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Mil Med. 1999 Mar;164(3):174-81.

The mental health status of women in the Navy and Marine Corps: preliminary findings from the Perceptions of Wellness and Readiness Assessment.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Health Sciences, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA 92186-5122, USA.


The 1995 Perceptions of Wellness and Readiness Assessment was designed to provide baseline health and risk-factor information on the physical and mental health status of women in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and to make comparisons both within military subpopulations and with civilian populations. A population-based, multi-stage, cluster sample of 782 active duty Navy and Marine Corps women and men were administered a structured computerized telephone interview to make Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-III-R psychiatric diagnoses. Estimates were 40 and 21% for overall lifetime and 1-year prevalence of psychiatric disorders, respectively. Women had about five times the risk of experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder than men and about twice the risk of a major depressive episode. Of all personnel meeting diagnostic criteria for an active mental disorder, only 19% sought mental health care in the last year. Women generally sought treatment more readily than men.

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