175021 Posttraumatic stress disorder and depression among caregivers after deployment to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: A prospective analysis

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Isabel G. Jacobson, MPH , DoD Center for Deployment Health Research, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, CA
Background: The association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and exposure to trauma among health care workers has been documented in both civilian and military populations. To date, only limited cross-sectional studies have been conducted to assess PTSD or depression among caregivers deployed in support of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Methods: The Millennium Cohort Study was designed to prospectively evaluate the long-term health effects of military service on health over a period of 21 years. Baseline data collected from July 2001 to June 2003 and follow-up data collected from June 2004 to February 2006 contain information on military occupation, depression, PTSD, and trauma exposure. Additionally, deployment data were available from electronic military records. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to determine the risk of new-onset PTSD and depression among deployed caregivers with combat exposures compared with those deployed without combat exposures and those who were not deployed.

Results: Of the 55,000 Millennium Cohort participants with longitudinal data, approximately 25% have deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. About half of those who deployed were exposed to combat or trauma. Analyses are ongoing.

Conclusions: Quantifying the risk of PTSD and depression among caregivers is critical to understanding the scope of mental health problems occurring among service members during and following deployment. Results may point to the need for programs to help caregivers identify and cope with mental health challenges of their own.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe characteristics of caregivers who may be at risk for new-onset PTSD or new-onset depression. 2. Describe the association between deployment and risk of new-onset PTSD and new-onset depression among caregivers. 3. Identify additional risk factors for new-onset PTSD and new-onset depression among caregivers.

Keywords: Caregivers, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I contributed to the study design and concept, as well as managed and completed data analysis and interpretation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.