The authors of this study examined the association between health-related quality of life and financial barriers to care, defined as not getting the needed care due to cost considerations. To better understand health-related quality of life among women veterans, the authors compared women veterans to women non-veterans. The authors conducted cross-sectional analyses using data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey. The authors assessed four health-related quality of life measures: (1) general health; (2) physical health; (3) mental health; and (4) functional status. The authors performed multinomial logistic regressions to examine the relationship between financial barriers to receiving healthcare and health-related quality of life measures after controlling for other independent variables. The authors included women veterans not in active military duty (N = 3,747) and a matched sample of women non-veterans (N = 3,747), selected using a propensity score method so that they would have distributions of demographic and socioeconomic characteristics similar to those of the veterans. Overall, 14% of women reported financial barriers. Women who reported financial barriers to receiving healthcare were more likely to have poor health-related quality of life in all four dimensions than those who did not report such barriers. Compared to women non-veterans, women veterans did not differ in reported financial barriers but were more likely to report poor health-related quality of life. Reporting financial barriers to receiving needed healthcare was significantly associated with poor health-related quality of life among women. Veteran status was also significantly associated with poor health-related quality of life. These findings suggest the need for healthcare policy makers and practitioners to align emerging new models of healthcare delivery to improve health-related quality of life for women veterans.
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