Susan M Frayne

VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Palo Alto, California, United States

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Publications (55)165.93 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background Despite endorsement of digoxin in clinical practice guidelines, there exist limited data on its safety in atrial fibrillation/flutter (AF). Objectives The goal of this study was to evaluate the association of digoxin with mortality in AF. Methods Using complete data of the TREAT-AF (The Retrospective Evaluation and Assessment of Therapies in AF) study from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare system, we identified patients with newly diagnosed, nonvalvular AF seen within 90 days in an outpatient setting between VA fiscal years 2004 and 2008. We used multivariate and propensity-matched Cox proportional hazards to evaluate the association of digoxin use with death. Residual confounding was assessed by sensitivity analysis. Results Of 122,465 patients with 353,168 person-years of follow-up (age 72.1 ± 10.3 years, 98.4% male), 28,679 (23.4%) patients received digoxin. Cumulative mortality rates were higher for digoxin-treated patients than for untreated patients (95 vs. 67 per 1,000 person-years; p < 0.001). Digoxin use was independently associated with mortality after multivariate adjustment (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.26, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.23 to 1.29, p < 0.001) and propensity matching (HR: 1.21, 95% CI: 1.17 to 1.25, p < 0.001), even after adjustment for drug adherence. The risk of death was not modified by age, sex, heart failure, kidney function, or concomitant use of beta-blockers, amiodarone, or warfarin. Conclusions Digoxin was associated with increased risk of death in patients with newly diagnosed AF, independent of drug adherence, kidney function, cardiovascular comorbidities, and concomitant therapies. These findings challenge current cardiovascular society recommendations on use of digoxin in AF.
    Journal of the American College of Cardiology 08/2014; 64(7):660–668. · 14.09 Impact Factor
  • Ac Del Re, Susan M Frayne, Alex Hs Harris
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    ABSTRACT: . Objective Pharmacotherapy is an effective adjunct to behavioral interventions to treat obesity; although it is unclear how often medications are integrated into obesity treatment plans and for which patients in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Methods A retrospective cohort study was conducted that examined variation in and predictors of antiobesity medication receipt (orlistat) among > 2 million obese Veterans within 140 facilities nationwide. Results One-percent of all obese patients using VHA services filled a prescription for orlistat. Veterans were more likely to be treated with orlistat if they had a higher BMI, were female, unmarried, younger, a minority, had home instability, prescribed obesogenic psychiatric medications, had a psychiatric or obesity-related comorbidity, and used MOVE! weight management services. Among those who likely met the criteria for use, 2.5% had at least one orlistat prescription. Facility-level prescription rates varied from 0 to 1% of all obese patients in a VA facility receiving a prescription and 0 to 21% among those who met the criteria for use. Conclusions Consistent with guidelines recommending that obesity pharmacotherapy be prescribed in conjunction with behavioral therapy, the strongest predictor of receiving orlistat was being enrolled in the MOVE! weight-loss management program.
    Obesity 06/2014; · 3.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The World Health Organization (WHO) Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) module is widely used in epidemiological studies of PTSD, yet relatively few data attest to the instrument's diagnostic utility. The current study evaluated the diagnostic utility of the CIDI 3.0 PTSD module with U. S. women Vietnam-era veterans. The CIDI and the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) were independently administered to a stratified sample of 160 women, oversampled for current PTSD. Both lifetime PTSD and recent (past year) PTSD were assessed within a 3-week interval. Forty-five percent of the sample met criteria for a CAPS diagnosis of lifetime PTSD, and 21.9% of the sample met criteria for a CAPS diagnosis of past-year PTSD. Using CAPS as the diagnostic criterion, the CIDI correctly classified 78.8% of cases for lifetime PTSD (κ = .56) and 82.0% of past year PTSD cases (κ = .51). Estimates of diagnostic performance for the CIDI were sensitivity of .61 and specificity of .91 for lifetime PTSD and sensitivity of .71 and specificity of .85 for past-year PTSD. Results suggest that the CIDI has good utility for identifying PTSD, though it is a somewhat conservative indicator of lifetime PTSD as compared to the CAPS.Traditional and Simplified Chinese Abstracts by AsianSTSS標題:女越南戰事退役軍中綜合國際診斷會見(CIDI 3.0) 的診斷準確性撮要:世界衛生組織(WHO)綜合國際診斷會見(CIDI)創傷後壓力症(PTSD)單元被廣泛應用於PTSD流行學研究,但只有少數研究其相關診斷效用。本研究在女性越南戰事退役軍中評定CIDI 3.0 PTSD單元的診斷效能。這是160名女士的分層和過度採樣現有PTSD的樣本,然後獨立地施行CIDI 和醫生施行PTSD量表(CAPS)。在三週內使用評估其終生PTSD和現有(過去一年)PTSD。總數45.0%符合CAPS終生PTSD診斷準則,和21.9%為CAPS過去一年PTSD診斷準則。以CAPS為診斷標準,CIDI 正確判別78.8% 終生PTSD個案(K= .56)和82.0% 過去一年PTSD 個案(K= .51) 。利用CAPS為標準估計CIDI的診斷表現,終生PTSD的靈敏度為.61和特異性為.091,而過往一年PTSD的靈敏度是.71 和特異性是.85。結果確認CIDI對辨識PTSD有高效用,但對比CAPS在終生PTSD方面卻是較保守的指標。标题:女越南战事退役军中综合国际诊断会见(CIDI 3.0) 的诊断准确性撮要:世界卫生组织(WHO)综合国际诊断会见(CIDI)创伤后压力症(PTSD)单元被广泛应用于PTSD流行学研究,但只有少数研究其相关诊断效用。本研究在女性越南战事退役军中评定CIDI 3.0 PTSD单元的诊断效能。这是160名女士的分层和过度采样现有PTSD的样本,然后独立地施行CIDI 和医生施行PTSD量表(CAPS)。在三周内使用评估其终生PTSD和现有(过去一年)PTSD。总数45.0%符合CAPS终生PTSD诊断准则,和21.9%为CAPS过去一年PTSD诊断准则。以CAPS为诊断标准,CIDI 正确判别78.8% 终生PTSD个案(K= .56)和82.0% 过去一年PTSD 个案(K= .51) 。利用CAPS为标准估计CIDI的诊断表现,终生PTSD的灵敏度为.61和特异性为.091,而过往一年PTSD的灵敏度是.71 和特异性是.85。结果确认CIDI对辨识PTSD有高效用,但比对CAPS在终生PTSD方面却是较保守的指标。
    Journal of Traumatic Stress 04/2014; 27(2). · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We conducted a retrospective study among 4,734 women who served in the US military in Vietnam (Vietnam cohort), 2,062 women who served in countries near Vietnam (near-Vietnam cohort), and 5,313 nondeployed US military women (US cohort) to evaluate the associations of mortality outcomes with Vietnam War service. Veterans were identified from military records and followed for 40 years through December 31, 2010. Information on underlying causes of death was obtained from death certificates and the National Death Index. Based on 2,743 deaths, all 3 veteran cohorts had lower mortality risk from all causes combined and from several major causes, such as diabetes mellitus, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and nervous system disease relative to comparable US women. However, excess deaths from motor vehicle accidents were observed in the Vietnam cohort (standardized mortality ratio = 3.67, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.30, 5.56) and in the US cohort (standardized mortality ratio = 1.91, 95% CI: 1.02, 3.27). More than two-thirds of women in the study were military nurses. Nurses in the Vietnam cohort had a 2-fold higher risk of pancreatic cancer death (adjusted relative risk = 2.07, 95% CI: 1.00, 4.25) and an almost 5-fold higher risk of brain cancer death compared with nurses in the US cohort (adjusted relative risk = 4.61, 95% CI: 1.27, 16.83). Findings of all-cause and motor vehicle accident deaths among female Vietnam veterans were consistent with patterns of postwar mortality risk among other war veterans.
