Studies examining the health of military personnel deployed overseas have been published by research teams in the United States and the United Kingdom. This research has examined the effects of combat on the mental and physical health of those who have been deployed.1-8 Recently, a research program on the health of deployed personnel began in Australia.9,10 Here we present data from the 2007 Solomon Islands Health Study, which focuses on a peace-keeping deployment between 2003 and 2005. We draw comparisons with data from major contemporaneous post-deployment epidemiological cohort studies from the United States and the United Kingdom, where deployments were in the same global political environment, but with greatly differing local hazards and exposures. These studies have particularly focused on the rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol abuse, which are recognized as major adverse health effects of deployment.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Annabel McGuire, PhD; Michael Waller, MSc; Colleen Loos, MedSci; Christine McClintock, PhD; Lisa Nielsen, Grad. Dip. Public Health; Susan A. Treloar, PhD; Annette Dobson PhD, are at the University of Queensland, Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health. Alexander C. McFarlane, MD, FRANZCP, is at the University of Adelaide, Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health. Catherine D’Este, PhD, is at University of Newcastle, Australia.
Address correspondence to: Annabel McGuire, PhD, University of Queensland, Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health, Mayne Medical School QLD 4072 Australia; fax 61 7 3346 5239; or e-mail email@example.com.
Dr. McGuire, Mr. Waller, Ms. Loos, Dr. McClintock, Prof. McFarlane, Ms. Nielsen, Assoc. Prof. Treloar, Prof. Dobson, and Prof. D’Este have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Acknowledgments: The research on which this paper is based was undertaken as part of the Deployment Health Surveillance Program, conducted by the Centre for Military and Veterans’ Health, the University of Queensland, and the University of Adelaide. The authors are grateful to the Australian Government Department of Defence for funding and to those men and women who are currently serving, those who served, and who provided the survey data. We are indebted to the current and past members of the Scientific Research Team.
- Identify factors that minimize the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in deployed service members.
- Review the differences between Australian, United States, and United Kingdom service members’ rates of PTSD and alcohol abuse.
- Identify the measures used to assess the health and well-being of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).