Depression in Entry-Level Military Personnel.
- Abstract: Objective: The goal was to determine the prevalence of, and risk factors for, depression in an entry-level U.S. Army population. Method: A cross-sectional survey of U.S. Army soldiers in advanced individual training was performed by using an anonymous self-report survey including demographic data, history (including abuse and psychiatric treatment), and the Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Results: Soldiers in advanced individual training (n = 1,184) were approached, and 1,090 (91.2%; 955 male soldiers and 135 female soldiers) voluntarily chose to participate. Eleven percent reported a psychiatric history, 26% reported a history of abuse, and 15.9% endorsed moderate or more severe current depressive symptoms (male, 15.0%; female, 22.2%). A history of psychiatric treatment (odds ratio, 2.08; 95% confidence interval, 1.21-3.59; p = 0.009) and a history of verbal abuse (odds ratio, 4.11; 95% confidence interval, 2.45-6.90; p = 0.000) placed soldiers at higher risk for depression. Conclusions: Our study shows a higher than expected rate of depression in entry-level training soldiers and identifies some risk factors for depression. This indicates an important need for further study, effective screening, preventive counseling, and early intervention.
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