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HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Mental health outcomes at the end of the British involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts: a cohort study

October, 2018
Article:

This paper details results and outcomes of the third phase of a military cohort study undertaken to examine the prevalence of mental disorders and alcohol misuse, in serving and ex-serving regular personnel and by deployment status.

Abstract

Little is known about the prevalence of mental health outcomes in UK personnel at the end of the British involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. We examined the prevalence of mental disorders and alcohol misuse, whether this differed between serving and ex-serving regular personnel and by deployment status. The prevalence was 6.2% for probable post-traumatic stress disorder, 21.9% for common mental disorders and 10.0% for alcohol misuse. Deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan and a combat role during deployment were associated with significantly worse mental health outcomes and alcohol misuse in ex-serving regular personnel but not in currently serving regular personnel. The findings highlight an increasing prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder and a lowering prevalence of alcohol misuse compared with our previous findings and stresses the importance of continued surveillance during service and beyond.

Full Reference

Stevelink, S. A. M., Jones, M., Hull, L., Pernet, D., MacCrimmon, S., Goodwin, L., MacManus, D., Murphy, D., Jones, N., Greenberg, N., Rona, R. J., Fear, N. T. and Wessely, S., 2018. Mental health outcomes at the end of the British involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts: a cohort study. The British Journal of Psychiatry, doi: 10.1192/bjp.2018.175

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