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Mil Med. 1999 Apr;164(4):283-8.

Patient satisfaction with Department of Veterans Affairs health care: do women differ from men?

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Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economic Research, Bedford VAMC, MA, USA.


This study compared the patient satisfaction of female and male veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs health care and examined the relationship between sociodemographic characteristics and satisfaction in men and women. Using data from the Department of Veterans Affairs Women's Health Project (N = 719) and the Veterans Health Study (N = 600), we examined women's and men's unadjusted and adjusted mean scores on three dimensions of satisfaction: location of health care facility, access to health care, and prescription services. Although the unadjusted results indicated that women were less satisfied with both location and access, there were no differences in satisfaction with prescription services. After adjusting for age and then for both age and a recent physician visit, women remained less satisfied with location but were more satisfied with prescription services; there were no differences on access ratings. In an exploratory analysis, we examined the relationships between sociodemographic, military experience, and health characteristics and satisfaction within each sample. Older age was the only characteristic consistently positively associated with each dimension of satisfaction among both women and men. General health perceptions were positively associated with all three dimensions of women's satisfaction but with only the location dimension for men. Although other characteristics were associated with satisfaction within each sample, these differed for women and men. The results suggest that although there were not consistent differences in mean satisfaction ratings by gender, the characteristics associated with satisfaction differed for men and women.

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