• Journal Article

Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in health care providers returning from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan

Citation

Grieger, T. A., Kolkow, T. T., Spira, J., & Morse, J. S. (2007). Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in health care providers returning from deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan. Military Medicine, 172(5), 451-455.

Abstract

Objective: This study examines risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and mental health care use among health care workers deployed to combat settings. Methods: Anonymous surveys were administered to previously deployed workers at a military hospital. PTSD and depression were assessed by using the PTSD Checklist and the Patient Health Questionnaire depression scale, respectively. Deployment exposures and perceived threats during deployment were also assessed. Results: There were 102 respondents (36% response rate). Nine percent (n = 9) met the criteria for PTSD and 5% (n = 5) met the criteria for depression. Direct and perceived threats of personal harm were risk factors for PTSD; exposure to wounded or dead patients did not increase risk. Those who met the criteria for PTSD were more likely to seek mental health care after but not before their deployment. Conclusions: For health care workers returning from a warfare environment, threat of personal harm may be the most predictive factor in determining those with subsequent PTSD