Description of risk and resilience factors among military medical personnel before deployment to Iraq

Mil Med. 2008 Jan;173(1):1-9. doi: 10.7205/milmed.173.1.1.


Military medical personnel preparing for deployment to Iraq (N = 328) participated in a survey concerning predeployment risk and resilience factors. Participants reported exposure to an average of 2.5 potentially traumatic events before deployment and 76% (n = 229) reported at least two current concerns about predeployment stressors. Military personnel also endorsed a series of positive appraisals of the military, the mission, and their unit. Fairly low levels of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms before deployment were reported and positive affect was significantly higher than reported negative affect. Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms that were present before deployment were most strongly associated with risk factors, whereas positive affect was most strongly associated with resilience factors. Predeployment negative affect was associated with a combination of risk and resilience factors. These findings have implications for possible interventions and preparation of medical personnel before military deployment. A better understanding of the factors related to risk and resilience in military medical personnel will allow for improved screening, educational, training, and clinical programs aimed at increasing resilience before military deployments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Iraq
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel*
  • Military Psychiatry*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • United States