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Research Topics
Health and Human Services Department of Defense Veterans Affairs Health and Human Services Gulf War Information Department of Defense Gulf War Information Veterans Affairs Gulf War Information Home Home Advanced Search Glossary FAQs Site Map Contact Us
 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas
Research Topics
ACCIDENTS & INJURIES
BONE, JOINT & MUSCLE
BRAIN & NERVOUS
CANCER
CARDIOVASCULAR
CHEMICAL WARFARE
DIGESTIVE HEALTH
ENVIRONMENTAL & OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
FAMILY HEALTH
GENERAL HEALTH & PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
GENETIC STUDIES
HEALTH RESEARCH OF ALLIED FORCES
IMMUNE/BLOOD SYSTEM
INFECTIONS
LUNG & RESPIRATORY
MENTAL HEALTH
MILITARY WORKING DOGS
MORTALITY/DEATH
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH/OUTCOMES
SLEEP DISORDER
Treatment
VACCINES & PROTECTIVE MEDICATIONS
General Health & Physical Symptoms
General
Project Summary

Title: A Clinical Evaluation of the Health Status of Persian Gulf War Veterans in VISN 8
Synopsis: The overall objective of this administrative survey is to track the health status of Gulf War veterans in the Sunshine Health Care Network (VISN 8 - Florida and South Georgia) over a 5-year period.
Overall Project Objective: Objective health data facilitates the planning and evaluation of health care services to populations. Results of studies indicate that Gulf War veterans rate their health status across several dimensions lower compared to other groups. Therefore, the overall objective of this administrative survey is to track, over time, the health status of Gulf War veterans in the Sunshine Health Care Network (VISN 8) for program planning and evaluation purposes.
Status/Results to Date: VISN 8 Gulf War Veterans had a decline, from baseline to time four, in five out of eight of the summary scores (physical functioning, role physical, bodily pain, general health, and role emotional) and both of the summary component scores. Examining subgroups within this cohort shows that women had higher scores than the men; and physical functioning (p=0.048) and general health (p=0.061) were significantly higher in women. Also, Caucasians had higher scores than non-Caucasians in all summary scores and both component measures. Most of these were statistically significant; physical functioning (p=0.0005), role physical (p=0.0042), bodily pain (p=0.0001), general health (p=0.01), social functioning (0.005), role emotional (p=0.015), mental health (p=0.0001). The repeated measures ANOVA showed that physical functioning (p=0.0352), role physical (p=0.0257), bodily pain (p=0.0272), social functioning (p=0.014), and role emotional (p=0.0003) significantly decreased across time. Lastly, comparing persons who responded at baseline only to those that had any type of follow-up shows that for the mental health measure and mental health component score, drop-outs had significantly lower scores. Therefore, selection bias, related to poor mental health can be ruled out as a possible explanation for poorer self-reported health status over time.
Project:VA-70
Agency:Department Of Veterans' Affairs
Location:VAMC Tampa
P.I. Name:Gail M Powell-Cope
Research Type:Epidemiology
Research Focus:Symptoms & General Health
Focus Category:General Health & Physical Symptoms
Status:Ongoing
Study Start Date:July 01,1998
Estimated Completion Date:June 30,2003
Specific Aims: The specific aim is to evaluate the self-reported health status of a group of Gulf War veterans in Florida and South Georgia over a five-year period. Three years of data have been collected to date.
Methodology: A longitudinal survey design was used. Data was collected at four time periods between July 1998 and July 2000. Sample: This is a cohort of Gulf War Veterans residing in VISN 8 who completed a Gulf War registry exam in Florida or South Georgia. Contacts occurred in the summer of 1998, the summer of 1999, the winter of 1999 and the summer of 2000. Two additional data collection points are planned for the summers of 2001 and 2002. The response rate was 39-82% across time frames. Four hundred and thirty-eight veterans responded to at least three of the four time periods and are included in this analysis. Participants' ages ranged from 25-83 years with a median of 40. The sample was 86% male and 65% Caucasian. Instrument: The MOS SF-36V or Health Survey for Veterans measures eight commonly measured aspects of health using 37 items. The eight concepts are physical functioning, role limitations due to physical health problems, bodily pain, general health perceptions, vitality (energy or fatigue), social functioning, role limitations due to emotional problems and mental health (psychological distress and psychological well-being). Eight corresponding scales are calculated, which in turn, are used to compute two summary components: a physical and a mental health component. Procedures: All veterans who completed a Gulf War registry exam in VISN 8 were mailed a survey packet that contained a letter of participation, the SF-36V and instructions for completing the questionnaire. Surveys were returned in a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Most Recent Publications:
None to date.