Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 47 Number 8, 2010
   Pages 763 — 772

Abstract —  Creating a sampling frame for population-based veteran research: Representativeness and overlap of VA and Department of Defense databases

Donna L. Washington, MD, MPH;1-3* Su Sun, MPH;1-2 Mark Canning, BA1-2

1Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA; 2VA Greater Los Angeles Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence, VA Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center and Nursing Home, Sepulveda, CA; 3Department of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Abstract — Most veteran research is conducted in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare settings, although most veterans obtain healthcare outside the VA. Our objective was to determine the adequacy and relative contributions of Veterans Health Administration (VHA), Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), and Department of Defense (DOD) administrative databases for representing the U.S. veteran population, using as an example the creation of a sampling frame for the National Survey of Women Veterans. In 2008, we merged the VHA, VBA, and DOD databases. We identified the number of unique records both overall and from each database. The combined databases yielded 925,946 unique records, representing 51% of the 1,802,000 U.S. women veteran population. The DOD database included 30% of the population (with 8% overlap with other databases). The VHA enrollment database contributed an additional 20% unique women veterans (with 6% overlap with VBA databases). VBA databases contributed an additional 2% unique women veterans (beyond 10% overlap with other databases). Use of VBA and DOD databases substantially expands access to the population of veterans beyond those in VHA databases, regardless of VA use. Adoption of these additional databases would enhance the value and generalizability of a wide range of studies of both male and female veterans.

Key words: administrative databases, ambulatory care/utilization, hospital, VA nonuser, veteran indicator, veteran population, veteran sampling frame, veterans/utilization, women veterans, women's health services.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 47, No. 8
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Washington DL, Sun S, Canning M. Creating a sampling frame for population-based veteran research: Representativeness and overlap of VA and Department of Defense databases. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2010;47(8):763-72.
1Personal communication, George Fitzgerald, III, Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC); May 27, 2008.

Last Reviewed or Updated  Wednesday, October 27, 2010 11:46 AM

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