Health Care Utilization and Satisfaction Concerning rnender-Specific Health Problems Among Military Women


Name: Penny Pierce

Rank: Lt Col, USAFR

Organization: The Regents of The Univ. of Michigan

Performance Site: The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, MI

Year Published: 1994

Abstract Status: Completed


This study reports the prevalence of gender-specific health problems in a randomized sample of female Persian Gulf War veterans, their rate of health care utilization, and satisfaction with military and civilian care.The sample was 525 women; 47% active duty, 25% reserves, 27% guard; 20% had left the military; average age, 31.9 years, average military service, 10 years. Of 418 women reporting, 14.5% were E1-E4 and 39.6% E5-E8, 16.0% were O1-O3 and 9.5% O4-O6. Measures included 18 gender-specific problems for which treatment was sought, where received (military, civilian, or Veterans Administration [VA]), and satisfaction.Some 383 women reported at least one condition; 290 used military facilities and 216 civilian; 12 used VA. Active duty women used military services more than reserves and guard.Surprisingly, 41% had experienced pregnancy problems, 34% urinary tract infections (UTI), 33% headaches, 32% menstrual irregularities, 27% abnormal Pap test results, 32% premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and 21% mood swings. Many sought no care for headaches (31%), mood swings (44%), or PMS (43%).Problems were most frequent among women aged 30 to 39 years and fewest in those 40 and over. Women 30 to 39 reported significantly more problems with getting pregnant, miscarriage, pregnancy, UTI, and ovarian cysts. Only breast lumps were associated with those 40+ years; no problem was associated with those 20 to 29 years.Enlisted women reported more symptoms. Junior enlisted women (E-l-E-4) reported the most; menstrual problems, PMS, and birth control problems were significantly related to this group. Symptom frequency differed significantly between active forces, guard, and reserves.Civilian care rated higher for 15 of 18 conditions. More participants were not at all satisfied with military services for 16 conditions. Mean satisfaction scores were military, 3.02, civilian, 3.3, and VA, 2.6.


Final Report available on NTRL: