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Mental health among a nationally representative sample of United States Military Reserve Component Personnel.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Sponsoring Office: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Undetermined

Release Date/Publication: November 01, 2014

Principle Investigator Status: Government

Primary DoD Data Source: Other Survey

Secondary DoD Data Source:


PURPOSE: Estimate prevalence of lifetime, current year, and current month depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among US military reservists.

METHODS: Structured interviews were performed with a nationally representative military reserve sample (n = 2,003). Sociodemographic characteristics, military experiences, lifetime stressors, and psychiatric conditions were assessed. Depression was measured with the PHQ-9, and PTSD (deployment and non-deployment related) was assessed with the PCL-C.

RESULTS: Depression (21.63 % lifetime, 14.31 % current year, and 5.99 % current month) was more common than either deployment-related PTSD (5.49 % lifetime, 4.98 % current year, and 3.62 % current month) or non-deployment-related PTSD (5.40 % lifetime, 3.91 % current year, and 2.32 % current month), and branch-related differences were found. Non-deployment-related trauma was associated with non-deployment-related PTSD and depression in a dose-response fashion; deployment-related trauma was associated with deployment-related PTSD and depression in a dose-response fashion.

CONCLUSIONS: The study reveals notable differences in PTSD and depression prevalence by service branch that may be attributable to a combination of factors including greater lifetime trauma exposures and differing operational military experiences. Our findings suggest that service branch and organizational differences are related to key protective and/or risk factors, which may prove useful in guiding prevention and treatment efforts among reservists.


Russell DW, Cohen GH, Gifford R, Fullerton CS, Ursano RJ, Galea S. Mental health among a nationally representative sample of United States Military Reserve Component Personnel. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2014 Nov 25.

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