Health-related quality of life in soldiers in Croatia: relationship with combat readiness and psychological dimensions

Perić, D.; Plancak, D.; Bulj, M.; Tudor, V.; Spalj, S.

Central European Journal of Public Health 21(4): 207-212

2013


ISSN/ISBN: 1210-7778
PMID: 24592725
Accession: 054609298

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Abstract
Health status of soldiers affects their quality of life and combat readiness. The aim of the research was to explore the differences in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) between combat ready und unready soldiers and to what extent are clinically assessed combat readiness and psychological dimensions related to self-reported HRQoL. The study included 402 consecutively selected soldiers aged 21 to 54 (mean age 35.3 +/- 6.0) who were classified on the basis of a regular health examination as combat ready (N=327) and unready (N=75). HRQoL was assessed using the Short Form-8 Questionnaire and psychological dimensions using the Brief Symptom Inventory. There were no significant differences in physical and mental components of HRQoL between combat ready and unready soldiers. Clinically assessed combat readiness and psychological symptomatic dimensions were weak predictors of HRQoL. Higher intensity of psychoticism and less years in military service were the only significant predictor of higher physical component of HRQoL (p=0.027 and p=0.020, respectively) but accounted for low variability (each 1%). None variable was a predictor of mental component. In conclusion, clinically assessed combat readiness of soldiers and psychological symptomatic dimensions are poor predictors of HRQoL. HRQoL should be introduced in evaluation of combat readiness.