Lori A Bastian

University of Connecticut, Сторс, Connecticut, United States

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Publications (98)345.27 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Little is known about hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (BSO), which are associated with both health risks and benefits, among women Veterans. Purpose of the Study: To compare the prevalence of hysterectomy with or without BSO, and early hysterectomy, between postmenopausal Veterans and non-Veterans. Design and Methods: We used baseline data from the Women’s Health Initiative Clinical Trial and Observational Study. Multinomial logistic regression models examined differences in the prevalence of hysterectomy (neither hysterectomy nor BSO, hysterectomy without BSO, and hysterectomy with BSO) between Veterans and non-Veterans. Generalized linear models were used to determine whether early hysterectomy (before age 40) differed between Veterans and non-Veterans. Analyses were stratified by birth cohort (
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · The Gerontologist
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of Study: To characterize the prevalence and longitudinal effects of pain in older Veteran and non-Veteran women. Design and Methods: Data on 144,956 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative were analyzed. At baseline, Veteran status, pain severity, and pain interference with activity were assessed. Outcomes of physical function, depressive symptoms, fatigue, and sleep quality were reported at baseline by all study participants and longitudinally on two follow-up occasions (3 years and 13–18 years after baseline) in the observational study participants (n = 87,336). Results: At baseline, a total of 3,687 (2.5%) had a history of military service and 22,813 (15.8%) reported that pain limited their activity level moderately to extremely during the past 4 weeks. Prevalence of pain interference did not differ in Veterans and non-Veterans (16.8% and 15.7%, respectively; p= .09). At baseline, women with moderate-to-extreme pain interference had substantially worse physical function and greater symptoms of depression, fatigue, and insomnia than those with less pain (p < .001 for all comparisons), adjusting for several social, behavioral, and health related factors. There were no significant military service by pain interference interactions for any of the outcomes (p > .2), indicating that the effect of pain interference on outcomes at baseline did not vary between Veterans and non-Veterans. Moderate-to-extreme pain interference was associated with a greater rate of decline in physical function over time (p < .001) and higher incidence of limited physical functioning (p < .001), but these effects did not vary by Veteran status. Similar results were observed with pain severity as the exposure variable. Implications: As the Veteran population ages and the number of women exposed to combat operations grows, there will be an increased need for health care services that address not only pain severity and interference but also other disabling comorbid symptoms.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · The Gerontologist
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of the Study: Women’s military roles, exposures, and associated health outcomes have changed over time. However, mortality risk—within military generations or compared with non-Veteran women—has not been assessed. Using data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), we examined all-cause and cause-specific mortality by Veteran status and military generation among older women. Design and Methods: WHI participants (3,719 Veterans; 141,802 non-Veterans), followed for a mean of 15.2 years, were categorized into pre-Vietnam or Vietnam/after generations based on their birth cohort. We used cox proportional hazards models to examine the association between Veteran status and mortality by generation. Results: After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics and WHI study arm, all-cause mortality hazard rate ratios (HRs) for Veterans relative to non-Veterans were 1.16 (95% CI: 1.09–1.23) for pre-Vietnam and 1.16 (95% CI: 0.99–1.36) for Vietnam/after generations. With additional adjustment for health behaviors and risk factors, this excess mortality rate persisted for pre-Vietnam but attenuated for Vietnam/after generations. After further adjustment for medical morbidities, across both generations, Veterans and non-Veterans had similar all-cause mortality rates. Relative to non-Veterans, adjusting for sociodemographics and WHI study arm, pre-Vietnam generation Veterans had higher cancer, cardiovascular, and trauma-related morality rates; Vietnam/after generation Veterans had the highest trauma-related mortality rates (HR = 2.93, 1.64–5.23). Implications: Veterans’ higher all-cause mortality rates were limited to the pre-Vietnam generation, consistent with diminution of the healthy soldier effect over the life course. Mechanisms underlying Vietnam/after generation Veteran trauma-related mortality should be elucidated. Efforts to modify salient health risk behaviors specific to each military generation are needed.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · The Gerontologist
