Veterans' Preferences for Receiving Information About VA Services: Is Getting the Information You Want Related to Increased Health Care Utilization?
Although the current cohort of returning veterans has engaged more fully with care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) than have veterans from previous eras, concern remains regarding low engagement with VA services, particularly for specialty services for diagnoses that can most negatively impact quality of life. This study used the framework of the Andersen Model to examine factors related to VA health care use in Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans. Match between veterans' preferences for source of information about VA programs and veterans' actual sources of information about VA services was examined as an additional predictor of help seeking. The study included 1,161 veterans recruited from the southeast United States. Results suggested that veterans prefer to receive information from VA publications and the web, whereas they actually receive information from VA publications and other veterans. Logistic regression suggested that the number of deployments, income, distance to VA, VA disability rating, self-rated health, and match between preferred source of information and actual source of information were significantly related to the use of VA services since deployment. These results suggest that future outreach efforts should focus on targeting veterans' health needs and preferences for care and source of information.
Fleming, E; Crawford, EF; Calhoun, PS; Kudler, H; Straits-Troster, KA
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