    American journal of epidemiology 01/2014; · 5.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mental health condition (MHC) comorbidity is associated with lower intensity care in multiple clinical scenarios. However, little is known about the effect of MHC upon clinicians' decisions about intensifying antiglycemic medications in diabetic patients with poor glycemic control. We examined whether delay in intensification of antiglycemic medications in response to an elevated Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) value is longer for patients with MHC than for those without MHC, and whether any such effect varies by specific MHC type.
    BMC Health Services Research 01/2014; 14(1):458. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An increasing number of young women veterans are returning from war and military service and are seeking reproductive health care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Many of these women seek maternity benefits from the VHA, and yet little is known regarding the number of women veterans utilizing VHA maternity benefits nor the characteristics of pregnant veterans using these benefits. In May 2010, VHA maternity benefits were expanded to include 7 days of infant care, which may serve to entice more women to use VHA maternity benefits. Understanding the changing trends in women veterans seeking maternity benefits will help the VHA to improve the quality of reproductive care over time. The goal of this study was to examine the trends in delivery claims among women veterans receiving VHA maternity benefits over a 5-year period and the characteristics of pregnant veterans utilizing VHA benefits. We undertook a retrospective, national cohort study of pregnant veterans enrolled in VHA care with inpatient deliveries between fiscal years (FY) 2008 and 2012. We included pregnant veterans using VHA maternity benefits for delivery. Measures included annualized numbers and rates of inpatient deliveries and delivery-related costs, as well as cesarean section rates as a quality indicator. During the 5-year study period, there was a significant increase in the number of deliveries to women veterans using VHA maternity benefits. The overall delivery rate increased by 44% over the study period from 12.4 to 17.8 deliveries per 1,000 women veterans. A majority of women using VHA maternity benefits were age 30 or older and had a service-connected disability. From FY 2008 to 2012, the VHA paid more than $46 million in delivery claims to community providers for deliveries to women veterans ($4,993/veteran). Over a 5-year period, the volume of women veterans using VHA maternity benefits increased by 44%. Given this sizeable increase, the VHA must increase its capacity to care for pregnant veterans and ensure care coordination systems are in place to address the needs of pregnant veterans with service-connected disabilities.
    Women s Health Issues 01/2014; 24(1):e37-e42. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    Journal of General Internal Medicine 07/2013; 28 Suppl 2:504-9. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: While prior research characterizes women Veterans' barriers to accessing and using Veterans Health Administration (VA) care, there has been little attention to women who access VA and use services, but then discontinue use. Recent data suggest that among women Veterans, there is a 30 % attrition rate within 3 years of initial VA use. To compare individual characteristics and perceptions about VA care between women Veteran VA attriters (those who discontinue use) and non-attriters (those who continue use), and to compare recent versus remote attriters. Cross-sectional, population-based 2008-2009 national telephone survey. Six hundred twenty-six attriters and 2,065 non-attriters who responded to the National Survey of Women Veterans. Population weighted demographic, military and health characteristics; perceptions about VA healthcare; length of time since last VA use; among attriters, reasons for no longer using VA care. Fifty-four percent of the weighted VA ever user population reported that they no longer use VA. Forty-five percent of attrition was within the past ten years. Attriters had better overall health (p = 0.007), higher income (p < 0.001), and were more likely to have health insurance (p < 0.001) compared with non-attriters. Attriters had less positive perceptions of VA than non-attriters, with attriters having lower ratings of VA quality and of gender-specific features of VA care (p < 0.001). Women Veterans who discontinued VA use since 2001 did not differ from those with more remote VA use on most measures of VA perceptions. Overall, among attriters, distance to VA sites of care and having alternate insurance coverage were the most common reasons for discontinuing VA use. We found high VA attrition despite recent advances in VA care for women Veterans. Women's attrition from VA could reduce the critical mass of women Veterans in VA and affect current system-wide efforts to provide high-quality care for women Veterans. An understanding of reasons for attrition can inform organizational efforts to re-engage women who have attrited, to retain current users, and potentially to attract new VA patients.