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of the Study: To compare the number of chronic conditions among a list of 12 and their association with physical function among postmenopausal non-Veteran and Veteran women with diabetes. Design and Methods: Among women with diabetes from the Women’s Health Initiative, we compared the average number of chronic conditions between non-Veterans and Veterans and the association between total number of chronic conditions on subsequent RAND-36 physical function. To examine associations between each condition and subsequent physical function, we compared women with diabetes plus one chronic condition to women with diabetes alone using linear regression in separate models for each condition and for non-Veterans and Veterans. Results: Both non-Veterans (N = 23,542) and Veterans (N = 618) with diabetes had a median of 3 chronic conditions. Decreases in physical function for each additional condition were larger among Veterans than non-Veterans (−6.3 vs. −4.1 points). Decreases in physical function among women with diabetes plus one chronic condition were greater than that reported for diabetes alone for all combinations and were more pronounced among Veterans (non-Veterans: −11.1 to −24.2, Veterans: −16.6 to −40.4 points). Hip fracture, peripheral artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, and coronary disease in combination with diabetes were associated with the greatest decreases in physical function. Implications: Chronic conditions were common among postmenopausal women with diabetes and were associated with large declines in physical function, particularly among Veterans. Interventions to prevent and reduce the impact of these conditions and facilitate coordination of care among women with diabetes may help them maintain physical function.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · The Gerontologist
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    Preview · Article · Feb 2016 · The Gerontologist
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of the Study: Trajectories of physical activity (PA) and sedentary time (ST) after military separation are likely important determinants of women’s health outcomes later in life, because low PA and high ST are known contributors to premature mortality risk. Our objective was to compare longitudinal trajectories of recreational PA and ST between Veteran and non-Veteran postmenopausal women from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). Design and Methods: Women Veteran (n = 3,719) and non-Veteran (n = 141,800) WHI participants were included. Self-reported participation in recreational PA, converted to metabolic equivalent (MET)-hours/week, was prospectively assessed over 8 years. Self-reported ST, defined as hours/day sitting or lying down, was collected at baseline and at Years 3 and 6. Generalized estimating equations were used to compare trajectories of PA and ST between Veterans and non-Veterans, adjusted for demographics and lifestyle behaviors. Results: Veterans had higher baseline PA than non-Veterans (13.2 vs 12.5 MET-hours/week, p = .03). PA declined for both groups, with a steeper decline among Veterans (change/visit year −0.19 vs −0.02 MET-hours/week; interaction p < .001). At baseline, Veterans and non-Veterans had similar levels of ST (107.2 vs 105.9 hours/week, p = 0.42). Over time, ST remained stable among Veterans but declined slightly among non-Veterans (change/visit year −0.19 vs −0.49 hours/week; interaction p = .01). Implications: The less favorable longitudinal trajectories of PA and ST we observed for women Veterans may contribute to worse health among these individuals later in life. Understanding barriers to enhancing PA and reducing ST in women Veterans could lead to more effective approaches to intervening on these health behaviors.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · The Gerontologist
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Women Veterans may have higher rates of both active and passive tobacco exposure than their civilian counterparts, thereby increasing their risk for lung cancer. Purpose of the Study: To compare differences in active and passive smoking exposure and lung cancer incidence among women Veterans and non-Veterans using prospective data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). Design and Methods: We used data from the WHI, which collected longitudinal demographic, clinical, and laboratory data on 161,808 postmenopausal women. We employed linear and multinomial regression and generalized linear models to compare active and passive smoking exposure between Veterans and non-Veterans and Cox proportional hazards models to estimate differences in lung cancer incidence rates. Results: After adjustment, Veterans had 2.54 additional pack years of smoking compared with non-Veterans (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.68, 3.40). Veterans also had a 1% increase in risk of any passive smoking exposure (95% CI 1.00, 1.02) and a 9% increase in risk of any workplace exposure (95% CI 1.07, 1.11) compared with non-Veterans. After adjustment for age and smoking exposures, Veterans did not have a higher risk of lung cancer compared with non-Veterans (relative risk = 1.06 95% CI 0.86, 1.30). Implications: Women Veterans had higher rates of tobacco use and exposure to passive smoking, which were associated with a higher risk for lung cancer compared with non-Veterans. Clinicians who care for Veterans need to be aware that older women Veterans have more exposures to risk factors for lung cancer.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2016 · The Gerontologist
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The Veterans Health Administration (VA) Women's Health Practice-Based Research Network (WH-PBRN) was created to foster innovations for the health care of women veterans. The inaugural study by the WH-PBRN was designed to identify women veterans' own priorities and preferences for mental health services and to inform refinements to WH-PBRN operational procedures. Addressing the latter, this article reports lessons learned from the inaugural study. Methods: WH-PBRN site coordinators at the 4 participating sites convened weekly with the study coordinator and the WH-PBRN program manager to address logistical issues and identify lessons learned. Findings were categorized into a matrix of challenges and facilitators related to key study elements. Results: Challenges to the conduct of PBRN-based research included tracking of regulatory documents; cross-site variability in some regulatory processes; and troubleshooting logistics of clinic-based recruitment. Facilitators included a central institutional review board, strong relationships between WH-PBRN research teams and women's health clinic teams, and the perception that women want to help other women veterans. Conclusion: Our experience with the inaugural WH-PBRN study demonstrated the feasibility of establishing productive relationships between local clinicians and researchers, and of recruiting a special population (women veterans) in diverse sites within an integrated health care system. This identified strengths of a PBRN approach.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Prior cross-sectional studies have reported greater pain intensity among persistent smokers compared to non-smokers or former smokers, yet few prospective studies have examined how smoking abstinence affects pain intensity. To determine the impact of smoking cessation on subsequent pain intensity in smokers with chronic illness enrolled in a smoking cessation trial. We recruited veteran smokers with chronic illness (heart disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, or hypertension) for a randomized-controlled smoking cessation trial and prospectively examined pain intensity and smoking status. Participants (n=380) were asked to rate their pain in the past week from 0 to 10 at baseline and the five-month follow-up. The primary outcome measure was self-reported pain intensity at the five-month follow-up survey. Self-reported smoking status was categorized as an abstainer if patients reported no cigarettes in the seven days prior to the follow-up survey. In unadjusted analyses, abstainers reported significantly lower pain levels at the five-month follow-up compared to patients who continued to smoke (parameter estimate = -1.07, 95% confidence interval (CI) = -1.77, -0.36). In multivariable modeling, abstaining from cigarettes was not associated with subsequent pain intensity at five-month follow-up (parameter estimate = -0.27, 95% CI= -0.79, 0.25). Participants who were classified as abstainers did not report significantly different levels of pain intensity than patients who continued to smoke. Future studies should expand upon our findings and monitor pain intensity in smoking cessation trials. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of pain and symptom management
  • Shounak Majumder · Jennifer M Gierisch · Lori A Bastian
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    ABSTRACT: Cigarette smoking is an independent risk factor for chronic pancreatitis. We conducted a systematic review of the literature assessing whether cigarette smoking is a risk factor for acute pancreatitis (AP) and recurrent AP (RAP). MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews were searched for studies published from database inception through March 2013. Two investigators independently reviewed articles for eligibility; discordant decisions were resolved by a third investigator's review and consensus. When there were sufficient studies, random-effects meta-analyses were performed by estimating pooled hazards ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Twelve studies met the eligibility criteria: 7 for AP, 5 for RAP. Compared with never smokers, the risk for AP was significantly increased in current smokers (6 studies; HR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.26-2.44) and former smokers (5 studies; HR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.18-2.27). Compared with never smokers, ever smokers were at higher risk for developing RAP (5 studies; HR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.19-2.12). This meta-analysis provides supportive evidence for the association of smoking status and AP. This effect is most pronounced for current smokers, but the risk exists among the former smokers compared with never smokers. There was an increased risk for RAP among ever smokers compared with that among never smokers.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Pancreas
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    ABSTRACT: Pain and smoking are highly prevalent among Veterans. Studies in non-Veteran populations have reported higher pain intensity among current smokers compared with nonsmokers and former smokers. We examined the association of smoking status with reported pain intensity among Veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND). The sample consisted of OEF/OIF/OND Veterans who had at least one visit to Veterans Affairs (2001-2012) with information in the electronic medical record for concurrent smoking status and pain intensity. The primary outcome measure was current pain intensity, categorized as none to mild (0-3); moderate (4-6); or severe (≥7); based on a self-reported 11-point pain numerical rating scale. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to assess the association of current smoking status with moderate to severe (≥4) pain intensity, controlling for potential confounders. Overall, 50,988 women and 355,966 men Veterans were examined. The sample mean age was 30 years; 66.3% reported none to mild pain; 19.8% moderate pain; and 13.9% severe pain; 37% were current smokers and 16% former smokers. Results indicated that current smoking [odds ratio (OR) = 1.29 (95% confidence intervals (CI) = 1.27-1.31)] and former smoking [OR = 1.02 (95% CI = 1.01-1.05)] were associated with moderate to severe pain intensity, controlling for age, service-connected disability, gender, obesity, substance abuse, mood disorders, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We found an association between current smoking and pain intensity. This effect was attenuated in former smokers. Our study highlights the importance of understanding reported pain intensity in OEF/OIF/OND Veterans who continue to smoke. Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Pain Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The goal of this supplement is to disseminate new research findings related to the planning, organization, financing, provision, evaluation, and improvement of health services and/or outcomes for women Veterans (WVs) and women actively serving in the military. We received wide-ranging, outstanding submissions that demonstrated advances in ever-widening domains of women’s health (WH) and health care, which was the goal of the VA WH research agenda. The resulting supplement of selected articles is organized by the research agenda’s 6 main topics and is further framed by their relationships to informing policy on delivery of comprehensive care to WVs.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Medical Care
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    ABSTRACT: In 2010, the Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VA) implemented policy to provide Comprehensive Primary Care (for acute, chronic, and female-specific care) from designated Women's Health providers (DWHPs) at all VA sites. However, since that time no comparisons of quality measures have been available to assess the level of care for women Veterans assigned to these providers. To evaluate the associations between cervical and breast cancer screening rates among age-appropriate women Veterans and designation of primary-care provider (DWHP vs. non-DWHP). Cross-sectional analyses using the fiscal year 2012 data on VA women's health providers, administrative files, and patient-specific quality measures. The sample included 37,128 women Veterans aged 21 through 69 years. Variables included patient demographic and clinical factors (ie, age, race, ethnicity, mental health diagnoses, obesity, and site), and provider factors (ie, DWHP status, sex, and panel size). Screening measures were defined by age-appropriate subgroups using VA national guidelines. Female-specific cancer screening rates were higher among patients assigned to DWHPs (cervical cytology 94.4% vs. 91.9%, P<0.0001; mammography 86.3% vs. 83.3%, P<0.0001). In multivariable models with adjustment for patient and provider characteristics, patients assigned to DWHPs had higher odds of cervical cancer screening (odds ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-1.47; P<0.0001) and breast cancer screening (odds ratio, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.10-1.39; P<0.0001). As the proportion of women Veterans increases, assignment to DWHPs may raise rate of female-specific cancer screening within VA. Separate evaluation of sex neutral measures is needed to determine whether other measures accrue benefits for patients with DWHPs.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Medical Care
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    ABSTRACT: An increasing number of young women Veterans seek reproductive health care through the VA, yet little is known regarding the provision of infertility care for this population. The VA provides a range of infertility services for Veterans including artificial insemination, but does not provide in vitro fertilization. This study will be the first to characterize infertility care among OEF/OIF/OND women Veterans using VA care. We analyzed data from the OEF/OIF/OND roster file from the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC)-Contingency Tracking System Deployment file of military discharges from October 1, 2001-December 30, 2010, which includes 68,442 women Veterans between the ages of 18 and 45 who utilized VA health care after separating from military service. We examined the receipt of infertility diagnoses and care using ICD-9 and CPT codes. Less than 2% (n=1323) of OEF/OIF/OND women Veterans received an infertility diagnosis during the study period. Compared with women VA users without infertility diagnosis, those with infertility diagnosis were younger, obese, black, or Hispanic, have a service-connected disability rating, a positive screen for military sexual trauma, and a mental health diagnosis. Overall, 22% of women with an infertility diagnosis received an infertility assessment or treatment. Thirty-nine percent of women Veterans receiving infertility assessment or treatment received this care from non-VA providers. Overall, a small proportion of OEF/OIF/OND women Veterans received infertility diagnoses from the VA during the study period, and an even smaller proportion received infertility treatment. Nearly 40% of those who received infertility treatments received these treatments from non-VA providers, indicating that the VA may need to examine the training and resources needed to provide this care within the VA. Understanding women's use of VA infertility services is an important component of understanding VA's commitment to comprehensive medical care for women Veterans.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Medical Care
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    ABSTRACT: Mental health services for women vary widely across the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system, without consensus on the need for, or organization of, specialized services for women. Understanding women's needs and priorities is essential to guide the implementation of patient-centered behavioral health services. In a cross-sectional, multisite survey of female veterans using primary care, potential stakeholders were identified for VHA mental health services by assessing perceived or observed need for mental health services. These stakeholders (N=484) ranked priorities for mental health care among a wide range of possible services. The investigators then quantified the importance of having designated women's mental health services for each of the mental health services that emerged as key priorities. Treatment for depression, pain management, coping with chronic general medical conditions, sleep problems, weight management, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) emerged as women's key priorities. Having mental health services specialized for women was rated as extremely important to substantial proportions of women for each of the six prioritized services. Preference for primary care colocation was strongly associated with higher importance ratings for designated women's mental health services. For specific types of services, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, PTSD symptoms, and psychiatric comorbidity were also associated with higher importance ratings for designated women's services. Female veterans are a diverse population whose needs and preferences for mental health services vary along demographic and clinical factors. These stakeholder perspectives can help prioritize structural and clinical aspects of designated women's mental health care in the VHA.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.)
