Background: Deploying in a combat role negatively impacts risk-taking behaviours, such as drinking, smoking and risky driving in regular UK military personnel. Little is known about the impact of deployment on the risk-taking behaviours of reservists.
Aims: To explore the impact of deployment on risk-taking behaviours among reservists.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. Hazardous drinking, risky driving, physical violence, smoking and attendance at accident and emergency (A&E) departments as a result of risk-taking behaviours were assessed by self-reported questionnaire.
Results: There were 1710 participants in the study; response rate 51%. The overall prevalence of risk-taking behaviours was: hazardous drinking 46%, smoking 18%, risky driving 11%, attending A&E due to risky behaviours 13% and reporting physical violence 3%. Deployment was significantly associated with risky driving [odds ratio (OR) 1.88, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25–2.81], smoking (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.46–2.78) and physical violence (OR 3.63, 95% CI 1.88–7.02).
Conclusions: It is important to consider the impact of deployment and military factors on the prevalence of risk-taking behaviours in reservists as greater numbers than ever before will face the prospect of deployment to overseas conflicts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-416
Number of pages4
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


  • Alcohol
  • Deployment
  • Risky driving
  • UK military
  • Reservists
  • Smoking
  • Physical violence


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