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HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Multivariate assessment of health-related quality of life in Canadian Armed Forces Veterans after transition to civilian life

October, 2015
Article:

This article identifies factors associated with the SF-12 Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS) measures of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in former Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Veterans after transition to civilian life.

 

Abstract

Introduction: The goal of this study was to identify factors associated with the SF-12 Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS) measures of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in former Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Veterans after transition to civilian life. Methods: Data were taken from the 2010 Survey on Transition to Civilian Life, a national computer-assisted telephone survey of CAF Regular Force personnel who released during 1998-2007. Multivariate linear regression models were developed using a variety of socio-economic, military, health, and disability characteristics. Results: Mean age was 46 years (range 20-67 y), and 12% of the participants were women. Higher age was associated with lower PCS but higher MCS scores. High ratings of mastery and high satisfaction with life were strongly associated with higher scores on both the PCS and the MCS. Most chronic physical health conditions were associated with poorer PCS scores, in particular chronic pain, musculoskeletal conditions, cancer, gastrointestinal conditions, hearing problems and, to a lesser degree, chronic mental health conditions. The only chronic condition associated with poorer MCS scores was presence of one or more mental health conditions. Both activity limitation in major life domains and needing assistance with activities of daily living were negatively associated with PCS scores, whereas only the latter was negatively associated with MCS scores. Discussion: The models suggested protective factors and identified characteristics of subgroups vulnerable to poor HRQOL after accounting for confounding. Findings can be used to identify those at high risk who may benefit from targeted interventions and to develop health promotion and prevention strategies for Canadian Armed Forces personnel in transition to civilian life.

Full Reference

Multivariate assessment of health-related quality of life in Canadian Armed Forces Veterans after transition to civilian life. Wilma M. Hopman, James M. Thompson, Jill Sweet, Linda VanTil, Elizabeth G. VanDenKerkhof, Kerry Sudom, Alain Poirier, and David Pedlar. Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health 2015 1:2, 61-70

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