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Do military peacekeepers want to talk about their experiences? Perceived psychological support of UK military peacekeepers on return from deployment

Greenberg, N., Thomas, S. L., Iversen, A., Unwin, C., Hull, L. and Wessely, S. 2003, Do military peacekeepers want to talk about their experiences? Perceived psychological support of UK military peacekeepers on return from deployment, Journal of mental health, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 565-573, doi: 10.1080/09638230310001627928.

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Title Do military peacekeepers want to talk about their experiences? Perceived psychological support of UK military peacekeepers on return from deployment
Author(s) Greenberg, N.
Thomas, S. L.ORCID iD for Thomas, S. L. orcid.org/0000-0003-1427-7775
Iversen, A.
Unwin, C.
Hull, L.
Wessely, S.
Journal name Journal of mental health
Volume number 12
Issue number 6
Start page 565
End page 573
Total pages 9
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2003-12
ISSN 0963-8237
Summary Background: Little is known about what support the United Kingdom (UK) armed forces require when they return from operations. Aims: To investigate the perceived psychological support requirements for service personnel on peacekeeping deployments when they return home from operations and examine their views on the requirement for formal psychological debriefings. Methods: A retrospective cohort study examined the perceived psychological needs of 1202 UK peacekeepers on return from deployment. Participants were sent a questionnaire asking about their perceived needs relating to peacekeeping deployments from April 1991 to October 2000. Results: Results indicate that about two-thirds of peacekeepers spoke about their experiences. Most turned to informal networks, such as peers and family members, for support. Those who were highly distressed reported talking to medical and welfare services. Overall, speaking about experiences was associated with less psychological distress. Additionally, two thirds of the sample was in favour of a formalised psychological debriefing on return to the UK. Conclusions: This study suggests that most peacekeepers do not require formalised interventions on homecoming and that more distressed personnel are already accessing formalised support mechanisms. Additionally social support from peers and family appears useful and the UK military should foster all appropriate possibilities for such support. Declaration of Interest: The Stage 1 study was funded by the US Department of Defence (DoD) and the follow up study by the Medical Research Counsel (MRC). Neither the DoD nor MRC had any input into the design, conduct, analysis or reporting of the study. The views expressed are not those of any US or UK governmental organisation. We thank Mr Nick Blatchley of MOD for help in identifying the cohorts.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/09638230310001627928
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2003, Shadowfax Publishing and Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30079626

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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