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Mental health of Asian American and Pacific Islander military veterans: brief review of an understudied group.

Tsai J, Kong G. Mental health of Asian American and Pacific Islander military veterans: brief review of an understudied group. Military medicine. 2012 Nov 1; 177(11):1438-44.

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The mental health of American military soldiers and veterans is of widespread concern; yet, there has been no prior review of studies on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) veterans. This article provides a brief, but comprehensive review of the mental health of AAPI veterans. An exhaustive literature search was conducted using the major medical and mental health literature databases. Of 13 identified articles, nine were empirical studies on either post-traumatic stress disorder among AAPI Vietnam veterans or health functioning of AAPI veterans based on national veteran surveys. Findings from these studies showed that some AAPI veterans who served during the Vietnam War encountered racism from fellow soldiers and race-related stressors were associated with more severe post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. As a group, AAPI veterans were found to be physically healthier than other veterans, but reported poorer mental health and were less likely to use mental health services. However, these findings were limited by the paucity of studies on AAPI veterans and suggest a need for more research on this subpopulation.

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