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Occupational trauma and mental illness--combat, peacekeeping, or relief work and the National Co-morbidity Survey Replication.
Connorton E; Perry MJ; Hemenway D; Miller M
J Occup Environ Med 2011 Dec; 53(12):1360-1363
OBJECTIVE: Peacekeepers, relief workers, and military members experience multiple traumas, and trauma is believed to increase risk for psychiatric distress. We examined whether combat and/or peacekeeping or relief work was associated with subsequent mental illness. METHODS: Using data from the US National Co-morbidity Survey Replication (n = 2383), we estimated whether combat, peacekeeping, or relief work was associated with increased prevalence of mental illness through bivariate cross-tabulations and multivariate logistic regression. RESULTS: Combat was associated with increased subsequent posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol or drug issues more than peacekeeping or relief work. CONCLUSIONS: Combat, alone or combined with peacekeeping/relief work, appears to be a risk factor for subsequent PTSD and issues with drugs and alcohol. Peacekeeping/relief work without combat does not appear to be associated with these diagnoses. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: We found an association between combat and subsequent PTSD and drug and alcohol issues. Absent combat, peacekeeping, or relief work were not associated with mental illness. Previous diagnoses and trauma exposure may increase potential for subsequent mental health problems.
Psychological-effects; Psychological-stress; Psychology; Mental-illness; Humans; Men; Women; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis; Military-personnel; Mortality-rates; Morbidity-rates; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Stress
Ellen Connorton, ScD, MSW, MPA Harvard School of Public Health and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave., LW 750, Boston, MA 02215
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Harvard School of Public Health
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division