Special Issue "Military Mental Health"

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Dominic M. Murphy

1. Combat Stress, Leatherhead, United Kingdom
2. King’s Centre for Military Health Research, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: PTSD; complex-PTSD; military mental health; veterans; co-morbidities; psychology; epidemiology; treatment outcomes
Guest Editor
Dr. Walter Busuttil

Combat Stress, Leatherhead, United Kingdom
Website | E-Mail
Interests: PTSD; childhood adversity; personality disorder; military mental health; service design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Substantial numbers of individuals leave the military each year.  Most transition successfully out of service, however, a substantial number experience complex mental health needs.  Anxiety, depression, alcohol misuse and PTSD have been highlighted as key health outcomes.

The aim of this Special Issue:

  • To advocate for mental health and psychological wellbeing in veterans
  • In particular, to shift attention to clinical samples of veterans and elucidate their needs
  • To highlight the impact of mental health not only on veterans but also significant others around them
  • To provide a forum to discuss the latest advances in treatment for veterans with mental health difficulties
  • To provide specific areas for future research via authors’ work.

Suggested topics:

  • Profiling the needs of treatment seeking veterans
  • Exploring barriers and facilitators to treatment outcomes
  • Novel interventions to support veterans with PTSD
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Co-morbid difficulties
  • Exploring the unique challenges faced by veterans with PTSD
  • Families: understanding the impact of living alongside veterans with mental health difficultes
  • Families: exploring interventions to support military families
  • Interventions to support integrated psychological care and holistic health outcomes
  • Measuring outcomes
  • How service users can help develop successful care pathways.

Dr. Dominic M. Murphy
Dr. Walter Busuttil
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • PTSD
  • alcohol misuse
  • treatment outcome studies
  • treatment-seeking veterans
  • clinical samples
  • co-morbidity
  • depression
  • anger
  • partners
  • childhood adversity
  • emotional dysregulation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
PTSD in U.S. Veterans: The Role of Social Connectedness, Combat Experience and Discharge
Healthcare 2018, 6(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6030102
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 16 August 2018 / Accepted: 17 August 2018 / Published: 22 August 2018
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Abstract
Service members who transition out of the military often face substantial challenges during their transition to civilian life. Leaving military service requires establishing a new community as well as sense of connectedness to that community. Little is known about how social connectedness may [...] Read more.
Service members who transition out of the military often face substantial challenges during their transition to civilian life. Leaving military service requires establishing a new community as well as sense of connectedness to that community. Little is known about how social connectedness may be related to other prominent transition outcomes, particularly symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The purpose of this study was to explore the role of social connectedness in the development of PTSD, as well as its relationship to the known risk factors of combat exposure and discharge status. Data used were drawn from a needs assessment survey of 722 veterans. A path model was specified to test direct and indirect effects of combat experiences, non-honorable discharge status, and social connectedness on PTSD symptoms. Results demonstrated positive direct effects for combat experiences and non-honorable discharge status on PTSD symptoms while social connectedness demonstrated a negative direct effect. Both combat experiences and non-honorable discharge status demonstrated negative direct effects on social connectedness and indirect on PTSD through the social connectedness pathway. Study findings indicate social connectedness may be an important factor related to PTSD in veterans as well as an intervention point for mitigating risk related to combat exposure and discharge status. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Military Mental Health)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Rates and Associated Factors of Secondary Mental Health Care Utilisation among Ex-Military Personnel in the United States: A Narrative Review
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 16 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
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Abstract
Little is known about ex-serving military personnel who access secondary mental health care. This narrative review focuses on studies that quantitatively measure secondary mental health care utilisation in ex-serving personnel from the United States. The review aimed to identify rates of mental health [...] Read more.
Little is known about ex-serving military personnel who access secondary mental health care. This narrative review focuses on studies that quantitatively measure secondary mental health care utilisation in ex-serving personnel from the United States. The review aimed to identify rates of mental health care utilisation, as well as the factors associated with it. The electronic bibliographic databases OVID Medline, PsycInfo, PsycArticles, and Embase were searched for studies published between January 2001 and September 2018. Papers were retained if they included ex-serving personnel, where the majority of the sample had deployed to the recent conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan. Fifteen studies were included. Modest rates of secondary mental health care utilisation were found in former military members—for mean percentage prevalence rates, values ranged from 12.5% for at least one psychiatric inpatient episode, to 63.2% for at least one outpatient mental health appointment. Individuals engaged in outpatient care visits most often, most likely because these appointments are the most commonly offered source of support. Post-traumatic stress disorder, particularly re-experiencing symptoms, and comorbid mental health problems were most consistently associated with higher mental health care utilisation. Easily accessible interventions aimed at facilitating higher rates of help seeking in ex-serving personnel are recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Military Mental Health)
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Open AccessReview
Guidelines for the Treatment of PTSD Using Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques)
Healthcare 2018, 6(4), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare6040146
Received: 24 October 2018 / Revised: 7 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 December 2018 / Published: 12 December 2018
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Abstract
Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is an evidence-based method that combines acupressure with elements drawn from cognitive and exposure therapies. The approach has been validated in more than 100 clinical trials. Its efficacy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been investigated in a [...] Read more.
Clinical EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is an evidence-based method that combines acupressure with elements drawn from cognitive and exposure therapies. The approach has been validated in more than 100 clinical trials. Its efficacy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been investigated in a variety of demographic groups including war veterans, victims of sexual violence, the spouses of PTSD sufferers, motor accident survivors, prisoners, hospital patients, adolescents, and survivors of natural and human-caused disasters. Meta-analyses of EFT for anxiety, depression, and PTSD indicate treatment effects that exceed those of both psychopharmacology and conventional psychotherapy. Studies of EFT in the treatment of PTSD show that (a) time frames for successful treatment generally range from four to 10 sessions; (b) group therapy sessions are effective; (c) comorbid conditions such as anxiety and depression improve simultaneously; (d) the risk of adverse events is low; (e) treatment produces physiological as well as psychological improvements; (f) patient gains persist over time; (g) the approach is cost-effective; (h) biomarkers such as stress hormones and genes are regulated; and (i) the method can be adapted to online and telemedicine applications. This paper recommends guidelines for the use of EFT in treating PTSD derived from the literature and a detailed practitioner survey. It has been reviewed by the major institutions providing training or supporting research in the method. The guidelines recommend a stepped-care model, with five treatment sessions for subclinical PTSD, 10 sessions for PTSD, and escalation to intensive psychotherapy or psychopharmacology or both for nonresponsive patients and those with developmental trauma. Group therapy, social support, apps, and online and telemedicine methods also contribute to a successful treatment plan. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Military Mental Health)
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