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Retrospective Study: Sleep, Mental Disorders, and TBI in Deployed Military Members

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Final rept. 23 Sep 2013-23 Sep 2014

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Purpose The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine temporal patterns and relationships between sleep disorders, mental disorders, and TBI in service members who were deployed from 2001 to 2011. Description Longitudinal medical surveillance data from two electronic medical charting systems that included over 288,000 deployed service members with a diagnosed sleep disorder were used. A series of descriptive statistics, logistic regression analysis, and Chi-square tests for independence were used to answer the research questions. Findings Results showed that insomnia, sleep disordered breathing, substance use disorders and adjustment disorders occurred most frequently in this sample and that pre-existing sleep disorders are predictive of mental disorders after deployment but TBI was not. Those with TBI were diagnosed most frequently with insomnia and parasomnias, and temporally, mental disorders usually preceded a sleep disorder diagnosis. Implications for Military Nursing First, the relationship between pre-existing sleep disorders and mental disorders following a deployment can help direct health care providers in making recommendations for suitability for deployment. Second, this study identifies the top mental disorders and sleep disorders diagnosed in deployed service members, which provides potential for health care providers and commands to increase their observation of returning service members for these disorders in order to decrease risk of future disease and occupational problems. Finally, this study provides an in depth analysis of the frequencies and types of sleep disorders that are associated with TBI. The timely identification and treatment of sleep disorders is essential because these disorders increase risk for mental disorders and have the potential impede recovery from TBI.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Weapons Effects (Biological)

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