Accessibility and acceptability of the Department of Veteran Affairs health care: diverse veterans' perspectives.

Veteran Administration Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1656, USA.
Military medicine (Impact Factor: 0.77). 04/2004; 169(3):243-50.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT 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.

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