The long term occupational fitness of UK military personnel following community mental health care

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Background: Fitness to undertake operational deployment is a key requirement of military service. Aim: To assess individual deployment fitness at a single point from one month to eight years following discharge from mental healthcare. Method: Survival analyses assessed levels of deployability; the predictive effects of key covariates upon time to being classified as non-deployable were examined using univariate and multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression procedures. Results: A total of 1405 individuals provided study data. 437 individuals (31.1%) were non-deployable or discharged from service during follow-up. 17.2% were non-deployable in the first year following mental healthcare; the proportion did not rise above this level until year seven when it was 19.1% and then 30.6% in year eight. Risk factors for being classified as non-deployable were female sex, receipt of intermediate duration therapy, management by the multidisciplinary team and previous referral to mental health services. Previous deployment was significantly associated with reduced risk. Overall, the levels of non-deployability appeared to be no higher than those found among the wider military services. Conclusion: Non-deployable status among mental healthcare recipients was broadly similar to that found among the wider UK military; risk factors for non-deployability could be amenable to targeted relapse prevention measures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Early online date24 Jun 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2017


  • deployment
  • mental healthcare
  • military
  • Occupational


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