December 10, 2009

On November 18th, 2009 the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that they will be initiating a comprehensive study on Vietnam-era women veterans. The study will assess women veterans who may have had direct and indirect exposure to trauma. From the assessment, researchers are hoping to answer how many women developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or depression after their service. In addition, they would like to determine how many are still coping with those conditions and are those conditions prevalent among those who served.

The VA will contact approximately 10,000 women who served in the United States Military during the Vietnam-era for participation in mailed survey, telephone interview, and a review of medical records. The overall results of the study will help VA providers to understand the health services needs of this age group of women and future generations of women veterans.

The study will be chaired by, Dr Kathy Magruder, epidemiologist at Charleston (S.C.) VAMC; Dr Amy Kilbourne, mental health researcher for VA at Ann Arbor; and Dr Han Kang, Director of Environmental Epidemiology Service and the Warrelated Illness and Injury study Center in Washington DC. The study is slated to last under five years and will cost $5.6 million.