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Combat, Sexual Assault, and Post-Traumatic Stress in OIF/OEF Military Women

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Annual rept. 1 Jul 2008-30 Jun 2009

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This research addresses DoD and DVA health care delivery needs of two priority populations women exposed to combat, and women sexually assaulted during military. There is a limited understanding of the complex relationship between these traumatic exposures and womens health outcomes such as post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD and traumatic brain injury TBI and with their subsequent health service use or barriers to care. The objectives of this study focus on identification of the antecedent risks for and consequent health outcomes of traumatic exposures assault, combat and barriers to DoD. VA and civilian health care for Regular Military RM servicewomen. We also seek to identify differences in these outcomes between RM and Reserve and National Guard RNG servicewomen interviewed in our concurrent VA study. This study has a cross sectional study design with two sequential phases. Phase I will include focus groups to refine study questions specific to RM service women. Phase 2 will involve telephone interviews of 769 RM service women. Findings We have completed two focus groups with US Military Academy trained officers. We have obtained a refusal from one and approval from two base commanders to perform focus groups. We are continuing requests for focus groups at remaining study bases. There will be significant implication for DoD and DVA policy and resource allocation if we find identifiable risk or protective factors associated with deployed RM service womens violence exposures, andor an association between deployed womens military response to their traumatic exposures and their current health status and access to care.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Stress Physiology
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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