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Mil Med. 2013 Feb;178(2):e241-7. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-12-00329.

Corporate knowledge of psychiatric services available in a combat zone.

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Royal Navy Mental Health Rehabilitation Service, DCMH Portsmouth, PP6, Sunnywalk, HMNB Portsmouth, PO1 3LT, United Kingdom.



British forces have a comprehensive system for managing acute psychological distress in a combat zone. This includes peer support via Trauma Risk Management (TRiM), access to deployed medical personnel, and a Field Mental Health Team (FMHT). TRiM and medical personnel need to be aware of the FMHT's presence in the combat zone and capability to provide specialist mental health care.


TRiM and medical personnel completed a survey based on 6 audit standards. Differences between TRiM and medical personnel and the effects of rank, role, and location in theater were assessed using the Pearson χ(2) statistical test. Statistical significance was defined as p ≤ 0.05.


Most TRiM and medical personnel knew that an FMHT was embedded within the deployed force. Significantly less TRiM than medical personnel knew that the FMHT would carry out clinical assessments at forward locations. There was a high degree of satisfaction with the service provided by the FMHT.


Corporate knowledge of the FMHT by both Medical and TRiM personnel was generally good. TRiM training should increase its emphasis on the FMHT's ability to undertake assessments at forward locations. Efforts by the FMHT to ensure corporate knowledge among TRiM personnel should focus on more forward locations.

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