HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Epidemiology of generalized anxiety disorder in Canadian military personnel

Article

This study examines the clinical features, help seeking patterns and military conditions that contribute to the experience of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) for personnel in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Abstract

This study examined the prevalence, clinical characteristics, help seeking patterns and military experiences associated with past-year generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) using a representative sample of military personnel. Past-year and lifetime prevalence rates of GAD were 1.7% and 4.4%, respectively. The majority of military personnel with past-year GAD reported being severely impaired at work, in their relationships and social life. Those with past-year GAD, relative to those without it, had higher odds of having another mental disorder. Of military personnel with past-year GAD, 72.2% had sought help. Regular Force personnel, relative to reservists, had higher odds of having past-year GAD, as did individuals who witnessed atrocities. GAD is modestly prevalent in the Canadian military and is associated with considerable functional impairment. Nevertheless, high rates of help seeking for GAD may speak to the availability, accessibility, and acceptability of mental health care in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Full Reference

Epidemiology of generalized anxiety disorder in Canadian military personnel. Julie Erickson, D. Jolene Kinley, Tracie O. Afifi, Mark A. Zamorski, Robert H. Pietrzak, Murray B. Stein, and Jitender Sareen. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health 2015 1:1, 26-36.