What are the effects of having an illness or injury whilst deployed on post deployment mental health? A population based record linkage study of UK Army personnel who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan
The negative impact of sustaining an injury on a military deployment on subsequent mental health is well-documented, however, the relationship between having an illness on a military operation and subsequent mental health is unknown.
Population based study, linking routinely collected data of attendances at emergency departments in military hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan [Operational Emergency Department Attendance Register (OpEDAR)], with data on 3896 UK Army personnel who participated in a military health study between 2007 and 2009 and deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan between 2003 to 2009.
In total, 13.8% (531/3896) of participants had an event recorded on OpEDAR during deployment; 2.3% (89/3884) were medically evacuated. As expected, those medically evacuated for an injury were at increased risk of post deployment probable PTSD (odds ratio 4.27, 95% confidence interval 1.80-10.12). Less expected was that being medically evacuated for an illness was also associated with a similarly increased risk of probable PTSD (4.39, 1.60-12.07) and common mental disorders (2.79, 1.41-5.51). There was no association between having an OpEDAR event and alcohol misuse. Having an injury caused by hostile action was associated with increased risk of probable PTSD compared to those with a non-hostile injury (3.88, 1.15 to 13.06).
Personnel sustaining illnesses on deployment are just as, if not more, at risk of having subsequent mental health problems as personnel who have sustained an injury. Monitoring of mental health problems should consider those with illnesses as well as physical injuries.
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Having a visual, hearing or physical impairment (defined as problems in body function or structure) may adversely influence the mental well-being of military personnel. This paper reviews the existing literature regarding the prevalence of mental health problems among (ex-)military personnel who have a permanent, predominantly, physical impairment.Occupational and Environmental Medicine 09/2014; DOI:10.1136/oemed-2014-102207 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated in cross-sectional studies with peripheral inflammation. It is not known whether this observed association is the result of PTSD predisposing to inflammation (as sometimes postulated) or to inflammation predisposing to PTSD. OBJECTIVE To determine whether plasma concentration of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) helps predict PTSD symptoms. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS The Marine Resiliency Study, a prospective study of approximately 2600 war zone–deployed Marines, evaluated PTSD symptoms and various physiological and psychological parameters before deployment and at approximately 3 and 6 months following a 7-month deployment. Participants were recruited from 4 all-male infantry battalions imminently deploying to a war zone. Participation was requested of 2978 individuals; 2610 people (87.6%) consented and 2555 (85.8%) were included in the present analysis. Postdeployment data on combat-related trauma were included for 2208 participants (86.4%of the 2555 included) and on PTSD symptoms at 3 and 6 months after deployment for 1861 (72.8%) and 1617 (63.3%) participants, respectively. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Severity of PTSD symptoms 3 months after deployment assessed by the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). RESULTS We determined the effects of baseline plasma CRP concentration on postdeployment CAPS using zero-inflated negative binomial regression (ZINBR), a procedure designed for distributions, such as CAPS in this study, that have an excess of zeroes in addition to being positively skewed. Adjusting for the baseline CAPS score, trauma exposure, and other relevant covariates, we found baseline plasma CRP concentration to be a highly significant overall predictor of postdeployment CAPS scores (P = .002): each 10-fold increment in CRP concentration was associated with an odds ratio of nonzero outcome (presence vs absence of any PTSD symptoms) of 1.51 (95%CI, 1.15-1.97; P = .003) and a fold increase in outcome with a nonzero value (extent of symptoms when present) of 1.06 (95% CI, 0.99-1.14; P = .09). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE A marker of peripheral inflammation, plasma CRP may be prospectively associated with PTSD symptom emergence, suggesting that inflammation may predispose to PTSD.JAMA Psychiatry 02/2014; 71(4). DOI:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.4374 · 12.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Diarrhoea and vomiting (D & V) was common in military personnel during deployment to the initial phases of the Iraq war. D & V is an established risk factor for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This study examined the prevalence of IBS in a military sample with a history of deployment to Iraq and the association between D & V and common mental disorder (CMD) with IBS. METHODS: The study used data from a two-phase cohort study of military/personnel. The sample was restricted to individuals who had been deployed to Iraq before phase 1 of the study and who had completed the self-report D & V question. A measure of probable IBS was derived at both phases of the study based on self-reported symptoms in the previous month. CMD was assessed by the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12). RESULTS: Fifty-nine percent of the sample reported a D & V event and 6.6 % met the criteria for probable IBS at phase 1. Reporting D & V, thinking one might be killed on deployment, poor physical health and CMD were associated with probable IBS at phase 1. CMD at phase 1 was strongly associated with chronic symptoms of IBS. CONCLUSIONS: There was a high prevalence of D & V during deployment to the early stages of the Iraq war, yet the prevalence of probable IBS on return from deployment was relatively low. D & V was strongly associated with IBS after deployment, and CMD was a risk factor for chronic symptoms of IBS.Social Psychiatry 05/2013; 48(11). DOI:10.1007/s00127-013-0699-6 · 2.58 Impact Factor