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Predictors of decline in overall mental health, PTSD and alcohol use in OEF/OIF veterans.

Schultz M, Glickman ME, Eisen SV. Predictors of decline in overall mental health, PTSD and alcohol use in OEF/OIF veterans. Comprehensive psychiatry. 2014 Oct 1; 55(7):1654-64.

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This study identified predictors of worsening mental health (including PTSD and alcohol use) over a 6-month period following return from deployment to Iraq (OIF) or Afghanistan (OIF). Using a national sample of 512 OEF/OIF veterans surveyed within 12 months of return from deployment (T1), and 6 months later (T2), we obtained demographic and deployment characteristics, risk and resilience factors, mental health status, PTSD and alcohol abuse. We performed logistic regression analyses to identify predictors of worse mental health, PTSD or alcohol use between T1 and T2, controlling for initial levels. Of the sample, 14-25% showed clinically worse mental health, PTSD or alcohol use. Each outcome was associated with some shared and some unique predictors. For example, younger age and recent medical care were both associated with worse alcohol use. Lack of adequate deployment training was uniquely associated with worse PTSD symptoms.

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