Clinical Complexity in Women Veterans: A Systematic Review of the Recent Evidence on Mental Health and Physical Health Comorbidities

Suzannah K. Creech, Carey S. Pulverman, Jennifer N. Crawford, Ryan Holliday, Lindsey L. Monteith, Keren Lehavot, Jennifer Olson-Madden, Ursula A. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

A recent evidence map focused on women veterans underscored the limited number of articles published on mental health comorbid with physical health conditions in this population. The quality of this small body of research has yet to be evaluated. The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate and synthesize research published between 2008 and 2015 and identified in the Women Veterans’ Health Research Evidence Map as related to mental and physical health comorbidities among women veterans. Following PRISMA guidelines, 23 published studies were identified and 21 were included in the review. In general, significant associations between several mental health conditions (e.g., depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance use disorders) and physical health disorders (e.g., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, obesity, pain, and urinary symptoms) and health behaviors (e.g., preventative care and treatment adherence) were noted. The majority of studies were rated as low risk of bias, with selection and detection bias most frequently observed across studies. Additionally, gaps in the recent literature were observed, including the need for further investigation of the role of medical conditions in complicating mental health symptoms and care provision. Results underscore the importance of healthcare providers attending to women veterans’ mental and physical health simultaneously and irrespective of setting. Further, while the Department of Veterans Affairs continues to make sizable gains in its focus on women veterans’ health, continued research on several health domains is needed to ensure adequate understanding of the health needs of women veterans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBehavioral Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Veterans
Comorbidity
Mental Health
Veterans Health
Women's Health
Health
Research
Preventive Medicine
Selection Bias
Health Behavior
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Health Personnel
Substance-Related Disorders
Cardiovascular Diseases
Obesity
Guidelines
Depression
Hypertension
Delivery of Health Care
Pain

Keywords

  • clinical complexity
  • comorbidity
  • health behaviors
  • mental health
  • physical health
  • women veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

Clinical Complexity in Women Veterans : A Systematic Review of the Recent Evidence on Mental Health and Physical Health Comorbidities. / Creech, Suzannah K.; Pulverman, Carey S.; Crawford, Jennifer N.; Holliday, Ryan; Monteith, Lindsey L.; Lehavot, Keren; Olson-Madden, Jennifer; Kelly, Ursula A.

In: Behavioral Medicine, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Creech, Suzannah K. ; Pulverman, Carey S. ; Crawford, Jennifer N. ; Holliday, Ryan ; Monteith, Lindsey L. ; Lehavot, Keren ; Olson-Madden, Jennifer ; Kelly, Ursula A. / Clinical Complexity in Women Veterans : A Systematic Review of the Recent Evidence on Mental Health and Physical Health Comorbidities. In: Behavioral Medicine. 2019.
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