Non-battle injury & non-battle psychiatric illness in deployed Air Force members Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Eaton, Melinda
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Epidemiology
  • With the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, researchers have developed studies to examine combat injuries and posttraumatic stress disorder. However, there are few published studies examining non-battle injuries and non-battle psychiatric illness for deployed United States Air Force members. This study examines the relationship between component status (Active Duty, Guard, or Reserve) and all non-battle injuries in a deployed environment. Additionally, the study examines the association between non-battle psychiatric illness and operational phases (buildup, invasion, and two stabilization phases) in all deployed Air Force members. A historical prospective cohort study of approximately 480,000 individual Air Force deployments in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom from 11 September 2001 through 31 October 2006 was conducted. Data regarding illness and injuries diagnosed during clinical visits was obtained through the Global Expeditionary Medical System. Total deployment time was obtained from the Defense Manpower Data Center. Poisson regression was utilized to compare incidence rate ratios. The overall unadjusted incidence rate of non-battle injuries in deployed members for the study period (2001-2006) was 93.49 non-battle injuries per 1,000 person-years deployed. The most common non-battle injuries were sprains and strains (53.0%) followed by open wounds (27.3%). The youngest age group (17-24 years) had the highest rate of non-battle injury and higher ranking personnel had the lowest rate of non-battle injuries. Guard and Reserve members had a lower rate of orthopedic and superficial non-battle injuries than Active Duty members when incidence rate ratios were adjusted for age and occupation. The overall incidence of non-battle non-drug psychiatric illness in deployed Air Force members was 7.76 non-battle non-drug psychiatric illnesses per 1,000 person-years deployed. The incidence of non-battle non-drug psychiatric illness increased as the operations progressed with the invasion phase and both stabilization phases having a higher incidence rate than the buildup phase. Higher incidence rates were also seen in females, junior officers, and the Reserve members. Results from this study are intended to facilitate the development of proper training and prevention programs to maximize operational efficiency as well as to reduce non-battle injuries and non-battle psychiatric illnesses in a deployed environment.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Epidemiology."
  • Marshall, Stephen
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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