Military contractors suffer high rates of post-traumatic stress - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Military contractors suffer high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder

Updated:
© Hemera / Thinkstock © Hemera / Thinkstock
  • HealthMore>>

  • A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    A little wine might help kidneys stay healthy

    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.More >>
    An occasional glass of wine might help keep your kidneys healthy, new research suggests.More >>
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>

TUESDAY, Dec. 10, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Private contractors who worked in Afghanistan, Iraq and other conflict zones over the past two years have high rates of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new study finds.

Researchers conducted an anonymous online survey of 660 contractors who had been deployed to a conflict zone at least once between early 2011 and early 2013, and found that 25 percent met the criteria for PTSD and 18 percent for depression. Half reported alcohol misuse.

Despite these problems, few contractors received help before or after deployment, according to the study by the RAND Corp., a nonprofit research organization. Even though most of them had health insurance, only 28 percent of those with PTSD and 34 percent of those with depression reported receiving mental health treatment in the previous 12 months.

Many contractors also reported physical health problems as a result of deployment, including traumatic brain injuries, respiratory issues, back pain and hearing problems, the study authors pointed out in a RAND news release.

Duties of private contractors include military base support and maintenance, logistical supports, transportation, intelligence, communications, construction and security services.

"Given the extensive use of contractors in conflict areas in recent years, these findings highlight a significant but often overlooked group of people struggling with the after-effects of working in a war zone," study co-author Molly Dunigan, a political scientist at RAND, said in the news release.

Among the survey respondents, 61 percent of the contractors were from the United States and 24 percent were from the United Kingdom. Other respondents were from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and other nations.

U.S. contractors had nearly twice the rate of PTSD and depression as U.K. contractors, who tended to report better preparation, lower levels of combat exposure and better living conditions than U.S. contractors. Contractors from other countries had even better experiences in these categories than those from the United Kingdom.

More resources are needed to help contractors at all stages of their deployment, the researchers suggested.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about PTSD.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow