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Military Health System Studies Inventory Tool

Welcome to the Military Health System Studies Inventory Tool (MSIT). Military Health System (MHS) data are used by Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, and academic health professionals and scientists to implement health care studies. These studies reflect the MHS interest to rigorously assess and improve our beneficiaries’ access to the high quality health care services they need. Additionally, these studies are frequently used to develop or improve MHS policy and often adopt useful, relevant comparisons to the national health care experience.

The MSIT allows easy review of recent studies that are either conducted or sponsored by the MHS, or accomplished using datasets developed or maintained by the Defense Health Agency for administrative, operational, or research purposes. The studies within this website represent important contributions of the MHS to the national health care dialogue and reflect our capacity to tackle the challenging issues needed to support evidence-informed health policy. Thank you for your interest in them.

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Low back pain, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2010-2014.

Study

Abstract

Low back pain (LBP) is a common cause of disability, lost worker productivity, and healthcare costs in both military and civilian populations. During the 5-year surveillance period of this analysis, the LBP diagnoses of interest were associated with more than 6 million outpatient healthcare encounters and more than 25,000 hospitalizations among active component service members. Annual numbers of outpatient encounters for LBP diagnoses increased 34% during 2010-2014. Annual numbers of inpatient encounters decreased during the period. Incidence rates were lowest among the youngest service members and increased with advancing age. Of all service members ever given a LBP diagnosis during the surveillance period, 91% were diagnosed at least once with a condition in the broad category "nonspecific back pain." The most common specific diagnosis during the surveillance period was lumbago. The discussion covers the importance of LBP in the military, initiatives to lower the incidence of, and enhance the care of, LBP, and methodologic limitations to the analysis.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Release Date/Publication: November 01, 2015
  • Citation: AFHSC. Clark LL, Hu Z. Low back pain, active component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2010-2014. MSMR. 2015 Dec;22(12):8-11.

A Brief Description of the Operation of the DoD Serum Repository.

Study

Abstract

Beginning in 1985, the United States military has consistently maintained repositories of frozen human serum for force health protection reasons. The separate repositories created by the Army, Navy, and Air Force during the startup of their human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) screening programs were fully combined by 1996, along with the Defense Medical Surveillance System, to form the DoD Serum Repository (DoDSR). Currently comprised of 450,000 square feet of storage space at a constant -30 degrees Celsius, the DoDSR, operated by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC), receives approximately 2 million new serum specimens per year as a result of current HIV screening programs and pre- and post-deployment serum collection. Following initial testing for HIV when required, each specimen remains frozen until needed for clinical testing or a public health study, and its physical location is carefully tracked. Certain militarily-relevant research studies occur, though the serum from a specific individual is never allowed to be fully exhausted. AFHSC maintains careful control over the repository, utilizing a scientific review board to determine which requests for serum will be granted. As of 2012, only 0.42% of all of the frozen specimens in the DoDSR had been thawed for any type of use. The addition of new specimen processing capacity and significant changes to policy would be required if more of the specimens were to be used to answer relevant epidemiological, operational, or medical research questions.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Release Date/Publication: October 01, 2015
  • Citation: Perdue CL, Eick-Cost AA, Rubertone MV. A Brief Description of the Operation of the DoD Serum Repository. Mil Med. 2015 Oct;180(10 Suppl):10-2.

Diagnostic Utility of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist for Identifying Full and Partial PTSD in Active-Duty Military.

Study

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine optimally efficient cutoff scores on the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL) for identifying full posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and partial PTSD (P-PTSD) in active-duty Marines and Sailors. Participants were 1,016 Marines and Sailors who were administered the PCL and Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) 3 months after returning from Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. PCL cutoffs were tested against three CAPS-based classifications: full PTSD, stringent P-PTSD, and lenient P-PTSD. A PCL score of 39 was found to be optimally efficient for identifying full PTSD. Scores of 38 and 33 were found to be optimally efficient for identifying stringent and lenient P-PTSD, respectively. Findings suggest that the PCL cutoff that is optimally efficient for detecting PTSD in active-duty Marines and Sailors is substantially lower than the score of 50 commonly used by researchers. In addition, findings provide scores useful for identifying P-PTSD in returning service members.

  • Publication Status: Published
  • Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)
  • Sponsoring Office: Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
  • Congressionally Mandated: No
  • Funding Source: Undetermined
  • Release Date/Publication: September 01, 2014
  • Citation: Dickstein BD, Weathers FW, Angkaw AC, Nievergelt CM, Yurgil K, Nash WP, et.al. . Diagnostic Utility of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Checklist for Identifying Full and Partial PTSD in Active-Duty Military. Assessment. 2014 Sep 1.
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