    Journal of General Internal Medicine 07/2013; 28 Suppl 2:510-6. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: This study sought to examine whether a web-delivered brief alcohol intervention (BAI) is effective for reducing alcohol misuse in U.S. military veterans presenting to primary care. Method: Veterans (N = 167) screening positive for alcohol misuse during a routine primary care visit were randomized to receive a BAI plus treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU alone. An assessment of alcohol-related outcomes was conducted at baseline and 3 and 6 months after treatment. Results: Veterans in both study conditions showed a significant reduction in alcohol quantity and frequency and alcohol-related problems at 6-month follow-up. No differential treatment effects on outcomes were observed between the two treatment groups. Conclusions: This study is the first to explore whether a web-delivered BAI using normative feedback is effective for veterans with alcohol misuse. Our findings suggest that BAIs using normative feedback may not have any additional benefit beyond TAU for older veterans with high rates of comorbid mental health concerns. (J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs, 74, 428-436, 2013).
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 05/2013; 74(3):428-436. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated receipt of cervical cancer screening in a national sample of 34,213 women veterans using Veteran Health Administration facilities between 2003 and 2007 and diagnosed with 1) posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or 2) depression, or 3) no psychiatric illness. Our study featured a cross-sectional design in which logistic regression analyses compared receipt of recommended cervical cancer screening for all three diagnostic groups. Cervical cancer screening rates varied minimally by diagnostic group: 77% of women with PTSD versus 75% with depression versus 75% without psychiatric illness were screened during the study observation period (p < .001). However, primary care use was associated with differential odds of screening in women with versus without psychiatric illness (PTSD or depression), even after adjustment for age, income and physical comorbidities (Wald Chi-square (2): 126.59; p < .0001). Specifically, among low users of primary care services, women with PTSD or depression were more likely than those with no psychiatric diagnoses to receive screening. Among high users of primary care services, they were less likely to receive screening. Psychiatric illness (PTSD or depression) had little to no effect on receipt of cervical cancer screening. Our finding that high use of primary care services was not associated with comparable odds of screening in women with versus without psychiatric illness suggests that providers caring for women with PTSD or depression and high use of primary care services should be especially attentive to their preventive healthcare needs.
    Women s Health Issues 01/2013; 23(3):e153-9. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation and flutter (AF, collectively) cause stroke. We evaluated whether treating specialty influences warfarin prescription in patients with newly diagnosed AF. In the TREAT-AF study, we used Veterans Health Administration health record and claims data to identify patients with newly diagnosed AF between October 2004 and November 2008 and at least 1 internal medicine/primary care or cardiology outpatient encounter within 90 days after diagnosis. The primary outcome was prescription of warfarin. In 141,642 patients meeting the inclusion criteria, the mean age was 72.3 ± 10.2 years, 1.48% were women, and 25.8% had cardiology outpatient care. Cardiology-treated patients had more comorbidities and higher mean CHADS2 scores (1.8 vs 1.6, P < .0001). Warfarin use was higher in cardiology-treated vs primary care only-treated patients (68.6% vs 48.9%, P < .0001). After covariate and site-level adjustment, cardiology care was significantly associated with warfarin use (odds ratio [OR] 2.05, 95% CI 1.99-2.11). These findings were consistent across a series of adjusted models (OR 2.05-2.20), propensity matching (OR 1.98), and subgroup analyses (OR 1.58-2.11). Warfarin use in primary-care-only patients declined from 2004 to 2008 (51.6%-44.0%, P < .0001), whereas the adjusted odds of warfarin receipt with cardiology care (vs primary care) increased from 2004 to 2008 (1.88-2.24, P < .0001). In patients with newly diagnosed AF, we found large differences in anticoagulation use by treating specialty. A divergent 5-year trend of risk-adjusted warfarin use was observed. Treating specialty influences stroke prevention care and may impact clinical outcomes.
    American heart journal 01/2013; 165(1):93-101.e1. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examined rates of specific health conditions among female veteran patients and how the share of health care costs attributable to these conditions changed in the Veterans Affairs system between 2000 and 2008. Veterans' Administration (VA)-provided and VA-sponsored inpatient, outpatient, and pharmacy utilization and cost files were analyzed for women veterans receiving care in 2000 and 2008. We estimated rates of 42 common health conditions and per-patient condition costs from a regression model and calculated the total population costs attributable to each condition and changes by year. The number of female VA patients increased from 156,305 in 2000 to 266,978 in 2008; 88% were under 65 years of age. The rate of women treated for specific conditions increased substantially for many gender-specific and psychiatric conditions: For example, pregnancy increased 133%, diagnosed posttraumatic stress disorder increased 106%, and diagnosed depression increased 41%. Mean costs of care increased from $4,962 per woman in 2000 to $6,570 per woman in 2008. Psychiatric conditions accounted for more than one quarter of population health care costs in 2008. Gender-specific conditions and musculoskeletal diseases accounted for a rising share of population costs and rose to 8.2% and 8.7% of population costs in 2008, respectively. Gender-specific, cancer, musculoskeletal, and mental health and substance use disorders accounted for a greater share of overall costs during the study period and were primarily driven by higher rates of diagnosed conditions and, for several conditions, higher treatment costs.
    Women s Health Issues 05/2012; 22(3):e337-44. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Spinal cord injury (SCI) care is a high priority for the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Aging Veterans, new cases of SCI from recent conflicts, and increasing numbers of women Veterans have likely changed the profile of the VHA SCI population. This study characterizes the current Veteran population with SCI with emphasis on healthcare utilization and women Veterans. We analyzed VHA administrative data from 2002-2003 and 2007-2008, analyzing composition, demographics, and healthcare use. The population is mostly male (>97%) and largely between 45 and 64 years old. Over 30% are over the age of 65. They are frequent users of healthcare, with an average of 21 visits per year. Women Veterans with SCI form a small but distinct subpopulation, being younger and less likely to be married and having a higher burden of disease. We must understand how the VHA population with SCI is changing to anticipate and provide the best care for these complex patients.
    The Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development 05/2012; 49(3):351-60. · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence suggests that posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD) are associated with poorer physical health among U.S. veterans who served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF). No research of which we are aware has examined the independent and interactive effects of PTSD and SUD on medical comorbidity among OEF/OIF veterans. This cross-sectional study examined medical record data of female and male OEF/OIF veterans with ≥ 2 Veterans Affairs primary care visits (N = 73,720). Gender-stratified logistic regression analyses, adjusted for sociodemographic factors, were used to examine the association of PTSD, SUD, and their interaction on the odds of medical diagnoses. PTSD was associated with increased odds of medical diagnoses in 9 of the 11 medical categories among both women and men, range of odds ratios (ORs) ranged from 1.07 to 2.29. Substance use disorders were associated with increased odds of 2 of the 11 medical categories among women and 3 of the 11 medical categories among men; ORs ranged from 1.20 to 1.74. No significant interactions between PTSD and SUD were detected for women or men. Overall, findings suggest that PTSD had a stronger association with medical comorbidity (in total and across various medical condition categories) than SUD among female and male OEF/OIF veterans.
    Journal of Traumatic Stress 04/2012; 25(2):220-5. · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This exploratory study investigated organizational factors associated with receipt of military sexual trauma (MST) screening during an early timeframe of the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) implementation of the universal MST screening policy. The sample consisted of all VHA patients eligible for MST screening in fiscal year 2005 at 119 VHA facilities. Analyses were conducted separately by gender and by user status (i.e., new patients to the VHA health care system in FY 2005 and continuing users who had previously used the VHA health care system in the past year). Multivariate generalized estimating equations were used to assess the effects of facility-level characteristics and adjusted for person-level covariates. Facility-level mandatory universal MST screening policies were associated with increased odds of receiving MST screening among new female patients and both continuing and new male patients: Odds ratio (OR), 2.87 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.39-5.89) for new female patients; OR, 8.15 (95% CI, 2.93-22.69) for continuing male patients; and OR, 4.48 (95% CI, 1.79-11.20) for new male patients. Facility-level audit and feedback practices was associated with increased odds of receiving MST screening among new patients: OR, 1.91 (95% CI, 1.26-2.91) for females and OR, 1.86 (95% CI, 1.22-2.84) for males. Although the facility-level effect for women's health clinic (WHC) did not emerge as significant, patient-level effects indicated that among these facilities, women who used a WHC had greater odds of being screened for MST compared with women who had not used a WHC: OR, 1.79 (95% CI, 1.18-2.71) for continuing patients and OR, 2.20 (95% CI, 1.59-3.04) for new patients. This study showed that facility policies that promote universal MST screening, as well as audit and feedback practices at the facility, significantly improved the odds of patients receiving MST screening. Women veterans' utilization of a WHC was associated with higher odds of receiving MST screening. This study provides empirical support for the use of policies and audit and feedback practices which the VHA has used since the implementation of the MST screening directive to encourage compliance with VHA's MST screening policy and is likely associated with the present-day success in MST screening across all VHA facilities.
    Women s Health Issues 11/2011; 22(2):e209-15. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether atrial fibrillation (AF) patients with mental health conditions (MHCs) were less likely than AF patients without MHCs to be prescribed warfarin and, if receiving warfarin, to maintain an International Normalized Ratio (INR) within the therapeutic range. Detailed chart review of AF patients using a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facility in 2003. For a random sample of 296 AF patients, records identified clinician-diagnosed MHCs (independent variable) and AF-related care in 2003 (dependent variables), receipt of warfarin, INR values below/above key thresholds, and time spent within the therapeutic range (2.0-3.0) or highly out of range. Differences between the MHC and comparison groups were examined using X2 tests and logistic regression controlling for age and comorbidity. Among warfarin-eligible AF patients (n = 246), 48.5% of those with MHCs versus 28.9% of those without MHCs were not treated with warfarin (P = .004). Among those receiving warfarin and monitored in VHA, highly supratherapeutic INRs were more common in the MHC group; for example, 27.3% versus 1.6% had any INR >5.0 (P <.001). Differences persisted after adjusting for age and comorbidity. MHC patients with AF were less likely than those without MHC to have adequate management of their AF care. Interventions directed at AF patients with MHC may help to optimize their outcomes.
    The American journal of managed care 09/2011; 17(9):617-24. · 2.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many studies have documented the link between substance use and a history of sexual assault in women; however, few studies have examined this relationship in men. The purpose of this study was to explore the rates of sexual assault in a sample of male veterans reporting alcohol misuse and to further explore potential differences in alcohol use patterns and alcohol-related characteristics in those with and without a history of sexual assault. We also explored the types of illicit drugs being used in the past 90 days and whether a clinical sample of male veterans reporting sexual assault are at greater odds of using these substances when compared with their peers with no history of sexual assault. Data were collected on a nationwide sample (N = 880) of male veterans receiving care in Veterans Administration outpatient mental health clinics. We found that 9.5% of our sample reported a history of sexual assault, and those with this history reported increased alcohol consumption, a greater number of alcohol-related consequences, and an increased likelihood of using an illicit substance in the past 90 days. The most commonly used illicit substances were cannabis, cocaine, and opiates. Those with sexual assault histories were also more likely to report risk factors that may exacerbate the negative effects of any level of alcohol consumption. Our findings highlight the burden of alcohol and illicit drug use among male veterans and suggest that substance use disorder treatment settings may be a context in which prevalence of a history of sexual assault is high. Our findings further support prior call for universal screening for sexual assault among this population.
    Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs 09/2011; 72(5):693-700. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to report on the outcomes of the 2010 VA Women's Health Services Research Conference, which brought together investigators interested in pursuing research on women veterans and women in the military with leaders in women's health care delivery and policy within and outside the VA, to significantly advance the state and future direction of VA women's health research and its potential impacts on practice and policy. Building on priorities assembled in the previous VA research agenda (2004) and the research conducted in the intervening six years, we used an array of approaches to foster research-clinical partnerships that integrated the state-of-the-science with the informational and strategic needs of senior policy and practice leaders. With demonstrated leadership commitment and support, broad field-based participation, strong interagency collaboration and a push to accelerate the move from observational to interventional and implementation research, the Conference provided a vital venue for establishing the foundation for a new research agenda. In this paper, we provide the historical evolution of the emergence of women veterans' health services research and an overview of the research in the intervening years since the first VA women's health research agenda. We then present the resulting VA Women's Health Research Agenda priorities and supporting activities designed to transform care for women veterans in six broad areas of study, including access to care and rural health; primary care and prevention; mental health; post deployment health; complex chronic conditions, aging and long-term care; and reproductive health.
    Women s Health Issues 07/2011; 21(4 Suppl):S73-83. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There has been considerable focus on the burden of mental illness (including post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD) in returning Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans, but little attention to the burden of medical illness in those with PTSD. (1) Determine whether the burden of medical illness is higher in women and men OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD than in those with No Mental Health Conditions (MHC). (2) Identify conditions common in those with PTSD. Cross-sectional study using existing databases (Fiscal Year 2006-2007). Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patients nationally. All 90,558 OEF/OIF veterans using VHA outpatient care nationally, categorized into strata: PTSD, Stress-Related Disorders, Other MHCs, and No MHC. (1) Count of medical conditions; (2) specific medical conditions (from ICD9 codes, using Agency for Health Research and Quality's Clinical Classifications software framework). The median number of medical conditions for women was 7.0 versus 4.5 for those with PTSD versus No MHC (p<0.001), and for men was 5.0 versus 4.0 (p<0.001). For PTSD patients, the most frequent conditions among women were lumbosacral spine disorders, headache, and lower extremity joint disorders, and among men were lumbosacral spine disorders, lower extremity joint disorders, and hearing problems. These high frequency conditions were more common in those with PTSD than in those with No MHC. Burden of medical illness is greater in women and men OEF/OIF veteran VHA users with PTSD than in those with No MHC. Health delivery systems serving them should align clinical program development with their medical care needs.
    Journal of General Internal Medicine 01/2011; 26(1):33-9. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The number of women veterans using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services has increased rapidly, but the characteristics of women joining VHA are not well understood. We sought to describe sociodemographic characteristics, utilization, and retention of new and returning women VHA patients over a 7-year period. We identified women veterans who used VHA outpatient services from VHA Enrollment and Utilization files for fiscal years 2003 through 2009. "New" patients in a given year had no outpatient use within the prior 3 years. Patients were "retained" if they continued to use VHA in subsequent years. Of the 287,447 women veteran VHA outpatients in 2009, 40,000 (14%) were new to VHA in that year and over half had joined VHA since 2003. Nearly two thirds of these new patients were younger than 45, and 43% carried a service-connected disability status. Most new patients (88%) received primary care services in 2008, and 40% used mental health services. Repeated use of mental health services (at least three visits per year) nearly doubled among new patients (from 11% in 2003 to 20% in 2008). Among those using VHA primary care in 2006, 68% of new patients versus 91% of returning patients were retained in either of the subsequent 2 years. The influx of new women veterans seeking VHA services in recent years, combined with their high rate of retention within VHA, contribute to the marked increase in numbers of women veterans using VHA. Many require fairly intensive VHA services.
    Women s Health Issues 01/2011; 21(4 Suppl):S103-11. · 1.61 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

858 Citations
165.93 Total Impact Points


  • 2006–2014
    • VA Palo Alto Health Care System
      • Center for Innovation to Implementation (Ci2i)
      Palo Alto, California, United States
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      Birmingham, Alabama, United States
  • 2004–2012
    • Stanford University
      Palo Alto, California, United States
    • Boston University
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2001–2011
    • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
      • Center for Health Care Evaluation
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2008
    • Massachusetts Medical Society
      United States
  • 2005
    • Rogers Memorial Hospital
      Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, United States
  • 2003
    • Karl Jaspers Society of North America
      United States
  • 1999
    • University of Massachusetts Boston
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States