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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 2003;36(2): 171-178.
Pilot Study on Recruiting Medical Checkup Participants by Mail Survey among Korean Vietnam Veterans.
Sang Wook Yi, Jae Seok Hong, Heechoul Ohrr
1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Korea.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to identify the validity of recruiting medical checkup participants of Vietnam veterans using a mail survey, and to identify the 'Vietnam service related characteristics' and `general characteristics' of Vietnam veterans groups. METHOD: In this study, a total 900 veterans were randomly selected from the list of Vietnam veterans from 1964 to 1973. The veterans were classified into 5 groups, taking into consideration their registered status in the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs; the VRD (veterans who have agent orange-related diseases), VSD (veterans who have agent orange-suspected disease), VM (veterans who performed meritorious deeds during the war), VR (veterans who were registered with the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affair) and OV (other veterans) groups. By means of postal surveys, the veterans' intention to participate in the medical checkup for our research, and their socioeconomic and general characteristics were investigated. 52 surveys were returned due to the subjects not residing at the listed address, and were excluded from the analysis. RESULT: 699 of the 848 veterans (82.4%) responded to the survey, of which 619 (88.6%) intended to participate in the medical checkup for our research. The 5 veterans groups all had similar ages, Vietnam service period, Agent Orange exposure, troop characteristic and wartime class, with the exception of VM, who were older, and with a greater number of officers than the other 4 groups. There was a big difference in the health statius among the Vietnam veterans group. The VM and OV were much healthier than VRD, VSD and VR groups. The socioeconomic stati of the VRD, VSD and VR groups were lower than those of the VM and OV groups. CONCLUSION: Although there were some limitations, the recruitment, by mail, of medical checkup participants from Vietnam veterans is a valid and feasible method. The VM and OV groups were much healthier, and with higher socioeconomic stati, than the VRD, VSD, and VR groups.
Key words: Mail; Survey; Agent orange; Vietnam; Veterans
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