Psychological correlates of battle and nonbattle injury among Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans

Mil Med. 2009 Mar;174(3):224-31. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-03-9107.


Limited research exists on the relationship between physical injury and PTSD within military populations. The present study assessed postinjury rates of PTSD and other psychological correlates among battle and non-battle injuries. A total of 1,968 men (831 battle injuries and 1,137 nonbattle injuries) injured between September 2004 and February 2005 during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) composed the study sample. Patients were followed through November 2006 for mental health diagnosis (ICD-9 290-319). Compared with nonbattle injuries, those with battle injuries had a greater risk of PTSD and other mental health diagnosis, and there was a positive association with injury severity. Self-reported mental health symptoms were significantly higher for both minor and moderate-severe battle injury in comparison to nonbattle injury and previous population estimates from an earlier OIF period. More research is needed to further define this relationship by examining potential mechanisms and addressing the possible contributing effect of combat exposure.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Iraq / epidemiology
  • Iraq War, 2003-2011*
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Military Personnel*
  • Military Psychiatry*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prevalence
  • Psychometrics
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / etiology*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Veterans*
  • Wounds and Injuries / complications
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*