Date of Award

12-15-2014

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Health Services and Policy Management

First Advisor

Janice Probst

Abstract

Purpose: This study sought to determine the prevalence and severity of mental health disorders (MHDs) and/or mental health problems (MHPs) and types of treatments received among soldiers who have or will serve as recruiters. Research Design and Methods: Data were collected between October 2011 to July 2013 from active duty soldiers (N=2,783) attending courses on Fort Jackson at the U.S. Army’s Recruiting and Retention School (RRS). Students consisted of regular active duty soldiers and activated Guard/Reservist that were either recruiters or recruiting candidates. The medical records of participating recruiters and recruiting candidates were reviewed for the prevalence of MHDs and MHPs and types of mental health treatment. Treatment was categorized as having none, being prescribed only medication, receiving only counseling, or getting a combination of both. Socio-demographic variables were included in adjusted analysis. Results: Over 39% of recruiters were diagnosed with at least one MHD, one MHP, or a combination of both. Approximately one in every four recruiters was diagnosed with only having at least one MHD (24.08%), with an additional 6.22% being diagnosed with at least one MHP, and 9.16% being diagnosed as having a combination of both. Over half of the recruiters received some form of mental health treatment (55.53%). The most common treatment was the combination of prescribed medications and counseling (25.75%), followed by only prescribed medications (16.78%), and only received counseling (13.00%). In adjusted analysis, middle-aged (30-39 years) and married recruiters remained associated with the presence of a MHDs or MHPs. Similarly, in adjusted analysis, middle-aged (30-39 years), Hispanic, and “Other” recruiters were associated with the reception of treatment via medications or counseling. Conclusions: The prevalence of MHDs and MHPs, were different and lower than those reported in the study by the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, but still significantly higher in comparison the findings identified in similar studies reflecting the prevalence of such disorders and problems among military and civilian personnel. Findings indicated that the types of mental health treatment rendered to the recruiters are not similar to other studies regarding military or civilian personnel, but rather indicate that recruiters diagnosed with MHDs and/or MHPs are receiving appropriate levels of medication, counseling, and/or combination of both when required and that adequate mental health resources are available and being utilized by those whom seek it. Findings also suggest that there are still mental health care barriers that need to be researched and addressed to ensure that all soldiers with mental health issues are accurately identified and receive adequate care.

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