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UK extended Medical Assessment Programme for ex-service personnel: the first 150 individuals seen

  • Ian P. Palmer (a1)
Abstract
Aims and method

To describe an interim service set up to examine the breadth of UK ex-service personnel's concerns in relation to their mental health and military service and provide a record of the first 150 individuals assessed following conformation of military service and examination of all available military and civilian medical records.

Results

The majority of attendees were White male ex-soldiers. Average age, service and time to assessment were 44.5, 15.8 and 11.7 years respectively. Two-thirds were receiving help from the National Health Service and ex-service nongovernmental organisations. Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder were similar to previous UK studies. Obsessional symptoms were of relevance to the clinical presentation in a third. Fabrication and/or exaggeration occurred in about 10%.

Clinical implications

The spread of diagnoses and delay in help-seeking are similar to civilians. The link between mental disorders and military service is seldom straightforward and fabrication or exaggeration is difficult for civilians to recognise. Verification and contextualisation of service using contemporaneous service medical records is important given the possible occupational origin of mental health conditions.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Ian Palmer (ianpalmer@doctors.org.uk)
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

I.P. is employed by the Pensions, Compensation and Veterans Department of the UK Ministry of Defence. The Ministry had no input into the completion or presentation of this paper and sought no changes.

Footnotes
References
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UK extended Medical Assessment Programme for ex-service personnel: the first 150 individuals seen

  • Ian P. Palmer (a1)
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