Mental health, quality of life, and health functioning in women veterans: differential outcomes associated with military and civilian sexual assault

J Interpers Violence. 2007 Feb;22(2):179-97. doi: 10.1177/0886260506295347.


The present study examined psychiatric, physical, and quality-of-life functioning in a sample of 270 women veterans receiving outpatient treatment at a Veterans Affairs medical center. Participants were interviewed regarding their civilian (CSA) and military sexual assault (MSA) histories, and data regarding quality of life and health outcomes were obtained through structured interviews and questionnaires. Women veterans with CSA histories reported significantly poorer physical, psychiatric, and quality-of-life functioning compared to those without a history of sexual assault. Furthermore, women veterans with an MSA history demonstrated additional negative consequences above and beyond the effects of CSA. The study sample was comparable to a national random sample of women veterans who access care in the Veterans Affairs healthcare system, increasing the generalizibility of the results.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life*
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Rape / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans / psychology*
  • Veterans / statistics & numerical data
  • Women's Health*