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Am J Public Health. 2012 Mar;102 Suppl 1:S60-5. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300580. Epub 2012 Jan 25.

Use of the Air Force Post-Deployment Health Reassessment for the identification of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder: public health implications for suicide prevention.

Author information

1
Air Force Medical Support Agency, Arlington, VA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Military members are required to complete the Post-Deployment Health Assessment on return from deployment and the Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (PHDRA) 90 to 180 days later, and we assessed the PDHRA's sensitivity and specificity in identifying posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression after a military deployment among US Air Force personnel.

METHODS:

We computed the PDHRA's sensitivity and specificity for depression and PTSD and developed a structural model to suggest possible improvements to it.

RESULTS:

For depression, sensitivity and specificity were 0.704 and 0.651, respectively; for PTSD, they were 0.774 and 0.650, respectively. Several variables produced significant direct effects on depression and trauma, suggesting that modifications could increase its sensitivity and specificity.

CONCLUSIONS:

The PDHRA was moderately effective in identifying airmen with depression and PTSD. It identified behavioral health concerns in many airmen who did not develop a diagnostic mental health condition. Its low level of specificity may result in reduced barriers to care and increased support services, key components of a public health approach to suicide prevention, for airmen experiencing subacute levels of distress after deployment, which may, in part, account for lower suicide rates among airmen after deployment.

PMID:
22390604
PMCID:
PMC3496442
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2011.300580
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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