As more women veterans seek health care in the Veterans Administration (VA) system, effective approaches are needed to ensure that their unique needs are recognized and met. A special April supplement to Medical Care collects new studies from an ongoing research initiative to inform health care policy for women veterans. The journal ispublished by Wolters Kluwer.
"The goal of this supplement is to disseminate new research findings related to the planning, organization, financing, provision, evaluation and improvement of health services and/or outcomes for women veterans and women actively serving in the military," according to an introductory editorial. Guest Editors for the special issue were drawn from the VA Women's Health Research Network, led by Lori A. Bastian, MD, MPH, of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven. The supplement was sponsored by the VA Health Services Research & Development (HSR&D) Service in the Office of Research and Development.
Research to Guide Policy on Health Care for Women Veterans
The number of women veterans receiving care in the VA system has more than doubled, making it essential to understand and introduce system-wide policies to meet their health care needs. The 21 studies in the special issue provide new data to guide policy in areas identified by the VA HSR&D Service's Women's Health Research agenda, including:
A final section on using research evidence to transform women veterans' health and health care identifies "top priority recommendations" for providing gender-sensitive care in each area of comprehensive women's health care. These recommendations can help to guide quality improvement efforts, but will require "multi-level engagement of a broad array of key stakeholders."
In an editorial, David Atkins, MD, MPH, and Linda Lipson, MA, of the HSR&D Service highlight important issues for further research in the wake of the 2014 Veterans Choice Act, which broadens veterans' access to health care services. Kristin Mattocks, PhD, of VA Central Western Massachusetts, Leeds, discusses the policy challenges of coordinating care for women veterans using dual health care systems -- both inside and outside the VA.
Elizabeth M. Yano, PhD, MSPH, of the VA Greater Los Angeles HSR&D Center for the Study of Healthcare Innovation, Implementation & Policy reports on the Women's Health Collaborative Research to Advance Transformation and Excellence (CREATE) -- a new "partnered research initiative" seeking to accelerate the implementation of comprehensive care for women veterans. The guest editors conclude, "Researchers should continue to engage in effective partnerships with clinical and administrative leaders within the VA to ensure that research is fully capable of informing improvements in clinical care and advancing evidence-based policy," the editors conclude.
Click here to read the Women Veteran's Health and Health Care supplement.: http://journals.lww.com/lww-medicalcare/pages/toc.aspx?year=2015&issue=04001
Materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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