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Satisfaction with pain treatment in OEF/OIF veterans

      Satisfaction with pain treatment is an important predictor of overall treatment adherence and retention in medical care. Studies have found that pain severity is related to satisfaction with pain treatment. Although there is little data on Veterans’ satisfaction with pain treatment, recent reports reveal gender differences in pain prevalence and severity among Veterans who use the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) system of care. This suggests that women, who make up an increasing number of active military personnel and Veterans, may experience less satisfaction with pain treatment than men. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans who recently separated from military service, who had 1 or more VHA visits. Data on age, sex, race, education, depression, type of provider (VA only, non-VA only, or both), average pain in the past week, and percent of pain relief were assessed. Participants in the sample were 44.7% male and 55.3% female. In a multivariate logistic analysis, average pain over the past week and percentage of pain relief were significant predictors of satisfaction with pain treatment (p<0.001). Gender was also found to be a significant predictor, with female Veterans having 37.5% less satisfaction with pain treatment compared to male Veterans (p=0.0475). These results suggest that gender disparities exist for satisfaction with pain treatment.