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Factors associated with poor self-reported health within the UK military and comparisons with the general population: a cohort study.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the self-rated health of the UK military and explore factors associated with poor self-rated health. Compare self-rated health of the military to the general population.

DESIGN

A cohort study.

PARTICIPANTS

A total of 7626 serving and ex-serving UK military personnel, aged between 25 and 49; 19,452,300 civilians from England and Wales.

SETTING

United Kingdom (military), England and Wales (civilians).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Self rated health for both populations. Additional data for the military sample included measures of symptoms of common mental disorder (General Health Questionnaire-12), probable post-traumatic stress disorder (post-traumatic stress disorder checklist Civilian Version), alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test), smoking behaviour, history of self-harm and body mass index.

RESULTS

In the military sample, poor self-rated health was significantly associated with: common mental disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder symptomology, a history of self-harm, being obese, older age (ages 35-49) and current smoking status. However, the majority of military personnel report good health, with levels of poor self-rated health (13%) not significantly different to those reported by the general population (12.1%).

CONCLUSIONS

Self-rated health appears to relate to aspects of both physical and psychological health. The link between poor self-rated health and psychological ill-health emphasises the need for military support services to continue addressing mental health problems.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    King's Centre for Military Health Research, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London SE5 9RJ, UK.

    ,

    King's Centre for Military Health Research, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London SE5 9RJ, UK.

    King's Centre for Military Health Research, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London SE5 9RJ, UK. Academic Department of Military Mental Health, Department of Psychological Medicine, King's College London SE5 9RJ, UK.

    Source

    JRSM open 8:5 2017 May pg 2054270417692729

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    28515950