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Mil Med. 2008 Jan;173(1):17-24.

Screening soldiers in outpatient care for mental health concerns.

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Department of Psychology, Madigan Army Medical Center, MCHJ-CP (1-83-31), 9040 Fitzsimmons Drive, Tacoma, WA 98431-1100, USA.


Significant recent effort has been directed toward screening and describing military populations in relation to deployment. Missing from these recent efforts is information describing screened mental health symptoms for the population of active duty military that are seen for mental health services. This article presents mental health screening data for 2,882 soldiers seeking services at a military facility outpatient behavioral health clinic. Screening positive for multiple symptom domains was common, with >60% of the sample screening positive for more than one clinical symptom domain. Post-traumatic stress disorder and depression were among the most commonly identified disorders, followed by alcohol abuse. This screening data, gathered using measures similar to those used in published deployment-related screening efforts, suggest differences that exist between the clinical population and the overall military population, providing some insights into the rates of clinical symptomatology within the military health system and providing a point of comparison for population- screening efforts. Clinical implications include the importance of provider awareness to the high rates of comorbidity across symptom domains.

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