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The association of predeployment and deployment-related factors on dimensions of postdeployment wellness in U.S. military service members.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Navy

Sponsoring Office:

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Undetermined

Release Date/Publication: November 01, 2013

Principle Investigator Status: Government

Primary DoD Data Source: Millenium Cohort Study

Secondary DoD Data Source:

Abstract

PURPOSE: To assess the effects of predeployment and deployment-related factors on dimensions of wellness following deployment.

DESIGN: Prospective longitudinal study. The dependent variable was dimensions of wellness. Independent variables were measured in terms of modifiable, nonmodifiable, and military factors, such as sex, race/ethnicity, service branch, smoking status, and combat experience.

SETTING: A large military cohort participating in the Millennium Cohort Study.

SUBJECTS: Included 10,228 participants who deployed in support of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

MEASURES: Dimensions of wellness were measured by using standardized instruments assessing self-reported physical health, mental health, and stress. Covariates were measured by using self-reported and electronic data.

ANALYSIS: Factors of postdeployment wellness were assessed by using ordinal logistic regression.

RESULTS: Most participants (78.7%) were categorized as "moderately well" post deployment. Significant modifiable predeployment predictors of postdeployment wellness included normal/underweight body mass index (odds ratio [OR] = 1.72, p < .05). Military factors significantly associated with wellness included not experiencing combat (OR = .56, p < .05), member of Air Force (OR = 2.02, p < .05) or Navy/Coast Guard (OR = 1.47, p < .05), and combat specialist occupation (OR = 1.22, p < .05).

CONCLUSION: Multiple modifiable factors associated with postdeployment wellness were identified, which may help inform medical and military leadership on potential strategies to ensure a well force. Those trained in combat roles were more likely to be well post deployment though this apparent benefit was not conferred onto those reporting combat experiences.

Citation:

Bagnell ME, LeardMann CA, McMaster HS, Boyko EJ, et. al. The association of predeployment and deployment-related factors on dimensions of postdeployment wellness in U.S. military service members. Am J Health Promot. 2013 Nov-Dec;28(2):e56-66.

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