The Neurocognition Deployment Health Study: a prospective cohort study of Army Soldiers.
ABSTRACT Questions remain regarding the effects of military operational deployment on health. The Neurocognition Deployment Health Study addresses several gaps in the deployment health literature, including lack of baseline health data, reliance on subjective measures of exposure and health variables, prolonged intervals between redeployment and health assessments, and lack of a uniform case definition. The Neurocognition Deployment Health Study uses a prospective cohort design to assess neuropsychological outcomes associated with Iraq deployment. Methods incorporate administration of performance-based neuropsychological measures to Army soldiers before and after Iraq deployment and to nondeployed Army Soldiers assessed during comparable periods of garrison duty. Findings should have the potential to delineate neuropsychological outcomes related to combat theater deployment and to identify potential risk and protective factors related to health outcomes.
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ABSTRACT: Previous research indicates a relationship between perceived fear for one's safety (i.e., threat appraisal) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This prospective study examined relationships among deployment- and predeployment-related variables, threat appraisal, and postdeployment PTSD symptom severity. Prior to Iraq deployment, 774 U.S. Army soldiers completed self-report measures assessing previous life stressors, deployment history, current (predeployment) PTSD symptoms, deployment preparedness, and unit cohesion. Following deployment, participants completed self-report measures assessing combat intensity, deployment threat appraisal, and current (postdeployment) PTSD symptoms. Structural equation modeling revealed that predeployment PTSD symptom severity, prior warzone deployment, unit cohesion, and preparedness were each independently associated with deployment threat appraisal, even after taking into account combat intensity. Deployment threat appraisal was associated with postdeployment PTSD severity. Results indicated that predeployment PTSD symptom severity, history of warzone deployment, and preparedness-risk factors previously thought to influence PTSD outcomes directly-were either partially or fully mediated by threat appraisal. The model explained 15% of the variance in deployment threat appraisal and 50% of the variance in postdeployment PTSD severity. Helping service members cope with exposure to extreme stress during deployment by modifying certain prewar risk factors may facilitate reduction of PTSD symptoms following deployment.Journal of Traumatic Stress 08/2013; 26(4). DOI:10.1002/jts.21827 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Research suggests that military unit support and community postdeployment social support are associated with fewer PTSD symptoms following military deployment. This study extended prior research by examining the associations among predeployment unit support and PTSD symptoms before Iraq deployment as well as unit support, PTSD symptoms, and postdeployment social support after deployment among 835 U.S. Army and 173 National Guard soldiers. Multiple regression analyses indicated that predeployment unit support was not significantly associated with postdeployment PTSD severity in either group of soldiers, whereas higher unit support during deployment was significantly associated with lower postdeployment PTSD severity among active duty soldiers only. Among both groups, higher levels of postdeployment social support were associated with lower levels of postdeployment PTSD symptom severity. These findings suggest that postdeployment social support is a particularly strong buffer against postdeployment PTSD symptoms among both groups of soldiers whereas the effects of unit support may be limited.Journal of anxiety disorders 04/2014; 28(5):446-453. DOI:10.1016/j.janxdis.2014.04.004 · 2.68 Impact Factor
02/2014; 2(1):42-51. DOI:10.1080/21635781.2013.831722