Date: 02 May 2009

Psychological distress and mental health treatment among persons with and without active duty military experience, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United States, 2007

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Abstract

Objectives:

To examine self-reported psychological distress (K-6 scale) and mental health treatment among persons with and without active duty U.S. military experience (ADME) currently residing in private residences in the U.S.

Methods:

Analysis of 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data from 35 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico (n = 202,029 for those answering all K-6 questions, the treatment question, and the ADME question)

Results:

Adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and education, overall mean K-6 scores of those with and without ADME were similar (p = 0.3223); however, more of those with, vs. without, ADME reported current mental health treatment (11.7 % vs. 9.6 %, p = 0.0001). Those with ADME receiving such treatment had a higher mean K-6 score (7.7) than those without ADME receiving such treatment (6.9) (p = 0.0032).

Conclusions:

Community-dwelling persons with ADME have similar demographically-adjusted mean K-6 psychological distress scores, but greater likelihood of recent mental health treatment, compared to those without ADME.

Submitted: 16 October 2008; revised: 10 February 2009; accepted: 12 March 2009