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Research Topics
Health and Human Services Department of Defense Veterans Affairs Health and Human Services Gulf War Information Department of Defense Gulf War Information Veterans Affairs Gulf War Information Home Home Advanced Search Glossary FAQs Site Map Contact Us
 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas
Research Topics
ACCIDENTS & INJURIES
BONE, JOINT & MUSCLE
BRAIN & NERVOUS
CANCER
CARDIOVASCULAR
CHEMICAL WARFARE
DIGESTIVE HEALTH
ENVIRONMENTAL & OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
FAMILY HEALTH
GENERAL HEALTH & PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
GENETIC STUDIES
HEALTH RESEARCH OF ALLIED FORCES
IMMUNE/BLOOD SYSTEM
INFECTIONS
LUNG & RESPIRATORY
MENTAL HEALTH
MILITARY WORKING DOGS
MORTALITY/DEATH
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH/OUTCOMES
SLEEP DISORDER
Treatment
VACCINES & PROTECTIVE MEDICATIONS
General Health & Physical Symptoms
General
Project Summary

Title: Physical and Emotional Health of Gulf War Veterans Women
Synopsis: This study will compare the prevalence of general and gender specific health problems between female veterans deployed to the Gulf War and those deployed elsewhere.
Overall Project Objective: This study will compare the prevalence of general and gender specific health problems in 900 Air force women deployed to the Gulf and 900 Air Force women deployed elsewhere.
Project:DoD-45
Agency:Department Of Defense
Location:University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
P.I. Name:Penny Pierce, Ph. D.
Research Type:Clinical
Research Focus:Symptoms & General Health
Focus Category:General Health & Physical Symptoms
Status:Complete
Study Start Date:September 01,1996
Estimated Completion Date:August 31,1999
Specific Aims: To assess whether the prevalence of health problems remain elevated in women deployed to the Gulf at six years post deployment, after controlling for potentially confounding factors such as age, reproductive history, sexual history, and lifestyle factors.
Methodology: This research is to describe the incidence, prevalence, and nature of symptoms associated with Persian Gulf War service within a randomized sample of Air Force women. Our design is developed on previous experience with two studies of Gulf War veteran women as well as the recommendations of numerous military and civilian scientific groups established to address this body of research. Specifically, in previous studies we have used a comparison group of women deployed to sites other than the theater of the war under the assumption they were physically fit for duty and would provide a better comparison than those who did not deploy perhaps for physical health reasons. Further sampling strategies will follow the recommendations for both the National Institutes of Health (NIH, 1994) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM, 1995; Roberts, 1995), who both call for well-designed epidemiologic studies. In both our previous studies we used a randomized stratified factorial design (theater vs. non-theater; parent vs. non-parent; and component (active, guard, and reserve). Similar sampling procedures will be used in this study in order to control for potentially confounding effects of component and paternal status. This study will also include detailed information on sexual, reproductive, and menstrual history to allow for more complete analyses of findings. Sample size and power will detect differences observed in previous studies. Data collection involves recruiting the study participants and maximizing the response rate while minimizing attrition. A single comprehensive questionnaire will provide basic demographic, socionomic, and background information and include measures of general physical health and measures of gender-specific health. Mental health measures include assessment of depression, somatization, and 8 post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) questions specific to Gulf War service and will include a stressful life event measure. Data processing includes all appropriate range and logic checks. Statistical analyses include descriptive statistics, cross tabulations with chi-square and t-tests, distributions, and multiple regression analyses for health outcomes and deployment status.
Most Recent Publications:

Pierce P, Vinokur A, Buck C. Effects of war-induced maternal separation on children's adjustment during the Gulf War and two years later. J Applied Social Psychology, No 14, July 16-31, 1998. Article

Pierce P, Antonakos C, Deroba B. Health care utilization and satisfaction concerning gender-specific health problems among military women. Military Medicine, 164(2):98-102, Feb 1999. Abstract

Pierce P. Physical and emotional health of Gulf War veteran women. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 68(4):317-21, Apr 1997. Abstract

Pierce P. Retention among Air Force women serving during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Military Psychology, 10 (3), 195 ,213, 1998. Article

Pierce P. The Military and Health. Behavioral medicine for women: A comprehensive handbook., pp. 323-328, 1998. Book

Vinokur A, Pierce P, Buck C. Work-family conflicts of women in the Air Force: Their influence on mental health and functioning. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 20, 865-878, 1999. Article