Mental Health Treatment Experiences of U.S. Service Members Previously Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan

Published in: Psychiatric Services, v. 64, no. 3, Mar. 2013, p. 277-279

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2013

by Eunice C. Wong, Terry L. Schell, Lisa H. Jaycox, Grant N. Marshall, Terri Tanielian, Jeremy N. V. Miles

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OBJECTIVE: This study examined the mental health treatment experiences of active-duty U.S. service members who received treatment from primary care or specialty mental health providers. METHODS: A national sample of active-duty service members (N=1,659) was surveyed about mental health treatment experiences. RESULTS: About 17% of respondents reported receipt of mental health care in the prior 12 months. Three times as many service members had seen a specialty mental health provider (14%) as had seen a primary care provider (5%). Of those who had seen a specialty provider, 79% thought treatment helped "a lot or some" and none stated that treatment was "not at all" helpful. Of those who had seen a primary care provider, only 51% thought treatment had helped a lot or some and 15% viewed treatment as not helping at all. CONCLUSIONS: Patterns of utilization and perceptions of treatment should be considered when addressing the unmet mental health needs of service members.

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