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Factors associated with poor self-reported health within the UK military and comparisons with the general population: a cohort study

Jenkins, SC; Stevelink, SAM; Fear, NT; (2017) Factors associated with poor self-reported health within the UK military and comparisons with the general population: a cohort study. JRSM Open , 8 (5) 10.1177/2054270417692729. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate the self-rated health of the UK military and explore factors associated with poor self-rated health. Compare self-rated health of the military to the general population. / Design: A cohort study. / Participants: A total of 7626 serving and ex-serving UK military personnel, aged between 25 and 49; 19,452,300 civilians from England and Wales. / Setting: United Kingdom (military), England and Wales (civilians). / Main outcome measures: Self rated health for both populations. Additional data for the military sample included measures of symptoms of common mental disorder (General Health Questionnaire-12), probable post-traumatic stress disorder (post-traumatic stress disorder checklist Civilian Version), alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test), smoking behaviour, history of self-harm and body mass index. / Results: In the military sample, poor self-rated health was significantly associated with: common mental disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder symptomology, a history of self-harm, being obese, older age (ages 35–49) and current smoking status. However, the majority of military personnel report good health, with levels of poor self-rated health (13%) not significantly different to those reported by the general population (12.1%). / Conclusions: Self-rated health appears to relate to aspects of both physical and psychological health. The link between poor self-rated health and psychological ill-health emphasises the need for military support services to continue addressing mental health problems.

Type: Article
Title: Factors associated with poor self-reported health within the UK military and comparisons with the general population: a cohort study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/2054270417692729
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2054270417692729
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page(https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: self-reported health, military, well-being, mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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/10039456
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