The course of adjustment disorder in Danish male conscripts

Roskilde Hospital, Roskilde, Zealand, Denmark
Nordic Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 1.34). 02/2005; 59(3):193-7. DOI: 10.1080/08039480510027661
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Conscription has been employed for more than a century. To evaluate the course and fate of conscripts deemed mentally unfit for immediate continued service, a prospective questionnaire study of conscripts referred for mental evaluation was conducted. Questionnaires were completed at the time of enrollment, time of admittance for evaluation, time of discharge from their evaluation and at 1-year follow-up. Out of a class of 6949 conscripts, 93 were referred for psychiatric evaluation and 69 of those referred decided to enter the study (60 of these were in time deemed unfit for further military service). At the time of admittance, on average after 79 days of service, there was a significant 36%, 34%, 20% and 20% increase in depression, sleep, somatization and interpersonality scores, respectively. At the time of discharge 14 days after admittance, the symptom scores had dropped to a level comparable to scores at the time of enrollment. At 1-year follow-up, the descending trend in scores was maintained, though not reaching statistical significance compared with scores at time of discharge. The scores at 1-year follow-up were also, except for a higher depression score, comparable with the scores of a control group of conscripts evaluated 1 year after service. The psychological profile of conscripts referred for evaluation was different at the time of enrollment compared with conscripts in general, the scores being between 9% (interpersonality) and 29% (depression) higher. They also had a higher prevalence of adverse family events in their history. The course observed is indifferent from other situations of enforced stress.

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