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Overview of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol misuse among active duty service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, self-report and diagnosis.

Publication Status: Published

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

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

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Undetermined

Release Date/Publication: April 01, 2015

Principle Investigator Status: Academia

Primary DoD Data Source: Military Health System (MHS) Data Repository

Secondary DoD Data Source:

Abstract

Previous studies have found deployment to combat areas to be associated with an increased risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and alcohol abuse, but many previous studies were limited by samples that were not representative of the deployed military as a whole. This study presents an overview of these three mental health problems associated with deployment among Air Force, Army, Marine Corp, and Navy service members returning from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan between January 2007 and March 2008. With postdeployment health data on over 50,000 service men and women, including diagnostic information, we were able to estimate prevalence of those who screened positive for risk of each disorder in self-report data at two time points, as well as prevalence of diagnoses received during health care encounters within the military health care system. The prevalence ranges of the three disorders were consistent with previous studies using similar measures, but service members in the Navy had higher rates of screening positive for all three disorders and higher prevalence of depression and PTSD diagnoses compared to the other branches. Further, PTSD risk was higher for service members returning from Afghanistan compared to Iraq, in contrast to previous findings.

Citation:

Mustillo SA, et al., Overview of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol misuse among active duty service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, self-report and diagnosis. Mil Med. 2015 Apr;180(4):419-27

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