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Underestimating the burden for peacekeepers?: Difficulty in determining psychological well-being following operational deployment with low response rates from NZDF personnel.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2015 (English)In: Journal of military and veterans health, ISSN 1835-1271, E-ISSN 1839-2733, Vol. 23, no 2, 7-13 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Since 2010, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) have used post-deployment psychological screens with personnel returning from operational deployments to predict and support psychological ill-health in returning peacekeepers.

Aim: The objective of this article is to discuss the critical implications of low return rates in follow-up psychological health data in returning peacekeepers. Due to low response rates at the 4-6 month follow up screen, longitudinal analysis of mental health could not be conducted.

Methods: Two sets of responses were analysed using logistic regression from NZDF Post-Deployment screens with personnel who had served in Timor Leste and Afghanistan over the period 2010–2011. The total sample consisted of 695 cases.

Results: This study demonstrates that peacekeeping personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) scores above the cut-off at the initial screen returned the follow-up (FUP) screen to a significantly lower degree than their peers.

Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that among those who did not complete the FUP screen, there may be an over-representation of personnel with PTSD symptoms. If healthier subjects are more likely to return the FUP screen, post-deployment well-being may be skewed towards more positive mental health than is accurate, leading to an underestimation of the mental health burden for returning peacekeepers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 23, no 2, 7-13 p.
Keyword [en]
Returning soldiers; Post-deployment psychological well-being; Post-deployment psychological screens; Mental health burden; International peacekeeping
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Peace and Conflict Research
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-274522ISI: 000359985000004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-274522DiVA: diva2:896706
Available from: 2016-01-22 Created: 2016-01-22 Last updated: 2016-10-19Bibliographically approved

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Brounéus, Karen
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