Combat's Effects on Relief Workers Studied

Peacekeepers and relief workers exposed to combat were more likely to be diagnosed with PTSD, the researchers reported.

A study published in the December issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reports that, despite similar traumatic exposures, war zone peacekeepers and relief workers do not show the same mental health effects as combat veterans. The journal is the official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The researchers used data from a nationwide mental health survey to analyze psychiatric symptoms among 272 U.S. adults who reported working in a war zone as a combat soldier, peacekeeper, and/or relief worker. Some subjects reported both combat and peacekeeping experience. Ellen Connorton (econnort@hsph.harvard.edu), ScD, MSW, MPA, of the Harvard School of Public Health, was lead researcher. The paper is titled "Occupational trauma and mental illness — combat, peacekeeping, or relief work and the National Co-Morbidity Survey Replication."

The subjects exposed to combat were more likely to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder; there was no evidence of increased mental health problems among those exposed to peacekeeping or relief work without combat exposure. "PTSD from combat seems to occur quickly, while most of the effects of combat exposure on drug and alcohol dependence are delayed," they concluded. The paper notes some subjects were diagnosed with depression or other psychiatric disorders prior to being exposed to combat and/or peacekeeping/relief work.

ACOEM said some studies have suggested a higher PTSD risk among war zone peacekeepers, but few studies have looked at possible mental health impacts of relief work.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue