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On February 23, 2018, PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) will be taken offline permanently. No author manuscripts will be deleted, and the approximately 2,900 manuscripts authored by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded researchers currently in the archive will be copied to the National Research Council’s (NRC) Digital Repository over the coming months. These manuscripts along with all other content will also remain publicly searchable on PubMed Central (US) and Europe PubMed Central, meaning such manuscripts will continue to be compliant with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

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Results 1-5 (5)
 

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author:(Robert bossart)
1.  VA Suicide Prevention Applications Network 
Public Health Reports  2016;131(6):816-821.
Objectives:
The US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Suicide Prevention Applications Network (SPAN) is a national system for suicide event tracking and case management. The objective of this study was to assess data on suicide attempts among people using Veterans Health Administration (VHA) services.
Methods:
We assessed the degree of data overlap on suicide attempters reported in SPAN and the VHA’s medical records from October 1, 2010, to September 30, 2014—overall, by year, and by region. Data on suicide attempters in the VHA’s medical records consisted of diagnoses documented with E95 codes from the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision.
Results:
Of 50 518 VHA patients who attempted suicide during the 4-year study period, data on fewer than half (41%) were reported in both SPAN and the medical records; nearly 65% of patients whose suicide attempt was recorded in SPAN had no data on attempted suicide in the VHA’s medical records.
Conclusion:
Evaluation of administrative data suggests that use of SPAN substantially increases the collection of data on suicide attempters as compared with the use of medical records alone, but neither SPAN nor the VHA’s medical records identify all suicide attempters. Further research is needed to better understand the strengths and limitations of both systems and how to best combine information across systems.
doi:10.1177/0033354916670133
PMCID: PMC5230828  PMID: 28123228
veterans; suicide; prevention
2.  Demographic, Military, and Health Characteristics of VA Health Care Users and Nonusers Who Served in or During Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2009-2011 
Public Health Reports  2016;131(6):839-843.
An estimated 60% of all Operation Enduring Freedom / Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans who have left the military had used the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care services as of March 31, 2015. What is not known, however, are the differences in demographic, military, and health characteristics between OEF/OIF veterans who use the VA for health care and OEF/OIF veterans who do not. We used data from the 2009-2011 National Health Study for a New Generation of US Veterans to explore these differences. We found that VA health care users were more likely than non-VA health care users to be non-Hispanic black, to be unmarried, to have served on active duty and in the army, to have been deployed to OEF/OIF, and to have an annual income less than $35 000. The prevalence of 21 chronic medical conditions was higher among VA health care users than among non-VA health care users. OEF/OIF veterans using the VA for health care differ from nonusers with respect to demographic, military, and health characteristics. These data may be useful for developing programs and policies to address observed health disparities and achieve maximum benefit for the VA beneficiary population.
doi:10.1177/0033354916676279
PMCID: PMC5230837  PMID: 28123232
OEF/OIF; veterans; Department of Veterans Affairs
3.  Cigarette Smoking and Sociodemographic, Military, and Health Characteristics of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans 
Public Health Reports  2016;131(5):714-727.
Objective:
We examined the sociodemographic, military, and health characteristics of current cigarette smokers, former smokers, and nonsmokers among Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) / Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veterans and estimated smoking prevalence to better understand cigarette use in this population.
Methods:
We analyzed data from the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 2009-2011 National Health Study for a New Generation of US Veterans. On the basis of a stratified random sample of 60 000 OEF/OIF veterans, we sought responses to a 72-item questionnaire via mail, telephone, or Internet. Cigarette smoking status was based on self-reported cigarette use in the past year. We used multinomial logistic regression to evaluate associations between smoking status and sociodemographic, military, and health characteristics.
Results:
