Office of Research & Development

VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
This Issue: Ensuring High-Quality Care | Table of Contents: Fall 2016 | Download this issue

Noteworthy Publications

Disparities between rural and urban Veterans


A VA team analyzed data from a national telephone survey of women Veterans to learn about differences in health and health care between rural and urban dwellers.
A VA team analyzed data from a national telephone survey of women Veterans to learn about differences in health and health care between rural and urban dwellers. (Photo: ©iStock/apflite)

A VA team analyzed data from a national telephone survey of women Veterans to learn about differences in health and health care between rural and urban dwellers. (Photo: ©iStock/apflite)

Rural women Veterans have significantly worse physical health functioning than urban women Veterans, according to a study in the July 28, 2016, Journal of Rural Health.

Researchers from the VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System and the VA Center from Comprehensive Access and Delivery Research and Education (CADRE) in Iowa City used data from the 2008-2009 National Survey of Women Veterans.

They also found that rural women Veterans were more likely to have a VA facility at which they regularly received care, and were also more likely to use VA care compared to care from other providers. They also had fewer non-VA health care visits, although the overall number of health care visits for both groups was similar.

Barriers to care for rural women Veterans included affordability and the availability of transportation. For urban women Veterans, the main challenge was getting time off from work.

The team concluded that VA has a crucial role to play in addressing disparities in health and health care access for rural women Veterans, and must continue to explore and develop innovative care models.


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