TITLE

Poor sleep after military deployment: associations with mental health difficulties

AUTHOR(S)
Hunt, E. J. F.; Greenberg, N.; Jones, N.
PUB. DATE
November 2016
SOURCE
Occupational Medicine;Nov2016, Vol. 66 Issue 8, p669
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background Sleep difficulties, alcohol use and mental illness are often related; military studies suggest that postdeployment is a high-risk period for sleep problems. Aims To examine the prevalence of post-deployment sleep difficulties in UK Armed Forces (UKAF) personnel and associations with alcohol use disorders (AUD) and any mental disorder (AMD) symptoms. Methods A prospective, self-report, observational study of UKAF members returning from Afghanistan, questionnaire data were collected immediately following and 6 months post-deployment. Results A total of 1636 participants provided study data at both time points. Twenty-three per cent of personnel reported sleep difficulties at follow-up; 11% reported sleep-related interference with daily functioning. Sleep problems were significantly associated with AUD and AMD. Initial post-deployment sleep problems were predictive of AMD but not AUD at follow-up. Conclusions The disclosure of alcohol misuse and mental ill-health in UKAF personnel is often inhibited by stigmatizing beliefs; detection could be enhanced by inquiring about sleep problems which may be less stigmatizing than direct enquiries about alcohol misuse and psychological well-being.
ACCESSION #
118979899

 

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