+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Mental health of UK military personnel while on deployment in Iraq



Mental health of UK military personnel while on deployment in Iraq



British Journal of Psychiatry 197(5): 405-410



Most research on the mental health of UK armed forces personnel has been conducted either before or after deployment; there is scant evidence concerning personnel while they are on deployment. To assess the mental health of UK armed forces personnel deployed in Iraq and identify gaps in the provision of support on operations. Personnel completed a questionnaire about their deployment experiences and health status. Primary outcomes were psychological distress (General Health Questionnaire-12, GHQ-12), symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and self-rating of overall health. Of 611 participants, 20.5% scored above the cut-off on the GHQ-12 and 3.4% scored as having probable PTSD. Higher risk of psychological distress was associated with younger age, female gender, weaker unit cohesion, poorer perceived leadership and non-receipt of a pre-deployment stress brief. Perceived threat to life, poorer perceived leadership and non-receipt of a stress brief were risk factors for symptoms of PTSD. Better self-rated overall health was associated with being a commissioned officer, stronger unit cohesion and having taken a period of rest and recuperation. Personnel who reported sick for any reason during deployment were more likely to report psychological symptoms. Around 11% reported currently being interested in receiving help for a psychological problem. In an established operational theatre the prevalence of common psychopathology was similar to rates found in non-deployed military samples. However, there remains scope for further improving in-theatre support mechanisms, raising awareness of the link between reporting sick and mental health and ensuring implementation of current policy to deliver pre-deployment stress briefs.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 054329589

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21037218

DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.110.077263


Related references

OP92 The Impact of Military Deployment, Combat Experiences and Post-Deployment Mental Health Problems on Violent Behaviour among UK Military Personnel. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 66(Suppl 1): A36-A36, 2012

Does deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan affect respiratory health of US military personnel?. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 54(6): 740-745, 2012

Mental health problems, use of mental health services, and attrition from military service after returning from deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. JAMA 295(9): 1023-1032, 2006

Rewarding and unrewarding aspects of deployment to Iraq and its association with psychological health in UK military personnel. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 83(6): 653-663, 2010

Deployment, Mental Health Problems, Suicidality, and Use of Mental Health Services Among Military Personnel. Military Behavioral Health 4(3): 243-250, 2016

Mental health outcomes in US and UK military personnel returning from Iraq. British Journal of Psychiatry 204(3): 200-207, 2014

Type D personality, temperament, and mental health in military personnel awaiting deployment. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine 18(2): 131-138, 2011

The contribution of prior psychological symptoms and combat exposure to post Iraq deployment mental health in the UK military. Journal of Traumatic Stress 22(1): 11-19, 2009

Retrospective self-reported dietary supplement use by Australian military personnel during deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan: results from the Middle East Area of Operations Health Study. Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism 44(6): 674-680, 2019

Social disadvantage and the mental health of military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Administration and Policy in Mental Health 35(4): 270-271, 2008

Stigma, American military personnel and mental health care: challenges from Iraq and Afghanistan. Journal of Mental Health 24(1): 54-59, 2015

Do shorter delays to care and mental health system renewal translate into better occupational outcome after mental disorder diagnosis in a cohort of Canadian military personnel who returned from an Afghanistan deployment?. Bmj Open 5(12): E008591, 2015

Longitudinal analysis of psychological resilience and mental health in Canadian military personnel returning from overseas deployment. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 18(3): 327-337, 2013

The impact of deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan on partners and wives of military personnel. International Review of Psychiatry 23(2): 192-200, 2011

Prevalence of mental health symptoms in Dutch military personnel returning from deployment to Afghanistan: a 2-year longitudinal analysis. European Psychiatry 30(2): 341-346, 2015