, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 1105-1108

Brief Report: Lack of a race effect in primary care ratings among women veterans

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OBJECTIVE: To explore the effect of race on primary care quality and satisfaction among women in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

METHODS: We used a mail survey to measure primary care quality and satisfaction. We focused on 4 primary care domains: patient preference for provider, interpersonal communication, accumulated knowledge, and coordination. We performed univariate analyses to compare variables by race and multiple logistic regression analysis to examine the effect of race on the probability of reporting a perfect score on each domain, while adjusting for patient characteristics and site.

RESULTS: Black women were younger, unmarried, educated, of higher income, and reported female providers and gynecological care in VA more often. In regression analysis, race was not significantly associated with any primary care domain or satisfaction. Gynecological care from VA provider was associated with perfect ratings on patient preference for provider (odds ratio [OR] 2.0, 95% confidence intervals [CI] 1.3, 3.1), and satisfaction (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2, 2.3), while female provider was associated with interpersonal communication (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.4, 2.6).

CONCLUSIONS: While demographics and health experiences vary by race among veterans, race had no effect on primary care ratings. Future studies need to determine whether this racial equity persists in health outcomes among women veterans.

The views in this article do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Dr. Bean-Mayberry is funded by a VA HSR&D Research Career Development Award (#RCD 02-039) and a previous Minority Health Disparity Scholar Award at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Dr. Bean-Mayberry’s research was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Integrated Service Network 4, Competitive Pilot Project Funds in 2000 and Veterans Research Foundation of Pittsburgh in 2001.