Advertisement

Toward a VA women’s health research agenda: Setting evidence-based priorities to improve the health and health care of women veterans

Abstract

The expansion of women in the military is reshaping the veteran population, with women now constituting the fastest growing segment of eligible VA health care users. In recognition of the changing demographics and special health care needs of women, the VA Office of Research & Development recently sponsored the first national VA Women’s Health Research Agenda-setting conference to map research priorities to the needs of women veterans and position VA as a national leader in Women’s Health Research. This paper summarizes the process and outcomes of this effort, outlining VA’s research priorities for biomedical, clinical, rehabilitation, and health services research.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 99

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

References

  1. 1.

    Yano EM. Toward a VA women’s health research agenda. SGIM Forum. 2004, p. 4, 9.

  2. 2.

    Jordan BK, Schlenger WE, Hough R, et al. Lifetime and current prevalence of specific psychiatric disorders among Vietnam veterans and controls. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1991;48:206–15.

  3. 3.

    Fontana A, Schwartz LS, Rosenheck R. Posttraumatic stress disorder among female Vietnam veterans: a causal model of etiology. Am J Public Health. 1997;87:169–75.

  4. 4.

    Zatzick DF, Weiss DS, Marmar CR, et al. Post-traumatic stress disorder and functioning and quality of life outcomes in female Vietnam veterans. Mil Med. 1997;162:661–5.

  5. 5.

    King DW, King LA, Foy DW, Gudanowski DM. Prewar factors in combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder: structural equation modeling with a national sample of female and male Vietnam veterans. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996;64:520–31.

  6. 6.

    King LA, King DW, Fairbank JA, Keane TM, Adams GA. Resilience-recovery factors in post-traumatic stress disorder among female and male Vietnam veterans: hardiness, postwar social support, and additional stressful life events. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998;74:420–34.

  7. 7.

    Kang HK, Mahan CM, Lee KY, Magee CA, Mather SH, Matanoski G. Pregnancy outcomes among U.S. women Vietnam veterans. Am J Ind Med. 2000;38:447–54.

  8. 8.

    Kang HK, Mahan CM, Lee KY, Magee CA, Selvin S. Prevalence of gynecologic cancers among female Vietnam veterans. J Occup Environ Med. 2000;42:1121–7.

  9. 9.

    Hankin CS, Skinner KM, Sullivan LM, Miller DR, Frayne S, Tripp TJ. Prevalence of depressive and alcohol abuse symptoms among women VA outpatients who report experiencing sexual assault while in the military. J Trauma Stress. 1999;12:601–12.

  10. 10.

    Frayne SM, Skinner KM, Sullivan LM, et al. Medical profile of women Veterans Administration outpatients who report a history of sexual assault occurring while in the military. J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 1999;8:835–4.

  11. 11.

    Skinner KM, Furey J. The focus on women veterans who use Veterans Administration health care: the Veterans Administration women’s health project. Mil Med. 1998;163:761–6.

  12. 12.

    Skinner KM, Kressin N, Frayne SM, et al. Prevalence of military sexual assault among female Veterans’ Administration outpatients. J Interpers Violence. 2000;15:291–310.

  13. 13.

    Barnard K, Frayne SM, Skinner KM, Sullivan LM. Health status among women with menstrual symptoms. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2003;12:911–9.

  14. 14.

    Frayne SM, Seaver MR, Loveland S, et al. Burden of medical illness in women with depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Arch Intern Med. 2004;164:1306–12.

  15. 15.

    Weaver F, Hynes DM, Goldberg JM, Khuri S, Daley J, Henderson W. Hysterectomy in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers. Obstet Gynecol. 2001;97:880–4.

  16. 16.

    Weaver F, Hynes DM, Hopkinson W, et al. Preoperative risks and outcomes of hip and knee arthroplasty in the Veterans Health Administration. J Arthroplasty. 2003;18:693–708.

  17. 17.

    Hynes DM, Weaver F, Morrow M, et al. Breast cancer surgery trends and outcomes: results from a national Department of Veterans Affairs study. J Am Coll Surg. 2004;198:707–16.

  18. 18.

    Lamoreaux J. The organizational structure for medical information management in the Department of Veterans Affairs: an overview of major health care databases. Med Care. 1996;34(suppl 3):MS31–44.

  19. 19.

    Goldzweig CL, Balekian T, Rolon C, Yano EM, Shekelle PG. The state of women veterans’ health research: results of a systematic review. J Gen Intern Med. 2006;21(3):S82-S92.

  20. 20.

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health. Agenda for Research on Women’s Health for the 21st Century: A Report of the Task Force on the NIH Women’s Health Research Agenda for the 21st Century, Volume 1. Executive Summary. Bethesda, MD: NIH Publication No. 99-4385, 1999

  21. 21.

    U.S. Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. Defense Women’s Health Research Program. Available at: http://cdmrp.army.mil/annreports/1999annrep/section10.htm. Accessed January 28, 2005.

  22. 22.

    Institute of Medicine. The Program for Research in Military Nursing: Progress and Future Directions. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1996.

  23. 23.

    Haseltine FP, Jacobson BG. Women’s Health Research: A Medical and Policy Primer. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press; 1997.

  24. 24.

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Women Veterans Health Program. Final Report of the National Women Veterans Health Strategic Work Group. Washington, DC: Women Veterans Health Program; 2002.

  25. 25.

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Advisory Committee for Women Veterans. Available at: http://www.va.gov/womenvet/. Accessed February 12, 2004.

  26. 26.

    U.S. Department of Defense. Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). Available at: http://www.dtic.mil/dacowits/. Accessed January 25, 2005.

  27. 27.

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, Office of Research and Development (ORD). VA R&D Women’s Health Research Conference. Available at: http://wwwl.va.gov/resdev/programs/womens_health/conference/default.cfm. Accessed December 18, 2004.

  28. 28.

    Finnegan LP. The NIH Women’s Health Initiative: its evolution and expected contributions to women’s health. Am J Prev Med. 1996;12:292–3.

  29. 29.

    Riley PL, Finnegan LP. Observations from the CDC: the prevention research centers program: collaboration in women’s health. J Womens Health. 1997;6:281–3.

  30. 30.

    Correa-de-Araujo R. A wake-up call to advance women’s health. Women’s Health Issues. 2004;14:31–4.

  31. 31.

    Bierman AS. Climbing out of our boxes. Advancing women’s health for the twenty-first century. Women’s Health Issues. 2003;13:201–3.

  32. 32.

    Satcher D. American women and health disparities. JAMWA. 2001;56:131–3.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Dr. Elizabeth M. Yano PhD.

Additional information

There are no conflicts of interest to declare.

This work was funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Research & Development (Project # CSF 04-376) and the VA HSR&D Center for the Study of Healthcare Provider Behavior (Project # HFP 94-028) and overseen by the VA Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) Service. The project was approved by the IRB at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. We are indebted to John Demakis, MD, Shirley Meehan, PhD, MBA, Martha Bryan, EdD, and Serena Chu, PhD, in VA HSR&D Service for planning support; Ismelda Canelo, Sam Garcia, Lisa Tarr, Lorena Barrios, Allyson Szabo, and Vera Snyder-Schwartz at the VA Greater Los Angeles HSR&D Center of Excellence for project support; Brigadier General Wilma L. Vaught (USAF, Ret.), former Department of Veterans Affairs’ Chief of Staff Nora Egan, Deputy Under Secretary for Health Michael Kussman, MD, and Deputy Under Secretary for Health for Operations and Management Laura Miller, CHE, MBA, for their leadership support; and Rosaly Correa-de-Araujo, MD, PhD, of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Loretta Finnegan, MD, of the NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health, for serving as conference panelists. We would also like to acknowledge the input of all conference participants. This work was partially presented and generated at the National VA Women’s Health Research Agenda-Setting Conference held in Arlington, Virginia, November 8–9, 2004. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yano, E.M., Bastian, L.A., Frayne, S.M. et al. Toward a VA women’s health research agenda: Setting evidence-based priorities to improve the health and health care of women veterans. J GEN INTERN MED 21, S93–S101 (2006) doi:10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00381.x

Download citation

Key words

  • women’s health
  • research and development
  • research priorities
  • veterans
  • health care quality
  • access and evaluation