Priorities for Psychiatric Research in the U.S. Military: An Epidemiological Approach.
Among the 1.4 million active duty United States military service members, 6% receive outpatient treatment for a mental disorder each year. Over 25% of these service members leave military service within 6 months, a rate that is more than two times higher than the rate following treatment for any other illness category. There is clearly a need to define psychiatric research priorities and an unprecedented opportunity to enhance the field of psychiatric research in general using the well-characterized military population. The first priority is to better define the burden of mental disorders in terms of incidence, prevalence, severity, risk factors, and health care use. The impact of mental disorders on occupational functioning, particularly among new recruits, needs to be better characterized. Suicide research should include efforts to validate mortality data, define the normal level of rate variability, and establish surveillance for clusters. The highly structured occupational environment of the military lends itself to studies of preventive interventions designed to reduce disability or occupational attrition resulting from mental/behavioral problems.
Messer, S. C.,
Hoge, C. W.,
Engel, C. C.,
Margaret, R. A.,
Orman, D. T.
(2003). Priorities for Psychiatric Research in the U.S. Military: An Epidemiological Approach.. Military Medicine, 168(3), 182-185.
Available at: http://nsuworks.nova.edu/cps_facarticles/898