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Exploring Demographics and Health as Predictors of Risk-Taking in UK Help-Seeking Veterans

Article

Nowadays, risk-taking in military populations is often a substantial public health concern and a leading cause of preventable deaths among military personnel. This is the first study to explore demographics and health as predictors of risk-taking in a sample of UK help-seeking veterans.

Abstract

Risk-taking amongst veterans has severe consequences, yet few studies have examined factors that may predict risk-taking in help-seeking veteran populations. This paper presents a cross-sectional study involving a random sample of 667 UK help-seeking veterans, investigating the role of demographics, mental health and physical health presentations on the propensity for risk-taking. Outof403(73.4%)veterans,350(86.8%)reportedrisk-takinginthepastmonth. Wefound that younger age, being in a relationship, probable PTSD, common mental health difficulties and traumaticbraininjuryweresignificantlyassociatedwithrisk-taking. Additionally,adirectassociation wasfoundbetweenincreasedrisk-takingandPTSDsymptomclusters,includinghigherhyperarousal, elevated negative alterations in mood and cognition. Our findings provide initial evidence for demographic and mental health presentations as predictors of risk-taking in help-seeking veterans. Further research and longitudinal studies are needed to facilitate valid risk assessments, and early intervention for veteran services.

Full Reference

Ashwick, R., Syed, S. and Murphy, D., 2018. Exploring Demographics and Health as Predictors of Risk-Taking in UK Help-Seeking Veterans. Healthcare.