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    ABSTRACT: Women veterans comprise a small percentage of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care users. Prior research on women veterans' experiences with primary care has focused on VA site differences and not individual provider characteristics. In 2010, the VA established policy requiring the provision of comprehensive women's health care by designated women's health providers (DWHPs). Little is known about the quality of health care delivered by DWHPs and women veterans' experience with care from these providers. Secondary data were obtained from the VA Survey of Healthcare Experience of Patients (SHEP) using the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) patient-centered medical home (PCMH) survey from March 2012 through February 2013, a survey designed to measure patient experience with care and the DWHPs Assessment of Workforce Capacity that discerns between DWHPs versus non-DWHPs. Of the 28,994 surveys mailed to women veterans, 24,789 were seen by primary care providers and 8,151 women responded to the survey (response rate, 32%). A total of 3,147 providers were evaluated by the SHEP-CAHPS-PCMH survey (40%; n = 1,267 were DWHPs). In a multivariable model, patients seen by DWHPs (relative risk, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04) reported higher overall experiences with care compared with patients seen by non-DWHPs. The main finding is that women veterans' overall experiences with outpatient health care are slightly better for those receiving care from DWHPs compared with those receiving care from non-DWHPs. Our findings have important policy implications for how to continue to improve women veterans' experiences. Our work provides support to increase access to DWHPs at VA primary care clinics. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Women s Health Issues
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    ABSTRACT: Background Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality for U.S. women. Racial minorities are a particularly vulnerable population. The increasing female veteran population has an higher prevalence of certain cardiovascular risk factors compared with non-veteran women; however, little is known about gender and racial differences in cardiovascular risk factor control among veterans. Methods We used analysis of variance, adjusting for age, to compare gender and racial differences in three risk factors that predispose to CVD (diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia) in a cohort of high-risk veterans eligible for enrollment in a clinical trial, including 23,955 men and 1,010 women. Findings Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) values were higher in women veterans than men with age-adjusted estimated mean values of 111.7 versus 97.6 mg/dL (p < .01). Blood pressures (BPs) were higher among African-American than White female veterans with age-adjusted estimated mean systolic BPs of 136.3 versus 133.5 mmHg, respectively (p < .01), and diastolic BPs of 82.4 versus 78.9 mmHg (p < .01). African-American veterans with diabetes had worse BP, LDL values, and hemoglobin A1c levels, although the differences were only significant among men. Conclusions Female veterans have higher LDL cholesterol levels than male veterans and African-American veterans have higher BP, LDL cholesterol, and A1c levels than Whites after adjusting for age. Further examination of CVD gender and racial disparities in this population may help to develop targeted treatments and strategies applicable to the general population.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Women s Health Issues
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    ABSTRACT: This article aims to critically analyze research focused on the findings for five chronic conditions: chronic pain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, HIV and cancer among women veterans to identify opportunities for comparative effectiveness research. We provide a descriptive analysis from the relevant articles in prior systematic reviews. In order to identify potential gaps in research for these specific conditions, we also conducted a literature search to highlight studies focusing on women veterans published since the last systematic review. While the scientific knowledge base has grown for these chronic conditions among women veterans, the vast majority of the published literature remains descriptive and/or observational, with only a few studies examining gender differences and even fewer clinical trials. There is a need to conduct comparative effectiveness research on chronic conditions among women veterans to improve health and healthcare.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Women s Health Issues
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    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Journal of General Internal Medicine

Publication Stats

2k Citations
345.27 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013-2015
    • University of Connecticut
      Сторс, Connecticut, United States
  • 2001-2013
    • Duke University
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Duke University Medical Center
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 1996-2011
    • Duke University Medical Center
      • • Department of Community and Family Medicine
      • • Department of Medicine
      Durham, North Carolina, United States
  • 2006
    • Columbia University
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2005
    • Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Hospital
      Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States