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Restricting duration of UK military tours decreased mental health issues

November 12, 2014

The introduction of the United Kingdom’s “Harmony Guidelines,” which restrict the duration of military tours of duty, has reduced periods of deployment and also may have decreased mental health problems, according to recent findings.

Researchers at King’s College London evaluated a sample of 3,982 military personnel in the Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines who had been deployed within the previous 3 years. Study participants completed a questionnaire from November 2007 to September 2009 that addressed health issues, including symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, psychological distress, intake of alcoholic beverages, and home/family problems. The researchers assessed these outcomes in relation to the Harmony Guidelines that were issued in 2005 and aim to prevent deployment from extending beyond 13 months over 3-year periods.

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