Racial disparities in trauma exposure, psychiatric symptoms, and service use among female patients in Veterans Affairs primary care clinics.Womens Health Issues. 2008 Nov-Dec; 18(6):433-41.WH
We sought to compare female African-American (n = 84) and Caucasian (n = 99) veterans from primary care clinics at 4 Veterans Affairs Medical Centers (VAMCs) on rates of trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, other psychiatric diagnoses, functional status, and use of VA services and disability benefits.
Analyses were based on a cross-sectional, epidemiologic design incorporating self-report measures, structured interviews, and chart reviews.
With the exception of higher rates of child sexual abuse among Caucasian women and higher rates of physical assault among African-American women, there were no other statistically significant racial differences across analyses. However, some clinically meaningful trends emerged, and the implications of these findings are discussed within the context of our other results.
Among female veterans seen in VA primary care clinics, African-Americans and Caucasians do not differ dramatically with regard to the manifestation or severity of psychopathology, or in their use of relevant VA health care services and disability benefits. These data are important because women represent the fastest growing segment of the VA population after aging veterans. Further research is needed to replicate and extend these findings to ensure that female veterans' needs are adequately identified and met by VAMC providers.