Mental Health Treatment Among Soldiers With Current Mental Disorders in the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Service Members (Army STARRS)

Mil Med. 2015 Oct;180(10):1041-51. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00686.


A representative sample of 5,428 nondeployed Regular Army soldiers completed a self-administered questionnaire (SAQ) and consented to linking SAQ data with administrative records as part of the Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Service members. The SAQ included information about prevalence and treatment of mental disorders among respondents with current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) internalizing (anxiety, mood) and externalizing (disruptive behavior, substance) disorders. 21.3% of soldiers with any current disorder reported current treatment. Seven significant predictors of being in treatment were identified. Four of these 7 were indicators of psychopathology (bipolar disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, 8+ months duration of disorder). Two were sociodemographics (history of marriage, not being non-Hispanic Black). The final predictor was history of deployment. Treatment rates varied between 4.7 and 71.5% depending on how many positive predictors the soldier had. The vast majority of soldiers had a low number of these predictors. These results document that most nondeployed soldiers with mental disorders are not in treatment and that untreated soldiers are not concentrated in a particular segment of the population that might be targeted for special outreach efforts. Analysis of modifiable barriers to treatment is needed to help strengthen outreach efforts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Health*
  • Military Personnel / psychology*
  • Prevalence
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology