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Self-rated health and subsequent health care use among military personnel returning from international deployments

Self-rated health and subsequent health care use among military personnel returning from international deployments

Military Medicine 169(2): 128-133

Individual health status assessment upon completion of U.S military deployments was standardized in 1999 with a brief health assessment questionnaire. This cohort study analyzed health status responses and their relationship to postdeployment health outcomes among 16,142 military personnel who completed a health questionnaire after a deployment ending in 1999. Respondents were Army and Air Force personnel returning from Europe or Southwest Asia. Fourteen percent documented at least one health concern and 1.8% had fair/poor self-rated health. In the 6 months after deployment, 1.4% were hospitalized, 25% made five or more outpatient visits, and 4% separated from military service. Deployers with fair/poor self-rated health were at a significantly increased risk for high use of outpatient services (risk ratio, men 1.8, women 1.7) but not for hospitalization or separation. Self-report of low health status or other health concerns may help identify deployers with higher health care needs after future deployments.

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Accession: 050276247

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PMID: 15040634

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