HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Non-deployment factors affecting psychological wellbeing in military personnel: literature review

Article

This review highlights the importance of considering non-deployment stressors in military personnel. Military organisations should be able to improve the wellbeing of personnel through addressing exposure to, and mediating the impact of, non-deployment stressors.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Most military mental health research focuses on the impact of deployment-related stress; less is known about how everyday work-related factors affect wellbeing. AIMS: This systematic narrative literature review aimed to identify non-deployment-related factors contributing to the wellbeing of military personnel. METHOD: Electronic literature databases were searched and the findings of relevant studies were used to explore non-deployment-related risk and resilience factors. RESULTS: Fifty publications met the inclusion criteria. Determinants of non-deployment stress were identified as: relationships with others (including leadership/supervisory support; social support/cohesion; harassment/discrimination) and role-related stressors (role conflict; commitment and effort-reward imbalance; work overload/job demands; family-related issues/work-life balance; and other factors including control/autonomy, physical work environment and financial strain). Factors positively impacting wellbeing (such as exercise) were also identified. CONCLUSIONS: The literature suggests that non-deployment stressors present a significant occupational health hazard in routine military environments and interpersonal relationships at work are of fundamental importance. Findings suggest that in order to protect the wellbeing of personnel and improve performance, military organisations should prioritise strengthening relationships between employees and their supervisors/colleagues. Recommendations for addressing these stressors in British military personnel were developed.

Full Reference

Samantha K. Brooks & Neil Greenberg (2017): Non-deployment factors affecting psychological wellbeing in military personnel: literature review, Journal of Mental Health, DOI: 10.1080/09638237.2016.1276536