The Institution of a 12-Month Post Deployment Health Reassessment as a Predictor of Warriors Who Are High Risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Monday, 30 July 2012

CPT Leslie Michelle Turner, MSN, CNOR
Department of Nursing/Perioperative Section, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, VA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to discuss a key reason why a health reassessment at 12 months is warranted.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to discuss the positive implications of instituting a Post Deployment Health Reassessment at 12 months.

Although post deployment health reassessments (PDHRA) are conducted 3-6 months after redeploying, military studies show that almost 20 percent of veterans did not identify a problem with reintegration until a year after returning to their home base (Milliken, Auchterlonie, & Hoge, 2007). The proposed study will determine if administering the PDHRA to soldiers/veterans at the one-year anniversary of redeployment would aid in positively identifying a missed population of Warrior/veterans warranting further mental health assessment utilizing Barker’s middle range theory. A cross-sectional survey design of a random sample of up to 1920 Iraq and Afghanistan Warriors/veterans will be utilized to compare the number of referrals made at the 3-6 months PDHRA to the one-year PDHRA. A multiple linear regression analysis will assess any predictors for the increase in the number of referrals at the one-year PDHRA when compared with the 3-6 months PDHRA. It is anticipated that there will be a significant increase in the number of mental health referrals at the one-year PDHRA indicating a need to institute an additional PDHRA. By conducting this study, we can show that instituting a mandatory requirement for all Iraq or Afghanistan Warriors/veterans to complete a PDHRA at one-year post redeployment will aid in identifying those at higher risk for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The need to implement such a policy is vital to the mental and physical health of the Warriors/veterans and community. This study can provide valuable knowledge and awareness to the healthcare community on how to identify Warriors/veterans who may be experiencing signs of PTSD well after their 3-6 months PDHRA. 


Milliken, C. S., Auchterlonie, J. L., & Hoge, C. W., (2007). Longitudinal assessment of mental health problems among active and reserve component soldiers returning from the Iraq war. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 298(18), 2141-2148.