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The prevalence of mental health disorders in (ex-)military personnel with a physical impairment: a systematic review

Stevelink, SAM; Malcolm, EM; Mason, C; Jenkins, S; Sundin, J; Fear, NT; (2015) The prevalence of mental health disorders in (ex-)military personnel with a physical impairment: a systematic review. [Review]. Occupational and Environmental Medicine , 72 (4) pp. 243-251. 10.1136/oemed-2014-102207. Green open access

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Abstract

Background Having a visual, hearing or physical impairment (defined as problems in body function or structure) may adversely influence the mental well-being of military personnel. This paper reviews the existing literature regarding the prevalence of mental health problems among (ex-)military personnel who have a permanent, predominantly, physical impairment. Method Multiple electronic literature databases were searched for relevant studies (EMBASE (1980–January 2014), MEDLINE (1946–January 2014), PsycINFO (2002–January 2014), Web of Science (1975–January 2014)). Results 25 papers were included in the review, representing 17 studies. Studies conducted among US military personnel (n=8) were most represented. A range of mental health disorders were investigated; predominately post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but also depression, anxiety disorder (excluding PTSD), psychological distress and alcohol misuse. The findings indicate that mental health disorders including PTSD (range 2–59%), anxiety (range 16.1–35.5%), depression (range 9.7–46.4%) and psychological distress (range 13.4–36%) are frequently found whereby alcohol misuse was least common (range 2.2–26.2%). Conclusions Common mental health disorders were frequently identified among (ex-)military personnel with a physical impairment. Adequate care and support is necessary during the impairment adaptation process to facilitate the psychosocial challenges (ex-)military personnel with an impairment face. Future research should be directed into factors impacting on the mental well-being of (ex-)military personnel with an impairment, how prevalence rates vary across impairment types and to identify and act on specific needs for care and support.

Type: Article
Title: The prevalence of mental health disorders in (ex-)military personnel with a physical impairment: a systematic review
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/oemed-2014-102207
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2014-102207
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10039455
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