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Peacekeepers deserve more mental health research and care

  • Jun Shigemura (a1), Masanori Nagamine (a1), Nahoko Harada (a2), Masaaki Tanichi (a1), Kunio Shimizu (a3) and Aihide Yoshino (a1)...
Summary

United Nations peacekeeping personnel face numerous stressors due to their challenging deployments. Past studies have had inconsistent results regarding whether or not their deployment experience affects their mental health outcomes. Further studies are required to ascertain the associations between their outcomes and factors before, during and after their peacekeeping missions.

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Copyright
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Corresponding author
Jun Shigemura, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, National Defense Medical College, 3-2 Namiki, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-8513, Japan. Email: shige@ndmc.ac.jp
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Copyright and usage

© The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2016. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence.

Footnotes
References
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1 United Nations. UN Peacekeeping Operations Fact Sheet: 31 October 2015. UN, 2015 (http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/documents/bnote1015.pdf).
2 Shigemura, J, Nomura, S. Mental health issues of peacekeeping workers. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2002; 56: 483–91.
3 Sareen, J, Cox, BJ, Afifi, TO, Stein, BM, Belik, SL, Meadows, G, et al. Combat and peacekeeping operations in relation to prevalence of mental disorders and perceived need for mental health care: findings from a large representative sample of military personnel. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2007; 64: 843–52.
4 Seet, B, Burnham, GM. Fatality trends in United Nations peacekeeping operations, 1948–1998. JAMA 2000; 284: 598603.
5 Sawamura, T, Shimizu, K, Masaki, Y, Kobayashi, N, Sugawara, M, Tsunoda, T, et al. Mental health in Japanese members of the United Nations peacekeeping contingent in the Golan Heights: effects of deployment and the Middle East situation. Am J Orthopsychiatry 2008; 78: 8592.
6 Han, CS, Kim, YK. Psychiatric symptoms reported by international peacekeeping personnel in the Western Sahara Desert. J Nerv Ment Dis 2001; 189: 858–60.
7 Chen, SD, Sun, XY, Zhang, LY, Kong, LM, Chen, LJ, Guo, J, et al. Psychological maladjustment of Asian and African peacekeepers in Liberia and its related factors. Psychol Health Med 2015; 21: 460–8.
8 Souza, WF, Figueira, I, Mendlowicz, MV, Volchan, E, Portella, CM, Mendonça-de-Souza, AC, et al. Posttraumatic stress disorder in peacekeepers: a meta-analysis. J Nerv Ment Dis 2011; 199: 309–12.
9 Sareen, J, Stein, MB, Thoresen, S, Belik, SL, Zamorski, M, Asmundson, GJ. Is peacekeeping peaceful? A systematic review. Can J Psychiatry 2010; 55: 464–72.
10 Forbes, D, O'Donnell, M, Brand, RM, Korn, S, Creamer, M, McFarlane, AC, et al. The long-term mental health impact of peacekeeping: prevalence and predictors of psychiatric disorder. BJPsych Open 2016; 2: 32–7.
11 Warner, CH, Appenzeller, GN, Parker, JR, Warner, CM, Hoge, CW. Effectiveness of mental health screening and coordination of in-theater care prior to deployment to Iraq: a cohort study. Am J Psychiatry 2011; 168: 378–85.
12 Michel, PO, Lundin, T, Larsson, G. Stress reactions among Swedish peacekeeping soldiers serving in Bosnia: a longitudinal study. J Trauma Stress 2003; 16: 589–93.
13 Shigemura, J, Tanigawa, T, Saito, I, Nomura, S. Psychological distress in workers at the Fukushima nuclear power plants. JAMA 2012; 308: 667–9.
14 Brounéus, K. On return from peacekeeping: a review of current research on psychological well-being in military personnel returning from operational deployment. J Mil Veterans Health 2014; 22: 2530.
15 Connorton, E, Perry, MJ, Hemenway, D, Miller, M. Humanitarian relief workers and trauma-related mental illness. Epidemiol Rev 2012; 34: 145–55.
16 Strohmeier, H, Scholte, WF. Trauma-related mental health problems among national humanitarian staff: a systematic review of the literature. Eur J Psychotraumatol 2015; 6: 28541.
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BJPsych Open
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 2056-4724
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-open
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Peacekeepers deserve more mental health research and care

  • Jun Shigemura (a1), Masanori Nagamine (a1), Nahoko Harada (a2), Masaaki Tanichi (a1), Kunio Shimizu (a3) and Aihide Yoshino (a1)...
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