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Suicide Rate Among Former Swedish Peacekeeping Personnel
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Ulleråker, University Hospital.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Ulleråker, University Hospital.
2007 (English)In: Military medicine, ISSN 0026-4075, E-ISSN 1930-613X, Vol. 172, no 3, 278-282 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Increased suicide rates for military personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders have been reported in various countries. Although it is known that some peacekeepers are exposed to potentially traumatic events and are thus at risk of suffering from post-traumatic stress reactions, only a few studies have examined suicide rates in this group. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the suicide rate among former Swedish peacekeeping personnel. We compared 39,768 former Swedish peacekeepers to the general population in the National General Population Registry and the Cause-of-Death Registry. A lower number of suicides was found among former Swedish peacekeepers than in the general population. In conclusion, Swedish personnel serving in international peacekeeping operations do not show a higher suicide rate than the general population. Unique problems associated with this research area are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 172, no 3, 278-282 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92724ISI: 000244909000011PubMedID: 17436772OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92724DiVA: diva2:165904
Available from: 2005-04-06 Created: 2005-04-06 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Swedish Soldier and General Mental Health Following Service in Peacekeeping Operations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Swedish Soldier and General Mental Health Following Service in Peacekeeping Operations
2005 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Scandinavian countries have a long tradition of taking part in peacekeeping missions and also of research in this field. The aim of this thesis is to continue the tradition of research and try to shed some more light on the mental health aspects of peacekeeping operations. Two methods were used to accomplish this. One was to study a Swedish battalion serving for 6 months in NATO´s IFOR mission in Bosnia in 1996, using a longitudinal approach. Questionnaires covering predeployment factors, general mental health, traumatic experiences and effects of support were used. The other method was to perform a register study in which 39 768 individuals who had served in peacekeeping missions were compared to a matched group of the general population with regard to differences in suicide rates. The general level of mental health problems and post-traumatic reactions was low and did not change over time. Traumatic experiences during service only appeared to make a temporary difference in general mental health. There are indications that possible predictors for poor mental health in peacekeepers could be constituted by: lower mean scores on the SOC questionnaire and on the Emotional Stability scale of the FFPI; personality disorders in general; prior family problems or psychiatric problems expressed through suicidal thoughts before deployment and problems experienced post-deployment, such as "relationship problems", death of a close relative", or "financial problems". It was found that the combination of peer support and a defusing session led by platoon commanders had positive effects on the post deployment mental health. The rate of personality disorders appears to be at the same level as or at a slightly lower level than in the general population. Compared to the general population, the suicide rate was showed to be lower in the peacekeeper population.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2005. 48 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 17
Keyword
Psychiatry, Mental health, military, peacekeeping, personality disorders, suicide., Psykiatri
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4825 (URN)91-554-6174-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2005-04-27, Sal X, Universitetshuset, Universitetsparken, Uppsala, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2005-04-06 Created: 2005-04-06 Last updated: 2012-05-23Bibliographically approved

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