Impact of prior Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom combat duty on mental health in a predeployment cohort of National Guard soldiers

Melissa A Polusny, Christopher R Erbes, Paul A Arbisi, Paul Thuras, Shannon M Kehle-Forbes, Michael Rath, Cora Courage, Madhavi K. Reddy, Courtney Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: The goal was to examine the impact of prior Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) combat deployment on reported psychiatric and somatic symptoms among National Guard/Reserve (NGR) soldiers 1 month before deployment to Iraq. Method: 522 NGR soldiers completed a survey assessing predeployment risk and resilience factors as well as current levels of PTSD, depressive, and somatic symptoms. Results: Overall, soldiers reported few psychiatric symptoms present before deployment to Iraq. However, compared to soldiers preparing for their first deployment to Iraq, soldiers previously deployed to OEF/OIF reported more PTSD. depressive, and somatic symptoms. Previously OEF/OIF deployed soldiers reported lower perceptions of unit social support, but reported no differences in perceptions of preparedness or concerns about family disruptions. Implications for interventions and training with military personnel before deployment as well as future longitudinal research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-357
Number of pages5
JournalMilitary medicine
Volume174
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009

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