|NEWSRoom | Source: International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)|
Noncombatant Military Personnel Not Immune to Combat Trauma, May Be at Elevated Risk for Developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Noncombatant military personnel do not engage in direct combat with the enemy during war, but they still face trauma that elevates their risk for developing combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), new research shows.
The research, published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, looked at active-duty US Air Force members who had deployed to Iraq or Qatar in a noncombatant role. Individuals deployed to Iraq, a combat zone, were six times more likely to screen positive for PTSD compared to individuals deployed to Qatar, an area considered safe during the time of this study.
Researchers say their findings indicate that personnel serving in noncombatant support roles are not insulated from exposure to combat-related trauma; furthermore, noncombatants’ trauma exposure may actually put them at greater risk of developing PTSD than their counterparts on the front lines. The research attributes this to combatants being specifically trained for combat situations, they may anticipate traumatic incidences occurring because of that training and they have the opportunity to “fight back” in battlefield situations.
Alan L. Peterson, PhD, head researcher for the study and a clinical health psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, says that it is important to consider that while noncombatants are less likely to engage in direct contact with the enemy, they are still exposed to potentially traumatic events including mortar and rocket attacks, transporting and treating severely wounded soldiers, and processing human remains.
The study was based on self-reports from military personnel and did not include pre-deployment baseline measurements of PTSD or mental health functioning. Anonymity is often a factor believed to influence how service members report PTSD symptoms. Active-duty military might underreport symptoms on assessments out of concern that admitting to mental health symptoms might negatively impact their military career.
This research highlights the importance of mental health and PTSD screening for all military personnel who have deployed to a war zone, including those who did not serve in combat roles and are often overlooked.
|Short Link: http://www.news-line.com/?s210700|
comments powered by Disqus