Attitudes, Practices, and Experiences with Implementing a Patient-Centered Medical Home for Women Veterans

Published in: Women's Health Issues, [Epub January 2017]; doi:10.1016/j.whi.2016.11.008

Posted on RAND.org on March 14, 2017

by Lisa S. Meredith, Yan Wang, Adeyemi Theophilus Okunogbe, Alicia A Bergman, Ismelda A. Canelo, Jill Darling, Elizabeth Yano

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Background

Despite the growing demand for health care among women veterans in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), little is known about the perspectives of primary care providers (PCPs) and other primary care staff about the care they provide to women veterans. We sought to understand whether barriers to, attitudes about, and practices in caring for women veterans were associated with two measures of implementation of the VHA patient-centered medical home for women veterans (self-efficacy and satisfaction).

Methods

We administered a cross-sectional survey by Internet from September 8 2014, through April 27, 2015 (and by mail from December 16 2014, through June 18, 2015) to all PCPs and affiliated primary care staff in 12 VHA medical centers. We used descriptive and bivariate analyses to characterize their barriers, attitudes, and practices regarding care for women veterans; and ordinary least squares regression to identify associations with satisfaction and self-efficacy regarding medical home implementation for women veterans among members of a VHA patient-centered medical home teamlet for women patients.

Results

Of 775 surveys sent, 288 were completed (94 PCPs and 194 staff) for a response rate of 37% (33% for PCPs; 39% for staff). On average, providers had one female patient for every five patients in their panels. Lower perceived barriers, higher gender-sensitive attitudes, and being a PCP were significantly associated with satisfaction and self-efficacy of patient-centered medical home for women patients.

Conclusions

Training efforts focused on eliminating perceived barriers and strengthening positive attitudes toward women may be more successful than changing women's health practice characteristics alone.

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