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Caring for veterans in US civilian primary care: qualitative interviews with primary care providers

Caring for veterans in US civilian primary care: qualitative interviews with primary care providers

Family Practice 2018

Non-VA health care providers in the USA have been called upon to screen patients for veteran status as a means to better identify military-related health sequelae. Despite this recognized need, many service members are still not being asked about veteran status. The purpose of this research was to qualitatively assess, from non-VA primary care providers' point-of-view, barriers to providing care to veterans, the training providers perceive as most useful and the tools and translational processes they think would be most valuable in increasing military cultural competency. Semi-structured qualitative interviews, with non-VA primary care providers (N = 10) as part of a larger quantitative study of primary care providers' attitudes around veteran care. Interviews asked about providers' approach to addressing veteran status in their practice and their thoughts on how to address the needs of this population. Qualitative data were analyzed using a thematic content analysis approach. Three major themes were identified: (i) barriers to caring for patients who are identified as veterans, (ii) thoughts on tools that might help better identify and screen veteran patients and (iii) thoughts on translating and implementing new care processes for veteran patients into everyday practice. Our study identified barriers related to non-VA providers' ability to care for veterans among their patients and possible mechanisms for improving recognition of veterans in civilian health care settings. There is a need for further research to understand how assessment, screening and follow up care for veteran patients is best implemented into civilian primary care settings.

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Accession: 065719189

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30281097

DOI: 10.1093/fampra/cmy078

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