Community integration after deployment to Afghanistan: a longitudinal investigation of Danish soldiers

Karen-Inge Karstoft, Cherie Armour, Søren B. Andersen, Mette Bertelsen, Trine Madsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:In the years following military deployment, soldiers may experience problems integrating into the community. However, little is known about the nature and prevalence of these problems and if they relate to posttraumatic symptomatology.METHODS:In a prospective, longitudinal study of Danish soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 (N = 743), we assessed community reintegration difficulties 2.5 years after home coming (study sample: N = 454). Furthermore, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were assessed before, during, and after deployment. Trajectories of PTSD symptoms from a previously published latent growth mixture modeling analysis were used to address whether community reintegration difficulties differ as a result of course and level of PTSD symptoms.RESULTS:Between 3.6 and 18.0% reported to have some, a lot, or extreme difficulties in reintegration domains such as interpersonal functioning, productivity, community involvement, and self-care. Mean level of reintegration difficulties differed significantly across six PTSD symptom trajectories (range 6.35-36.00); with more symptomatic trajectories experiencing greater community reintegration difficulties.CONCLUSIONS:Reintegration difficulties after deployment are present in less than 20% of Danish soldiers who return from Afghanistan. Difficulties are greater in individuals who follow symptomatic PTSD trajectories in the first years following deployment than in those who follow a low-stable trajectory with no or few symptoms.
LanguageEnglish
Pages653-660
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Volume50
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Community Integration
Afghanistan
reintegration
Military Personnel
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
soldier
posttraumatic stress disorder
community
Self Care
Longitudinal Studies
Prospective Studies
longitudinal study
productivity
Military
Growth

Keywords

  • Community reintegration
  • PTSD
  • Military
  • Operation enduring freedom
  • Longitudinal analysis
  • Mixture modeling

Cite this

Karstoft, Karen-Inge ; Armour, Cherie ; Andersen, Søren B. ; Bertelsen, Mette ; Madsen, Trine. / Community integration after deployment to Afghanistan: a longitudinal investigation of Danish soldiers. In: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2015 ; Vol. 50, No. 4. pp. 653-660.
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abstract = "OBJECTIVE:In the years following military deployment, soldiers may experience problems integrating into the community. However, little is known about the nature and prevalence of these problems and if they relate to posttraumatic symptomatology.METHODS:In a prospective, longitudinal study of Danish soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 (N = 743), we assessed community reintegration difficulties 2.5 years after home coming (study sample: N = 454). Furthermore, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were assessed before, during, and after deployment. Trajectories of PTSD symptoms from a previously published latent growth mixture modeling analysis were used to address whether community reintegration difficulties differ as a result of course and level of PTSD symptoms.RESULTS:Between 3.6 and 18.0{\%} reported to have some, a lot, or extreme difficulties in reintegration domains such as interpersonal functioning, productivity, community involvement, and self-care. Mean level of reintegration difficulties differed significantly across six PTSD symptom trajectories (range 6.35-36.00); with more symptomatic trajectories experiencing greater community reintegration difficulties.CONCLUSIONS:Reintegration difficulties after deployment are present in less than 20{\%} of Danish soldiers who return from Afghanistan. Difficulties are greater in individuals who follow symptomatic PTSD trajectories in the first years following deployment than in those who follow a low-stable trajectory with no or few symptoms.",
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Community integration after deployment to Afghanistan: a longitudinal investigation of Danish soldiers. / Karstoft, Karen-Inge; Armour, Cherie; Andersen, Søren B.; Bertelsen, Mette; Madsen, Trine.

In: Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, Vol. 50, No. 4, 2015, p. 653-660.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Karstoft, Karen-Inge

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N2 - OBJECTIVE:In the years following military deployment, soldiers may experience problems integrating into the community. However, little is known about the nature and prevalence of these problems and if they relate to posttraumatic symptomatology.METHODS:In a prospective, longitudinal study of Danish soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 (N = 743), we assessed community reintegration difficulties 2.5 years after home coming (study sample: N = 454). Furthermore, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were assessed before, during, and after deployment. Trajectories of PTSD symptoms from a previously published latent growth mixture modeling analysis were used to address whether community reintegration difficulties differ as a result of course and level of PTSD symptoms.RESULTS:Between 3.6 and 18.0% reported to have some, a lot, or extreme difficulties in reintegration domains such as interpersonal functioning, productivity, community involvement, and self-care. Mean level of reintegration difficulties differed significantly across six PTSD symptom trajectories (range 6.35-36.00); with more symptomatic trajectories experiencing greater community reintegration difficulties.CONCLUSIONS:Reintegration difficulties after deployment are present in less than 20% of Danish soldiers who return from Afghanistan. Difficulties are greater in individuals who follow symptomatic PTSD trajectories in the first years following deployment than in those who follow a low-stable trajectory with no or few symptoms.

AB - OBJECTIVE:In the years following military deployment, soldiers may experience problems integrating into the community. However, little is known about the nature and prevalence of these problems and if they relate to posttraumatic symptomatology.METHODS:In a prospective, longitudinal study of Danish soldiers deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 (N = 743), we assessed community reintegration difficulties 2.5 years after home coming (study sample: N = 454). Furthermore, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were assessed before, during, and after deployment. Trajectories of PTSD symptoms from a previously published latent growth mixture modeling analysis were used to address whether community reintegration difficulties differ as a result of course and level of PTSD symptoms.RESULTS:Between 3.6 and 18.0% reported to have some, a lot, or extreme difficulties in reintegration domains such as interpersonal functioning, productivity, community involvement, and self-care. Mean level of reintegration difficulties differed significantly across six PTSD symptom trajectories (range 6.35-36.00); with more symptomatic trajectories experiencing greater community reintegration difficulties.CONCLUSIONS:Reintegration difficulties after deployment are present in less than 20% of Danish soldiers who return from Afghanistan. Difficulties are greater in individuals who follow symptomatic PTSD trajectories in the first years following deployment than in those who follow a low-stable trajectory with no or few symptoms.

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