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Anticipating the traumatic brain injury-related health care needs of women veterans after the Department of Defense change in combat assignment policy.
Womens Health Issues. 2014 Mar-Apr; 24(2):e171-6.WH

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Female service members' presence in combat zones during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom is unprecedented both in terms of the number of women deployed and the nature of their involvement. In light of changing Department of Defense policy governing the deployment of women in combat zones, this article intends to set the groundwork for estimating future combat-related injuries and subsequent Veterans Health Administration (VHA) utilization while focusing on traumatic brain injury (TBI).

METHODS

The article summarizes and presents the results of a study that examines veterans who present to VHA for TBI evaluation. For a national sample of veterans, a dataset including information on post-screening utilization, diagnoses, and location of care was constructed. The dataset included self-reported health symptoms and other information obtained from a standardized national VHA post-screening clinical evaluation, the comprehensive TBI evaluation (CTBIE).

FINDINGS

Both women and men utilize high levels of VHA health care after a CTBIE. However, there are gender differences in the volume and types of services used, with women utilizing different services than their male counterparts and incurring higher costs, including higher overall and outpatient costs.

CONCLUSION

As women veterans seek more of their health care from the VHA, there will be a need for more coordinated care to identify and manage deployment-related TBI and common comorbidities such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and chronic pain. Deployment-connected injuries are likely to rise because of the rescinding of the ban on women in combat. This in turn has critical implications for VHA strategic planning and budgeting.

Authors+Show Affiliations

DRMI, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. Electronic address: jhamara@nps.edu.National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts; Department of Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.Health Care Financing and Economics, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts.

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

24630421

Citation

Amara, Jomana, et al. "Anticipating the Traumatic Brain Injury-related Health Care Needs of Women Veterans After the Department of Defense Change in Combat Assignment Policy." Women's Health Issues : Official Publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, vol. 24, no. 2, 2014, pp. e171-6.
Amara J, Iverson KM, Krengel M, et al. Anticipating the traumatic brain injury-related health care needs of women veterans after the Department of Defense change in combat assignment policy. Womens Health Issues. 2014;24(2):e171-6.
Amara, J., Iverson, K. M., Krengel, M., Pogoda, T. K., & Hendricks, A. (2014). Anticipating the traumatic brain injury-related health care needs of women veterans after the Department of Defense change in combat assignment policy. Women's Health Issues : Official Publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, 24(2), e171-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.whi.2013.12.004
Amara J, et al. Anticipating the Traumatic Brain Injury-related Health Care Needs of Women Veterans After the Department of Defense Change in Combat Assignment Policy. Womens Health Issues. 2014 Mar-Apr;24(2):e171-6. PubMed PMID: 24630421.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Anticipating the traumatic brain injury-related health care needs of women veterans after the Department of Defense change in combat assignment policy. AU - Amara,Jomana, AU - Iverson,Katherine M, AU - Krengel,Maxine, AU - Pogoda,Terri K, AU - Hendricks,Ann, PY - 2013/04/21/received PY - 2013/12/08/revised PY - 2013/12/10/accepted PY - 2014/3/18/entrez PY - 2014/3/19/pubmed PY - 2014/6/10/medline SP - e171 EP - 6 JF - Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health JO - Womens Health Issues VL - 24 IS - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: Female service members' presence in combat zones during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom is unprecedented both in terms of the number of women deployed and the nature of their involvement. In light of changing Department of Defense policy governing the deployment of women in combat zones, this article intends to set the groundwork for estimating future combat-related injuries and subsequent Veterans Health Administration (VHA) utilization while focusing on traumatic brain injury (TBI). METHODS: The article summarizes and presents the results of a study that examines veterans who present to VHA for TBI evaluation. For a national sample of veterans, a dataset including information on post-screening utilization, diagnoses, and location of care was constructed. The dataset included self-reported health symptoms and other information obtained from a standardized national VHA post-screening clinical evaluation, the comprehensive TBI evaluation (CTBIE). FINDINGS: Both women and men utilize high levels of VHA health care after a CTBIE. However, there are gender differences in the volume and types of services used, with women utilizing different services than their male counterparts and incurring higher costs, including higher overall and outpatient costs. CONCLUSION: As women veterans seek more of their health care from the VHA, there will be a need for more coordinated care to identify and manage deployment-related TBI and common comorbidities such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and chronic pain. Deployment-connected injuries are likely to rise because of the rescinding of the ban on women in combat. This in turn has critical implications for VHA strategic planning and budgeting. SN - 1878-4321 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/24630421/Anticipating_the_traumatic_brain_injury_related_health_care_needs_of_women_veterans_after_the_Department_of_Defense_change_in_combat_assignment_policy_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1049-3867(13)00117-5 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -