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Bean-Mayberry B, Huang C, Batuman F, et al. Systematic Review of Women Veterans Health Research 2004–2008 [Internet]. Washington (DC): Department of Veterans Affairs (US); 2010 Oct.

Cover of Systematic Review of Women Veterans Health Research 2004–2008

Systematic Review of Women Veterans Health Research 2004–2008 [Internet].

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INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND

Women are playing an ever increasing role in the US military, representing about 15% of active military personnel, 17% of reserve and National Guard forces, and 20% of new military recruits. Concurrently, women are one of the fastest growing groups of new users in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System, with particularly high rates of utilization among veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Of the more than 100,000 OEF/OIF women veterans, over 44% have enrolled in the VA system for health care2. Thus, women veterans represent an integral part of the veteran community.

Women’s military experiences and responses to their military experiences are often distinct from those of men, and these differences can affect both their health status and their health care needs as active duty personnel and as veterans. This, together with the rise in the number of women veterans in the VA system, calls for increased understanding of women veteran health issues and areas of potential knowledge deficit in order to guide VA care and VA research efforts. The body of research literature dedicated to women veterans and women’s military health and health care issues has significantly grown and expanded in size and scope since the publication of the first systematic review of women veterans research1. This project updated that review by examining the literature on women veterans’ health and health care from 2004 to 2008.

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