Dr Gibson says that all healthcare professionals who work with women should be aware that many women regardless of age have a history of trauma, and this can have long-term effects on mental and physical health and functioning throughout the life span.  While providers may already be attuned to addressing these issues with women who have recently separated from service, she says they should not neglect discussing such topics with midlife and older women who may still be affected by them in ways that can affect their health and aging.


“Providers within the VA and the private sector, where an estimated 70% of women veterans receive their care, should be aware of the unique exposures and experiences related to service that influence women veterans’ health and well-being,” she says. They should “talk to patients about their military service, provide psychoeducation about the relationship between trauma and health, and encourage trauma-focused therapy or other means of support as warranted,” she recommends. 


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