Beyond battlemind: evaluation of a new mental health training program for Canadian forces personnel participating in third-location decompression

Mil Med. 2012 Nov;177(11):1245-53. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-12-00064.

Abstract

Introduction: Battlemind training, which improves postdeployment well-being, has been part of Canada's postdeployment Third-location Decompression (TLD) program since 2006. In 2010, a new educational program drawing on Battlemind was implemented to make it more consistent with Canada's current mental health training strategy.

Methods: Subjects consisted of 22,113 Canadian personnel returning from Afghanistan via TLD in Cyprus; 3,024 (14%) received the new program. Pre-/post-training attitude and self-efficacy questionnaires assessed the impact of the training. In addition, a quasi-experimental approach used questionnaires administered at the end of TLD to compare the satisfaction, attitudes, and self-efficacy under the old vs. new program.

Results: Pre-/post-training questionnaires showed medium to large positive effects of the training on targeted attitudes and self-efficacy (Cohen's d = 0.44-1.02). Participants completing the new program were more satisfied with the educational program (adjusted odds ratio = 3.2), perceived the TLD to be more valuable (odds ratio = 1.7), and had at least certain more favorable post-TLD attitudes and self-efficacy (d ranging from 0.00 to 0.29).

Conclusion: All of these findings point to the superiority of the new program. However, quasi-experimental approaches are bias-prone, and it is unknown whether these advantages will translate into meaningful improvements in well-being.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Afghan Campaign 2001-
  • Canada
  • Combat Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health / education*
  • Military Medicine / education*
  • Military Personnel / education*
  • Program Evaluation / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Self Efficacy
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires