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Postdeployment, Self-Reporting of Mental Health Problems, and Barriers to Care


  • Rosanne Visco PhD

    1. Rosanne Visco, PhD, is a Psychiatric Nurse, Inpatient Services, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl, Germany, and an active-duty Major in the U.S. Air Force.
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  • The views expressed in this article are those of the author and are not the official policy of the Department of Defense or the United States Air Force.

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PURPOSE.  This study explored the relationship between self-reported mental health symptoms and help-seeking behaviors of active-duty Air Force members.

DESIGN AND METHODS.  Mixed-methods approach reviewed 200 postdeployment surveys from active-duty members assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, USA. Chi-square analysis examined significance between self-reporting mental health problems and accessing treatment.

FINDINGS.  As the rate of self-reported mental health symptoms increased, active-duty members were less inclined to seek help. There were inconsistencies among gender for self-reporting and accessing services.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS.  Air Force psychiatric nurses need to be at the forefront of outreach services when treating combat-stressed troops.