Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



School of Nursing


Adult Health

Committee Chair

Kari Sand-Jecklin

Committee Member

Roger Carpenter

Committee Member

Suzy Mascaro Walter

Committee Member

Todd Fredricks


BACKGROUND: Women veterans require care for unique gender, and war-related health issues. Concerns exist regarding non-Veterans Health Administration (VHA), civilian healthcare providers’ preparedness to deliver care to the veteran population. Health outcomes are influenced by the quality of care provided to patients. There is a significant gap in the literature with regard to woman veterans’ perspectives about the quality of the patient-provider interaction between women veterans and non-VHA, civilian providers.

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to describe women veterans’ perspectives about interactions between themselves and civilian providers and to critically analyze the veterans’ data to further inform the use of the Interaction Model of Client Health Behavior.

METHODS: A qualitative descriptive methodology was employed. A purposive sampling plan was used to recruit 13 women veteran participants who exclusively obtained care from non-VHA, civilian healthcare providers. Data collection and analysis was guided by directed content analysis.

RESULTS: Six themes surrounding the four factors that comprise the patient-provider interaction element of the model emerged and were coherent with the model. Affective support is knowing me as a person by hearing my story and being attentive to my needs. Professional-technical competence is recognizing and acknowledging women are veterans, comprehending the military experience, and being thorough and accepting accountability for attending to a health concern. Information giving is uncomplicated explanation that facilitates decision making. Decisional control is collaborating by seeking input, providing options, and supporting decisions.

CONCLUSIONS: The themes indicate that among non-VHA, civilian providers, there is an absence of consistent screening for military service in female patients, a deficit in knowledge regarding the role and experiences of women during military service, and the need for additional training about military-related health conditions. Further, the themes highlight the importance of the woman veteran’s story, as well as the need to recognize and acknowledge the service of women veterans. Finally, the themes inform the use of the IMCHB to guide research, practice, and policy related to the care of women veterans who obtain care from non-VHA, civilian providers.