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Theater Mental Health Encounter Data (TMHED): Overview of Design and Methods
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Research has documented higher risks for mental and physical health problems among individuals deployed to war zones. Limited information has hindered studies of acute combat stress and its impact on mental and physical health. To fill this gap, the Operational Stress Combat and Readiness OSCAR initiative integrated mental health practitioners into Navy and Marine Corps units serving in the Iraqi combat theater. All cases seen by 1st Marine Division OSCAR team providers between January 2006 and January 2007 were documented and compose the Theater Mental Health Encounter Data TMHED database. This report describes the TMHED study design, data collection approach, descriptive characteristics, and measures. A total of 1,336 patients and 3,180 patient visits were documented. Just over 10 of cases were women, approximately 75 had a high school education, and the majority of cases were Marines Corps personnel 60. Most patients 55 were mid-pay grade enlisted E4E6s, and over half 57 were on their first deployment. TMHED provides a unique opportunity to examine characteristics of early psychiatric intervention in a combat zone, and may help improve health outcomes and quality of life of combat-deployed service members.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE