Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Veterans with muscle injuries and mental health conditions more likely to end service

Date:
July 2, 2014
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Sixty percent of US Army soldiers who were unable to return to a military career after an Iraq deployment couldn't do so because of a muscle, bone or joint injury, and nearly half had a mental health diagnosis, a new study outlines. Lower rank, which indicated socioeconomic status, was also a predictor of poor health outcomes among service members.

Sixty percent of U.S. Army soldiers who were unable to return to a military career after an Iraq deployment couldn't do so because of a muscle, bone or joint injury and nearly half had a mental health diagnosis, according to a new study from the University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

Lower rank, which indicated socioeconomic status, was also a predictor of poor health outcomes among service members, according to the research that appears in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and was led by a former Army Major who served in Afghanistan.

Researchers followed 4,122 soldiers aged 18-52 from the start of their 15-month deployment to Iraq during the surge of 2006 until four years after their return. The strongest predictors of inability to continue serving in the military were instances of musculoskeletal conditions (including fractures and chronic knee, shoulder, spine and back pain); a psychological diagnosis and rank.

The study is believed to be among the first to follow a large series of American patients with musculoskeletal trauma from the time before their injury in order to determine predictors of health outcomes.

"Our findings indicate a substantial burden in deployment-related injuries and disability that result from exposure to the combat environment. They also highlight influences that may impede a person's ability to return to work after similar injuries in the civilian sector, " says lead author Andrew J. Schoenfeld, M.D., M.Sc., a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the U-M Medical School and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

"We examined a brigade of diverse individuals who offer a rich sample of a civilian American demographic. This group not only included infantry fighters but also doctors, truck drivers, cooks, mechanics, legal clerks and others with various positions with the Army- and most of the injuries weren't related to combat."

Post-traumatic stress disorder, low back pain and traumatic brain injury topped the list of reasons soldier were found unfit to continue service by the military's Physical Evaluation Board (PEB).

Authors say psychological disorders and lower social status may actually hinder an individual's recovery from a musculoskeletal injury.

"Our findings suggest that trauma from the incident that caused the injury may not only have long-lasting negative mental health effects but may also impede the physical recovery itself," says Schoenfeld, who is also a member of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

"In the civilian world, people may experience the same kind of injuries from events such as car or motorcycle accidents. Recollection of the accident that caused the injury, witnessing a loved one get hurt or killed or complications stemming from the injury may also be triggers for psychological issues that cause difficulties for recovery."

One hundred sixty survivors in the study had sustained a musculoskeletal injury from combat while 587 had a non-combat musculoskeletal injury. Another 331 surviving soldiers sustained war trauma, with 36 percent of combat-related injuries involving the head and neck.

Schoenfeld spent four years on active duty with the U.S. Army and served in Afghanistan and as the clinical director of the Medical Evaluation Board at Fort Bliss Texas. He was also the director of orthopaedic research for the William Beaumont Army Medical Center/Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Orthopaedic Residency Program.

"The model that we developed, including the identification of behavioral health conditions and social status as potent predictors of poor health consequences following musculoskeletal injury, has the potential to improve the care of trauma patients in both the military and civilian setting," he says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. J. Schoenfeld, G. P. Goodman, R. Burks, M. A. Black, J. H. Nelson, P. J. Belmont. The Influence of Musculoskeletal Conditions, Behavioral Health Diagnoses, and Demographic Factors on Injury-Related Outcome in a High-Demand Population. The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, 2014; 96 (13): e106 DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.M.01050

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Veterans with muscle injuries and mental health conditions more likely to end service." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140702140635.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2014, July 2). Veterans with muscle injuries and mental health conditions more likely to end service. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140702140635.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Veterans with muscle injuries and mental health conditions more likely to end service." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140702140635.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
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