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HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Combat Duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mental Health Problems, and Barriers to Care

July, 2014
Article:

This study provides an initial look at the mental health of members of the Army and the Marine Corps who were involved in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Abstract

The current combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have involved U.S. military personnel in major ground combat and hazardous security duty. Studies are needed to systematically assess the mental health of members of the armed services who have participated in these operations and to inform policy with regard to the optimal delivery of mental health care to returning veterans. This study provides an initial look at the mental health of members of the Army and the Marine Corps who were involved in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our findings indicate that among the study groups there was a significant risk of mental health problems and that the subjects reported important barriers to receiving mental health services, particularly the perception of stigma among those most in need of such care.

Full Reference

Hoge, C. W., Castro, C. A., Messer, S. C., McGurk, D., Cotting, D. I. and Koffman, R. L., 2004. Combat Duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Mental Health Problems, and Barriers to Care. The New England Journal of Medicine, 351, pp. 13-22.

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