Article

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.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
100 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Large cohort studies to investigate interactions between genes, environment, and lifestyle require large representative samples of the population. The Department of Veterans Affairs health care system is uniquely positioned to carry out such research, with a large patient population and a sophisticated system of electronic medical records. As Veterans Affairs considers establishing a large database of genetic information and medical records for research purposes, a survey of 931 Veterans Affairs patients was carried out to measure their willingness to participate, what their concerns would be, and their preferences about some aspects of study design. A sample of veterans who receive Veterans Affairs health care was surveyed online in April and May of 2008. The proposed genomic study was described to respondents, who then were asked about their support for the study and willingness to participate, and their opinions about the study and some of its components. A descriptive analysis examined differences in attitudes among demographic groups, and whether general beliefs were associated with support or willingness to participate. Most respondents (83%) said the database should definitely or probably be created, and overall, 71% said they would definitely or probably participate. Majorities of Veterans Affairs health patients in a broad range of demographic groups supported the establishment of a genomic database and showed willingness to participate. Although the desire to learn about one's own health from the study was high, altruistic characteristics were strongly related to whether or not veterans would participate.
    Genetics in medicine: official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 05/2009; 11(5):329-37. · 3.92 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although military personnel are at high risk of mental health problems, research findings indicate that many military personnel and veterans do not seek needed mental health care. Thus it is critical to identify factors that interfere with the use of mental health services for this population, and where possible, intervene to reduce barriers to care. The overarching goal of this review was to examine what is known with regard to concerns about public stigma and personal beliefs about mental illness and mental health treatment as potential barriers to service use in military and veteran populations and to provide recommendations for future research on this topic. Fifteen empirical articles on mental health beliefs and service use were identified via a review of the military and veteran literature included in PsycINFO and PubMed databases. Although results suggest that mental health beliefs may be an important predictor of service use for this population, several gaps were identified in the current literature. Limitations include a lack of attention to the association between mental health beliefs and service use, a limited focus on personal beliefs about mental illness and mental health treatment, and the application of measures of mental health beliefs with questionable or undocumented psychometric properties. Studies that attend to these important issues and that examine mental health beliefs in the broader context within which decisions about seeking health care are made can be used to best target resources to engage military personnel and veterans in health care.
    Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 02/2011; 62(2):135-42. · 2.81 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [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. · 0.94 Impact Factor