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Hypervigilance In OEF/OIF Servicewomen: Use Of Guns/Weapons For Personal Safety Post-Deployment To Combat Regions

Sadler AG, Mengeling M, Torner J, Booth B. Hypervigilance In OEF/OIF Servicewomen: Use Of Guns/Weapons For Personal Safety Post-Deployment To Combat Regions. Paper presented at: International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Annual Symposium; 2015 Nov 5; New Orleans, LA.




Abstract:

We sought to determine if OEF/OIF servicewomen have guns/weapons nearby for use in personal safety post-deployment and if PTSD is associated with this hypervigalent action. A community sample of 862 OEF/OIF servicewomen deployed to Iraq/Afghanistan or other combat regions completed a telephone interview assessing deployment, demographic and trauma characteristics, PTSD, and readjustment. One-fifth (21%) acknowledged keeping guns/weapons nearby for safety and 36% patrolling their house, checking doors and windows for security. Those who patrol home were more likely to keep guns/weapons nearby (41% vs. 14%, p < .0001). Current PTSD was associated with weapons nearby: PTSD (33% vs. 11%, p < .0001). Women sexually assaulted in military were more likely to have guns/weapons nearby (28% vs 17%, p = 0.00029). Those with children (55%) were less likely to report guns/weapons nearby (45% vs. 57%; p = 0.005.). Assessment of women's post-deployment fears and safety-related activities is essential in assessment and treatment of readjustment and PTSD. Recognition of the potential risks that guns/weapons in the homes may pose for military women and their families is a vital health concern.





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