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War-related psychological stressors and risk of psychological disorders in Australian veterans of the 1991 Gulf War


Ikin, JF and Sim, MR and Creamer, MC and Forbes, AB and McKenzie, DP and Kelsall, HL and Glass, DC and McFarlane, AC and Abramson, MJ and Ittack, P and Dwyer, T and Blizzard, CL and Delaney, KR and Horsley, KWA and Harrex, WK and Schwartz, H, War-related psychological stressors and risk of psychological disorders in Australian veterans of the 1991 Gulf War, British Journal of Psychiatry, 185 pp. 116-126. ISSN 0007-1250 (2004) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1192/bjp.185.2.116


Background: Questions remain about the long-term health impacts of the 1991 Gulf War on its veterans. Aims: To measure psychological disorders in Australian Gulf War veterans and a military comparison group and to explore any association with exposure to Gulf War-related psychological stressors. Method: Prevalences of DSM - IV psychological disorders were measured using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Gulf War-related psychological stressors were measured using a service experience questionnaire. Results: A total of 31% of male Gulf War veterans and 21% of the comparison group met criteria for a DSM-IV disorder first present in the post-Gulf War period. The veterans were at greater risk of developing post-Gulf War anxiety disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder, affective disorders and substance use disorders. The prevalence of such disorders remained elevated a decade after deployment. The findings can be explained partly as a 'war-deployment effect'. There was a strong dose-response relationship between psychological disorders and number of reported Gulf War-related psychological stressors. Conclusions: Service in the 1991 Gulf War is associated with increased risk of psychological disorders and these are related to stressful experiences.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Dwyer, T (Professor Terry Dwyer)
UTAS Author:Blizzard, CL (Professor Leigh Blizzard)
ID Code:31328
Year Published:2004
Web of Science® Times Cited:91
Deposited By:Menzies Centre
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2011-09-27

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