SOURCE: Epidemiologic Research and Information Center, VA Puget Sound Medical Center, 1100 Olive Way, Metropolitan Park West, Suite 1400, Seattle, WA 98101, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterans with disabilities are at an increased risk of secondary impairments and may have difficulty accessing preventive services; accessibility may differ between Veterans who do and do not receive care at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. We used data from the 2003 and 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys to evaluate associations between disability and receipt of preventive services in Veterans. Veterans with a disability were more likely to have received influenza vaccinations (VA users and nonusers), pneumococcal vaccinations (VA nonusers: p < 0.001; VA users: p = 0.073), weight management counseling (VA nonusers: p < 0.001; male VA users: p < 0.001), lower gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy (VA nonusers: 50-64 yr, p = 0.03; VA users: ≥65 yr, p = 0.085), mammography (VA users: p = 0.097), and serum cholesterol screening (VA nonusers: p < 0.001). Receipt was similar by disability status for fecal occult blood test (FOBT), lower GI endoscopy (VA users: 50-64 yr), human immunodeficiency virus testing, and cervical cancer screening. For no measure was there significantly lower receipt in those with versus without a disability, although there was marginal evidence in VA nonusers for overall colorectal cancer screening (i.e., lower GI endoscopy or FOBT: p = 0.063). Among Veterans, having a disability did not appear to be a barrier to receiving appropriate preventive care.