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PTSD After Military Peacekeeping

manThe feeling of being unable to control a situation at the time of trauma can result in PTSD among peacekeeping veterans.

The disorder can have significant impairments in health-related quality of life.

Dr. J. Donald Richardson of The University of Western Ontario and his co-workers discovered anxiety disorders such as PTSD are associated with impaired emotional well-being, and this applies just as much to peacekeeping veterans as to combat veterans.

“This finding is important to clinicians working with the newer generation of veterans, as it stresses the importance of including measures of quality of life when evaluating veterans to better address their rehabilitation needs,” says Dr. Richardson.

“It is not enough to measure symptom changes with treatment; we need to objectively asses if treatment is improving their quality of life and how they are functioning in their community.”

Richardson is a consultant psychiatrist with the Operational Stress Injury Clinic at Parkwood Hospital, part of St. Joseph’s Health Care, London and a psychiatry professor with the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western.

His team studied 125 male, deployed Canadian Forces peacekeeping veterans who were referred for a psychiatric assessment. The average age of these men was 41, and they averaged 16 years of military service.

The most common military theatre in which they served were the Balkan states (Bosnia, Croatia, former Yugoslavia, and Kosovo), with 83 per cent having exposure to combat or a war zone.

While the relationship among PTSD and physical and mental health impairment is well developed in combat veterans, it is less studied among the deployed peacekeeping veteran population.

Peacekeepers are exposed to traumatic events which they are helpless to prevent under the United National rules of engagement, which state soldiers must show restraint and neutrality.

The feeling of being unable to control a situation at the time of trauma is an important risk factor for developing PTSD.

Source: University of Western Ontario

PTSD After Military Peacekeeping

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). PTSD After Military Peacekeeping. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2008/10/02/ptsd-after-military-peacekeeping/3049.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.