of Veterans Health Administration (VHA) care.
To document perceived and/or actual barriers to care in a nationally representative sample of women veterans and examine associations with VHA use.
Cross-sectional telephone survey.
Women who are current and former users of VHA from VA's National Registry of Women Veterans.
Assessments of perceptions of VHA care, background characteristics, and health service use.
Perceptions of VHA care were most positive regarding facility/physical environment characteristics and physician skill and sensitivity and least positive regarding the availability of needed services and logistics of receiving VHA care (M=0.05 and M=-0.10; M=-0.23 and M=-0.25, respectively). The most salient barrier to the use of VHA care was problems related to ease of use. Moreover, each of the barriers constructs contributed unique variance in VHA health care use above and beyond background characteristics known to differentiate current users from former VHA users (Odds ratio [OR]=4.03 for availability of services; OR=2.63 for physician sensitivity and skill: OR=2.70 for logistics of care; OR=2.30 for facility/physical environment). Few differences in barriers to care and their association with VHA health care use emerged for women with and without service-connected disabilities.
Findings highlight several domains in which VHA decisionmakers can intervene to enhance the care available to women veterans and point to a number of areas for further investigation.
Journal of General Internal Medicine 04/2006; 21 Suppl 3(S3):S19-25. DOI:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00370.x · 3.42 Impact Factor
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