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The Association Between Military Sexual Trauma and Use of VA and Non-VA Health Care Services Among Female Veterans With Military Service in Iraq or Afghanistan.
J Interpers Violence. 2018 08; 33(15):2439-2464.JI

Abstract

Military sexual trauma (MST) has been linked with increased rates of mental health disorders among veterans. Few studies have addressed how MST is related to use of VA and non-VA health care. The purpose of the current study was to (a) examine the association between MST, combat experiences, and mental health outcomes (i.e., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] and depression) and (b) examine the association of MST and use of VA and non-VA health care services among female veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Female respondents to a survey assessing Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veterans' needs and health (N = 185) completed measures of demographic variables, military history, combat exposure, MST, PTSD, and depression symptoms, and use of VA and non-VA health care. Overall, 70% of the sample experienced one or more combat-related experiences and 15.7% endorsed MST during deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. MST and combat exposure were both positively associated with PTSD and depression symptoms even after controlling for the effects of demographic and military history variables. MST was associated with increased use of VA mental health services in bivariate results but was not independently related to VA service utilization after accounting for PTSD and depression symptoms. Approximately half of the women who reported MST had not used VA health care. Continued outreach and education initiatives may be needed to ensure veterans understand the resources available to address MST-related mental and physical health problems through the VA.

Authors+Show Affiliations

1 VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Durham, NC, USA. 2 Durham VA Medical Center, NC, USA. 3 Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA. 4 VA Center of Excellence for Health Services Research in Primary Care, Durham, NC, USA.1 VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Durham, NC, USA. 2 Durham VA Medical Center, NC, USA. 3 Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.1 VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Durham, NC, USA. 2 Durham VA Medical Center, NC, USA. 3 Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.1 VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Durham, NC, USA. 2 Durham VA Medical Center, NC, USA. 3 Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.1 VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Durham, NC, USA. 2 Durham VA Medical Center, NC, USA. 3 Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.5 University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT, USA. 6 VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA.1 VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Durham, NC, USA. 2 Durham VA Medical Center, NC, USA. 3 Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.1 VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Durham, NC, USA. 2 Durham VA Medical Center, NC, USA. 3 Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.1 VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center, Durham, NC, USA. 3 Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA. 7 Phoenix VA Healthcare System, AZ, USA.

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26802046

Citation

Calhoun, Patrick S., et al. "The Association Between Military Sexual Trauma and Use of VA and Non-VA Health Care Services Among Female Veterans With Military Service in Iraq or Afghanistan." Journal of Interpersonal Violence, vol. 33, no. 15, 2018, pp. 2439-2464.
Calhoun PS, Schry AR, Dennis PA, et al. The Association Between Military Sexual Trauma and Use of VA and Non-VA Health Care Services Among Female Veterans With Military Service in Iraq or Afghanistan. J Interpers Violence. 2018;33(15):2439-2464.
Calhoun, P. S., Schry, A. R., Dennis, P. A., Wagner, H. R., Kimbrel, N. A., Bastian, L. A., Beckham, J. C., Kudler, H., & Straits-Tröster, K. (2018). The Association Between Military Sexual Trauma and Use of VA and Non-VA Health Care Services Among Female Veterans With Military Service in Iraq or Afghanistan. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 33(15), 2439-2464. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260515625909
Calhoun PS, et al. The Association Between Military Sexual Trauma and Use of VA and Non-VA Health Care Services Among Female Veterans With Military Service in Iraq or Afghanistan. J Interpers Violence. 2018;33(15):2439-2464. PubMed PMID: 26802046.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The Association Between Military Sexual Trauma and Use of VA and Non-VA Health Care Services Among Female Veterans With Military Service in Iraq or Afghanistan. AU - Calhoun,Patrick S, AU - Schry,Amie R, AU - Dennis,Paul A, AU - Wagner,H Ryan, AU - Kimbrel,Nathan A, AU - Bastian,Lori A, AU - Beckham,Jean C, AU - Kudler,Harold, AU - Straits-Tröster,Kristy, Y1 - 2016/01/21/ PY - 2016/1/24/pubmed PY - 2019/10/9/medline PY - 2016/1/24/entrez KW - OEF KW - Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) KW - military sexual trauma KW - service use KW - veterans SP - 2439 EP - 2464 JF - Journal of interpersonal violence JO - J Interpers Violence VL - 33 IS - 15 N2 - Military sexual trauma (MST) has been linked with increased rates of mental health disorders among veterans. Few studies have addressed how MST is related to use of VA and non-VA health care. The purpose of the current study was to (a) examine the association between MST, combat experiences, and mental health outcomes (i.e., posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] and depression) and (b) examine the association of MST and use of VA and non-VA health care services among female veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Female respondents to a survey assessing Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veterans' needs and health (N = 185) completed measures of demographic variables, military history, combat exposure, MST, PTSD, and depression symptoms, and use of VA and non-VA health care. Overall, 70% of the sample experienced one or more combat-related experiences and 15.7% endorsed MST during deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. MST and combat exposure were both positively associated with PTSD and depression symptoms even after controlling for the effects of demographic and military history variables. MST was associated with increased use of VA mental health services in bivariate results but was not independently related to VA service utilization after accounting for PTSD and depression symptoms. Approximately half of the women who reported MST had not used VA health care. Continued outreach and education initiatives may be needed to ensure veterans understand the resources available to address MST-related mental and physical health problems through the VA. SN - 1552-6518 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26802046/The_Association_Between_Military_Sexual_Trauma_and_Use_of_VA_and_Non_VA_Health_Care_Services_Among_Female_Veterans_With_Military_Service_in_Iraq_or_Afghanistan_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -