A Trial to Maximize the Accuracy of Military Women's GU Deployed Settings 2008


Name: Nancy Ryan-Wenger

Rank: LTC (Retired), USA Reserve

Organization: The Ohio State University Research Foundation

Performance Site: The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; Naval Station San Diego, San Diego, CA

Year Published: 2008

Abstract Status: Final


Vulvovaginal pain, itching, burning, vaginal discharge and dysuria are the most common symptoms reported by women, resulting in up to 18 million office visits per year. These symptoms are often miserable, embarrassing, distracting, decrease the quality of work performance and increase loss of work time. Military women are the population of concern in this proposed study. As of June, 2006, approximately 344,418 active and reserve women accounted for 15.5% of the U. S. military force. Military women regularly deploy to austere military environments including field settings, sea duty, combat operations, and developing countries. Extreme temperatures, primitive sanitary conditions, and limited hygiene and laundry facilities often characterize austere military environments. These factors increase military women's risk for development vaginitis and urinary tract infection. Increased risk is compounded by inadequate management of these conditions due to unavailable or unacceptable health care resources for women.tThis research team has systematically designed and tested the "Women in the Military Self-Diagnosis (WMSD) Kit" for self-diagnosis and self-treatment of vaginal and urinary symptoms. Through an iterative process of data analysis and investigation of new rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests that could be very useful in improving the accuracy of women's self-diagnoses, we have revised some of the components and diagnostic algorithms to form the WMSD-2 Kit. In this proposed study, we will simultaneously: 1) measure whether or not women can accurately conduct the tests included in the Kit, 2) determine which level and intensity of training in the use of the Kit is required to yield the most accurate results, and 3) analyze which combination of Kit components and diagnostic algorithms yield the most accurate results, compared to standardized specimens. The ultimate goal of this program of research is to provide deployed military women with a field-expedient kit to accurately self-diagnose genitourinary infections, including diagnosis-specific single-dose oral medications and other products to alleviate symptoms. Timely and accurate management of these symptoms during deployment is of particular concern to the military because optimal health and functioning of all troops are critical to unit safety and success of the war, peacekeeping, or humanitarian mission. Throughout this program of research, we have consistently received enthusiastic support from military women and military nurses for the importance of the work to the quality of life for women during deployment.


Final report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/PB2013106534.xhtml