One-third of returning veterans given mental health diagnosis
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted March 26, 2007
Almost a third of returning veterans who received health care at Dept. of Veterans Affairs facilities between 2001 and 2005 were given a mental health or psychosocial diagnosis, according to a report in the March 12 Archives of Internal Medicine.
Researchers examined VA data on 103,788 veterans of the most recent military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the most sustained ground combat since the Vietnam era. About 13% were women, 54% were younger than 30, about a third were minorities and almost half were veterans of the National Guard or Reserves rather than full-time military personnel.
Of the 32,010, or 31%, who received mental health and/or psychosocial diagnoses, the most common was posttraumatic stress disorder.
The researchers urged early detection and evidence-based treatment in both VA and non-VA mental health and primary care settings as being critical in the prevention of chronic mental illness.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/03/26/hlbf0326.htm.