Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Overstretched Armed Forces Leading To Mental Health Problems

Date:
August 6, 2007
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Prolonged periods of deployment among Britain's armed forces is associated with mental health problems. Deployment is an essential ingredient of military life. However, research shows that an increase in the pace of military operations "operational tempo" may have an effect on health and place strain on families.

Prolonged periods of deployment among Britain's armed forces is associated with mental health problems, finds a study published in the British Medical Journal online.

Deployment is an essential ingredient of military life. However, research shows that an increase in the pace of military operations "operational tempo" may have an effect on health and place strain on families.

The UK armed forces have recommended deployment levels called the harmony guidelines, reflecting the need to balance rest and recuperation with deployment. In times of simultaneous major operations, such as those in Iraq and Afganistan, this tool is helpful for monitoring overstretch as a measure of over-commitment.

So a study carried by Professor Roberto Rona and colleagues at King's College London, set out to assess whether deployments above these guidelines (calculated as 13 months or more in a three year period) have an effect on psychological health.

They studied the number and duration of deployments in the last three years of a random sample of 5,547 regular military personnel. Mental health and alcohol use were assessed using recognised scoring methods.

Other outcomes included intentions to stay in the military and problems at home during and after deployment.

All analyses were adjusted for factors such as age, gender, rank, marital status and Service. Further adjustments were made for role in theatre (combat or support), type of deployment (war or peace enforcement operations), and time spent in a forward area in close contact with the enemy.

They found that those who were deployed for 13 months or more over a three year period were more likely to have symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder and problems at home during and after deployment. This was particularly apparent in those with direct combat exposure. The prevalence of severe alcohol problems also increased with longer deployment.

There was no association between duration of deployment and intention to stay in the military.

The relation between number of deployments and psychological symptoms was less consistent and there was no link between number of deployments and problems at home.

There was a moderately strong association between post traumatic stress disorder and a longer than expected period of deployment for the most recent deployment. This is consistent with a survey of US troops in Iraq, which found that an uncertain date of returning home increased psychological distress.

These results suggest that deployment above the recommended limit (overstretch) in the UK armed forces is associated with poor mental health and problems at home, say the authors. This may be more apparent in those with direct combat exposure.

They call for a clear and explicit policy on the duration of each deployment to help reduce the risk of post traumatic stress disorder.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Overstretched Armed Forces Leading To Mental Health Problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070802202112.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2007, August 6). Overstretched Armed Forces Leading To Mental Health Problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070802202112.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Overstretched Armed Forces Leading To Mental Health Problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070802202112.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins