Deployed military women: A second look at gender-specific infections
This descriptive, cross-sectional study addressed the relationship between variables of deployed military women and prevalence of gender-specific infections. The analysis of secondary data will look at the last deployment experience of 880 randomly selected U.S. military women who completed a mailed questionnaire (Deployed Female Health Practice Questionnaire (FHPQ)) in June 1998. The questionnaire contained 191 items with 80 data elements and one page for the subject's written comments. The broad categories of the questionnaire included: health practices, health promotion, disease prevention and treatment, reproduction, lifestyle management, military characteristics and demographics. The research questions are: (1) What is the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases (STD), urinary tract infections (UTI) and vaginal infections (VI) related to demographic data, military characteristics, behavioral risk factors and health practices of military women during their last deployment? and (2) What are the differences between STD, UTI and VI related to the demographic data, military characteristics, behavioral risk factors and health practices of military women during their last deployment. The results showed that (1) STDs were found to be significantly associated with age and rank but not location of deployment or military branch; (2) UTI were found to be significantly associated with intrauterine device (IUD) use, prior UTI and type of items used for menses management, but not education or age; and (3) VI were significantly associated with age, rank and deployment location but not ethnicity or education. Although quantitative research exploring hygiene needs of deployed women continues, qualitative studies may uncover further “hidden” issues of importance. It cannot be said that the military has not made proactive changes for women, however, continued efforts to hone these changes are still encouraged. Mandatory debriefings of “seasoned” deployed women soldiers and their experiences would benefit leadership and newly deployed female soldiers with valuable “lessons learned.” Tailored hygiene education material, prevention education classes, easy access website with self-care algorithms, pre-deployment physicals, revision of military protocols for health care providers related to screening, diagnosing and treatment of gender-specific infections and process changes in military supply network of hygiene items for women are offered as recommendations.
Public health|Armed forces
Pitts, Kathleen, "Deployed military women: A second look at gender-specific infections" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1445489.