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Gender differences among veterans deployed in support of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
J Gen Intern Med. 2013 Jul; 28 Suppl 2:S556-62.JG

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The changing scope of women's roles in combat operations has led to growing interest in women's deployment experiences and post-deployment adjustment.

OBJECTIVES

To quantify the gender-specific frequency of deployment stressors, including sexual and non-sexual harassment, lack of social support and combat exposure. To quantify gender-specific post-deployment mental health conditions and associations between deployment stressors and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to inform the care of Veterans returning from the current conflicts.

DESIGN

National mail survey of OEF/OIF Veterans randomly sampled within gender, with women oversampled.

SETTING

The community.

PARTICIPANTS

In total, 1,207 female and 1,137 male Veterans from a roster of all Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans. Response rate was 48.6 %.

MAIN MEASURES

Deployment stressors (including combat and harassment stress), PTSD, depression, anxiety and alcohol use, all measured via self-report.

KEY RESULTS

Women were more likely to report sexual harassment (OR = 8.7, 95% CI: 6.9, 11) but less likely to report combat (OR = 0.62, 95 % CI: 0.50, 0.76). Women and men were equally likely to report symptoms consistent with probable PTSD (OR = 0.87, 95 % CI: 0.70, 1.1) and symptomatic anxiety (OR = 1.1, 9 5% CI: 0.86, 1.3). Women were more likely to report probable depression (OR = 1.3, 95 % CI: 1.1, 1.6) and less likely to report problematic alcohol use (OR = 0.59, 9 5% CI: 0.47, 0.72). With a five-point change in harassment stress, adjusted odds ratios for PTSD were 1.36 (95 % CI: 1.23, 1.52) for women and 1.38 (95 % CI: 1.19, 1.61) for men. The analogous associations between combat stress and PTSD were 1.31 (95 % CI: 1.24, 1.39) and 1.31 (95 % CI: 1.26, 1.36), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Although there are important gender differences in deployment stressors-including women's increased risk of interpersonal stressors-and post-deployment adjustment, there are also significant similarities. The post-deployment adjustment of our nation's growing population of female Veterans seems comparable to that of our nation's male Veterans.

Authors+Show Affiliations

National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, 150 South Huntington Avenue (116B-3), Boston, MA 02130, USA. amy.street@va.govNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

23807065

Citation

Street, Amy E., et al. "Gender Differences Among Veterans Deployed in Support of the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq." Journal of General Internal Medicine, vol. 28 Suppl 2, 2013, pp. S556-62.
Street AE, Gradus JL, Giasson HL, et al. Gender differences among veterans deployed in support of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. J Gen Intern Med. 2013;28 Suppl 2:S556-62.
Street, A. E., Gradus, J. L., Giasson, H. L., Vogt, D., & Resick, P. A. (2013). Gender differences among veterans deployed in support of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 28 Suppl 2, S556-62. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11606-013-2333-4
Street AE, et al. Gender Differences Among Veterans Deployed in Support of the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. J Gen Intern Med. 2013;28 Suppl 2:S556-62. PubMed PMID: 23807065.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Gender differences among veterans deployed in support of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. AU - Street,Amy E, AU - Gradus,Jaimie L, AU - Giasson,Hannah L, AU - Vogt,Dawne, AU - Resick,Patricia A, PY - 2013/6/29/entrez PY - 2013/7/3/pubmed PY - 2014/3/13/medline SP - S556 EP - 62 JF - Journal of general internal medicine JO - J Gen Intern Med VL - 28 Suppl 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: The changing scope of women's roles in combat operations has led to growing interest in women's deployment experiences and post-deployment adjustment. OBJECTIVES: To quantify the gender-specific frequency of deployment stressors, including sexual and non-sexual harassment, lack of social support and combat exposure. To quantify gender-specific post-deployment mental health conditions and associations between deployment stressors and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to inform the care of Veterans returning from the current conflicts. DESIGN: National mail survey of OEF/OIF Veterans randomly sampled within gender, with women oversampled. SETTING: The community. PARTICIPANTS: In total, 1,207 female and 1,137 male Veterans from a roster of all Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans. Response rate was 48.6 %. MAIN MEASURES: Deployment stressors (including combat and harassment stress), PTSD, depression, anxiety and alcohol use, all measured via self-report. KEY RESULTS: Women were more likely to report sexual harassment (OR = 8.7, 95% CI: 6.9, 11) but less likely to report combat (OR = 0.62, 95 % CI: 0.50, 0.76). Women and men were equally likely to report symptoms consistent with probable PTSD (OR = 0.87, 95 % CI: 0.70, 1.1) and symptomatic anxiety (OR = 1.1, 9 5% CI: 0.86, 1.3). Women were more likely to report probable depression (OR = 1.3, 95 % CI: 1.1, 1.6) and less likely to report problematic alcohol use (OR = 0.59, 9 5% CI: 0.47, 0.72). With a five-point change in harassment stress, adjusted odds ratios for PTSD were 1.36 (95 % CI: 1.23, 1.52) for women and 1.38 (95 % CI: 1.19, 1.61) for men. The analogous associations between combat stress and PTSD were 1.31 (95 % CI: 1.24, 1.39) and 1.31 (95 % CI: 1.26, 1.36), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Although there are important gender differences in deployment stressors-including women's increased risk of interpersonal stressors-and post-deployment adjustment, there are also significant similarities. The post-deployment adjustment of our nation's growing population of female Veterans seems comparable to that of our nation's male Veterans. SN - 1525-1497 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23807065/Gender_differences_among_veterans_deployed_in_support_of_the_wars_in_Afghanistan_and_Iraq_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11606-013-2333-4 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -