Women Veterans and Contraceptive Use: An Analysis of the 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) Open Access

Deans, Liz (2015)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/8336h210v?locale=en


Objective: Women veterans are one of the fastest growing patient groups of the Veteran Administration (VA), however only 14% of women veterans reported seeking care at a VA in 2008-2009. Utilizing national VA databases, one study reported that only 22% of women veterans have a documented contraceptive method. The most recent results from the National Survey for Family Growth report that 62% of reproductive-aged US women use a contraceptive method.

To evaluate if veteran status is associated with contraceptive use, particularly Tier 1 methods, data was analyzed from the 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), which is a nationwide telephone survey assessing health risk behaviors among adults.

Methods: The 2004 BRFSS was the most recent year to include both "Veteran Health" and "Family Planning" as core modules. By utilizing SAS-callable Sudaan, the complex sampling design of the BRFSS was accommodated while analyzing the association between veteran status and contraceptive use among reproductive-aged women.

Results: There were 805 women veterans and 47,347 non-military women of reproductive age at risk of unintended pregnancy. There were no differences in contraceptive use among veterans and non-military women, 88% and 87% respectively. Of women in the West, 76% of veterans and 89% of non-military women at risk of unintended pregnancy reported using any contraceptive method. In the adjusted model, veterans in the West had decreased odds (AOR, 0.40; 95% CI, 0.16-0.97) of using any contraceptive method compared with non-military women. Among contraceptive users, the adjusted odds ratio of using a Tier 1 method was 2.6 times (95% CI, 1.40-4.88) higher for veterans than for non-military women in the West. No associations were observed for the other US regions. There were no statistically significant associations between receipt of healthcare at a VA within a year and contraceptive use among reproductive-aged veterans at risk of unintended pregnancy.

Conclusions: The majority of reproductive-aged veteran and non-military women at risk for unintended pregnancy use contraception. In the West, veterans had decreased odds of using any contraceptive method, but among contraceptive users, veterans had increased odds of using a highly effective, Tier 1 method.

Table of Contents




Discussion 9

References 12

Tables 14

Appendix A 21

Descriptive tables

Appendix B 32

Exclusion criteria

2004 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) Questions 34

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