Among 19 911 veterans who provided information on cigarette smoking, 5581 were current smokers (weighted percentage: 32.5%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 31.7-33.2). Current smokers were more likely than nonsmokers or former smokers to be younger, to have less education or income, to be separated/divorced or never married/single, and to have served on active duty or in the army. Comparing current smokers and nonsmokers, some significant associations from adjusted analyses included the following: having a Mental Component Summary score (a measure of overall mental health) above the mean of the US population relative to below the mean (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.73-0.90); having physician-diagnosed depression (aOR = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.33-1.74), respiratory conditions (aOR = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.04-1.30), or repeated seizures/blackouts/convulsions (aOR = 1.80, 95% CI: 1.22-2.67); heavy alcohol use vs never use (aOR = 5.49, 95% CI: 4.57-6.59); a poor vs excellent perception of overall health (aOR = 3.79, 95% CI: 2.60-5.52); and being deployed vs nondeployed (aOR = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.78-0.96). Using health care services from the VA protected against current smoking.
Conclusion:
Mental and physical health, substance use, and military service characteristics shape cigarette-smoking patterns in OEF/OIF veterans.
doi:10.1177/0033354916664864
PMCID: PMC5230820  PMID: 28123213
veterans; cigarettes; smoking; OEF/OIF; Operation Iraqi Freedom; Operation Enduring Freedom; health; Afghanistan; Iraq
4.  Associations Between the Department of Veterans Affairs' Suicide Prevention Campaign and Calls to Related Crisis Lines 
Public Health Reports  2014;129(6):516-525.
Objective
The Transit Authority Suicide Prevention (TASP) campaign was launched by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in a limited number of U.S. cities to promote the use of crisis lines among veterans of military service.
Methods
We obtained the daily number of calls to the VCL and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) for six implementation cities (where the campaign was active) and four control cities (where there was no TASP campaign messaging) for a 14-month period. To identify changes in call volume associated with campaign implementation, VCL and NSPL daily call counts for three time periods of equal length (pre-campaign, during campaign, and post-campaign) were modeled using a Poisson log-linear regression with inference based on the generalized estimating equations.
Results
Statistically significant increases in calls to both the VCL and the NSPL were reported during the TASP campaign in implementation cities, but were not reported in control cities during or following the campaign. Secondary outcome measures were also reported for the VCL and included the percentage of callers who are veterans, and calls resulting in a rescue during the study period.
Conclusions
Results from this study reveal some promise for suicide prevention messaging to promote the use of telephone crisis services and contribute to an emerging area of research examining the effects of campaigns on help seeking.
PMCID: PMC4187294  PMID: 25364053
5.  Assessing and Quantifying High Risk: Comparing Risky Behaviors by Youth in an Urban, Disadvantaged Community with Nationally Representative Youth 
Public Health Reports  2009;124(2):224-233.
SYNOPSIS
Objective
This study examined whether youth who live in an urban, disadvantaged community are significantly more likely than youth representing the nation to engage in a range of health-compromising behaviors.
Methods
Analyses were based on the Youth Violence Survey conducted in 2004 and administered to students (n=4,131) in a high-risk school district. Students in ninth grade (n=1,114) were compared with ninth-grade students in the 2003 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (n=3,674) and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health conducted in 1995/1996 (n=3,523). Analyses assessed the differences in prevalence of risk and protective factors among ninth-grade students from the three studies using Chi-square tests.
Results
The results showed that youth in this urban, disadvantaged community were significantly more likely than their peers across the country to report vandalism, theft, violence, and selling drugs. Youth in this community also reported significantly less support from their homes and schools, and less monitoring by their parents. Moreover, youth in this community were significantly less likely to binge drink or initiate alcohol use prior to age 13 than youth across the U.S.
Conclusions
Youth who live in this urban, disadvantaged community reported significantly higher prevalence of some, but not all, risky behaviors than nationally representative U.S. youth. These findings highlight that some caution is justified when defining what might constitute high risk and that demographic and other characteristics need to be carefully considered when targeting certain high-risk behaviors.
PMCID: PMC2646479  PMID: 19320364

Results 1-5 (5)