TABLE 1Population Characteristics and Percentage of Veterans Who Used VA Services, 2001

(1) Total Population Characteristics (2) Percent Who Used VA Health Services: Past Year (3) Percent Who Used VA Health Services: Lifetime (4) Characteristics of Veterans Who Used MH/SA Services: Past Year (5) % of MH/SA Services Users Who Used VHA MH/SA Services
[Population] Size 25,196,036 5,161,036 8,675,570 1,676,170 681,969
Proportion of All Veterans 20.5% 34.4% 6.6% 2.7%
Who Used Services (41.0% of Col 4)
Sociodemographic
Average Age 57.7 61.7 59.8 50.5 53.4
Age
      <30 3.8% 12.3% 21.2% 5.3% 22.9%
      30–49 25.6% 15.0% 31.3% 41.6% 32.3%
      50–59 24.6% 18.4% 35.1% 32.8% 48.6%
      60–75 29.6% 23.4% 34.0% 14.2% 46.1%
      >75 16.4% 29.0% 42.6% 6.2% 52.0%
Race*
      White 83.3% 19.1% 32.4% 76.8% 37.1%
      Black 8.8% 30.7% 48.7% 12.2% 51.8%
      Hispanic 4.1% 20.1% 35.5% 4.7% 47.1%
      Other 3.9% 27.8% 44.4% 6.3% 54.1%
Gender
      Male 94.1% 20.6% 34.6% 87.7% 42.2%
      Female 5.9% 17.9% 32.5% 12.3% 28.4%
Education
      <High School Graduate 11.2% 33.9% 46.0% 8.37% 54.0%
      High School Graduate 30.0% 21.4% 33.3% 27.8% 45.5%
      Post High School Education 35.8% 19.8% 35.0% 42.4% 39.6%
      4 Yr College Degree or Higher 23.0% 13.9% 29.3% 21.5% 30.2%
Employment
      Employed 55.1% 12.8% 28.2% 46.8% 25.6%
      Retired/Disabled 39.1% 30.3% 42.1% 39.3% 57.7%
      Unemployed/Other 5.9% 26.8% 41.2% 13.8% 42.2%
Marital Status
      Married 75.1% 18.6% 32.3% 59.1% 36.2%
      Widowed 5.31% 25.5% 40.3% 3.0% 33.2%
      Separated/Divorced 12.43% 29.1% 45.5% 25.8% 49.0%
      Never Married 7.18% 22.0% 33.6% 12.1% 45.1%
Income
      <$20,000 17.0% 43.8% 56.4% 27.9% 59.6%
      $20,000–$40,000 27.9% 25.6% 38.6% 30.5% 48.7%
      >$40,000 55.2% 10.2% 25.4% 41.7% 20.7%
Insurance
      Medicaid or Medicare 40.1% 28.7% 41.2% 31.5% 51.0%
      Private 63.3% 10.8% 26.0% 49.3% 20.7%
      Medigap 18.2% 26.1% 38.7% 6.9% 40.1%
      Military Related (for example, CHAMPUS) 7.2% 27.6% 45.7% 8.2% 49.7%
      Other Government Insurance (for example, Indian Health Service) 3.5% 27.7% 45.3% 4.0% 58.5%
Military Experience
Active Duty
      0–2 years 33.2% 20.0% 33.5% 32.1% 39.8%
      3–5 years 46.1% 19.1% 33.0% 42.8% 38.2%
      5 years or more 20.7% 24.5% 39.5% 25.1% 46.1%
Served in a Combat or War Zone 39.3% 26.2% 42.5% 44.9% 50.4%
Exposed to Dead or Wounded 36.7% 26.0% 42.6% 49.8% 48.9%
Prisoner of War .5% 49.3% 64.4% 1.2% 71.6%
Exposed to Environmental Hazards 19.3% 27.3% 45.0% 38.9% 51.1%
Period of Service**
      WWI through WWII 20.5% 28.2% 41.5% 7.5% 50.0%
      Btwn WWII & Korean War 2.4% 28.8% 39.9% 1.0% 68.6%
      Korean War 12.2% 25.7% 37.5% 5.5% 54.0%
      Btwn Korean & Vietnam War 16.3% 19.3% 29.1% 11.8% 46.6%
      Vietnam Era 25.6% 18.0% 37.3% 40.3% 45.1%
      Post-Vietnam Era 17.7% 13.9% 27.8% 25.2% 29.6%
      Persian Gulf War Era (1990–) 4.9% 12.1% 22.3% 8.2% 24.2%
Health Status
Self-Reported Health Status
      Fair-Poor 24.2% 39.9% 54.0% 45.2% 55.2%
      Good 30.2% 19.9% 35.4% 27.3% 38.2%
      Excellent-Very Good 45.6% 9.8% 22.7% 27.5% 17.4%
Any Health Service Use For
      Alcohol or Drugs 1.2% 43.1% 59.4% 10.9% 41.6%
      PTSD 3.8% 57.3% 73.0% 32.5% 60.3%
      Mental Health 6.2% 43.2% 58.1% 52.8% 44.4%
      Any 8.9% 45.1% 61.1% 68.9% 46.8%
Service Connected
      Not Service Connected 87.8% 15.9% 28.5% 69.6% 26.1%
      <50% 9.6% 43.9% 70.5% 17.3% 63.3%
      >50% 2.6% 80.3% 91.2% 13.0% 84.0%
Mental health interferes with work or activities at all 49.9% 29.9% 45.0% 83.0% 43.3%
*

Exclusive categories (veterans in more than one category were classified as other).

**

Exclusive categories (first period of service used).

Exclusive categories (veterans in more than one category were classified as other).

Exclusive categories (first period of service used).

From: Appendix C, Mental and Substance-Use Health Services for Veterans: Experience with Performance Evaluation in the Department of Veterans Affairs

Cover of Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance-Use Conditions
Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance-Use Conditions: Quality Chasm Series.
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Crossing the Quality Chasm: Adaptation to Mental Health and Addictive Disorders.
Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006.
Copyright © 2006, National Academy of Sciences.

NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.