Chulalongkorn Medical Journal


Problem/Background : Mental illness in Thai army privates has increased during last year. This problem costs the military a lot of health care budget. The researcher was therefore, interested to study mental health problems of the new Thai army recruits so that the obtained data can be used in promoting and preventing their mental health problems. Objective : To study mental health problems and related factors of the new Thai army recruits at Phra Mongkutklao Hospital in 2009. Research Design : Cross-sectional descriptive study. Setting : Phra Mongkutklao Hospital. Materials and Methods : The participants were 220 new Thai army recruits. The demographic data questionnaire, questionnaire about work in the army and GHQ-30 (self-reported questionnaire) were used. The data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics, chi-square and multiple logistic regression analysis. Results : The results showed that 26.4% of new army recruits of 2009 at Phra Mongkutklao Hospital had mental health problem. Personality factors were not statistical significance but the factors related to army recruitment such as relationships with friends among the recruits, numbers of friends who give support, relationship with immediate superiors and opportunities to show their potentiality in work, were significantly related to the mental health problems. The results of multivariate analysis, demonstrated that the numbers of friends who give support and the opportunities to show their potentiality in work could help reduce the likelihood of mental health problem for 50%. Conclusion : One-fourth of the new army recruits had mental health problem. Factors which could reduce the likelihood of having mental health problem were: the numbers of friends who give support and the opportunities to show their potentiality in work. Providing the strategy to develop the new army recruits’ interpersonal relationships and the supportive working systems for them probably could help reduce the possibility of mental health problem.



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