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Journal of Health Research

Abstract

Background- This study investigated the prevalence and correlates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and its risks among the military in a low-income country.

Method- All participants answered self-administered questionnaires that measured PTSD, combat exposure, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), perceived social support, and depression in addition to a socio-demographic form in this cross-sectional study. Chi-square test of independence and Fisher exact test were employed to compute PTSD prevalence and its difference among the services. Correlation and binary logistic regression were used to explore relationships and the impact of the predictor variables on PTSD.

Results- PTSD prevalence among participants on routine military duties was 12.2%. PTSD was significantly related to MSDs (Army, p=0.03; Navy, p=0.008; Air Force p=0.039), combat exposure and depression (r=0.36, p=0.001), but not with gender (Army p =0.683, Navy p= 0.448 and Air Force p=0.586), perceived support (r=-0.05, p=0.476) and years of service (r=0.05, p=0.407). Rank was only significantly associated with PTSD in the Army (p=0.023) and Air force (0.015). Combat exposure was the best predictor of PTSD with an odds ratio of 1.21.

Conclusion- This study provided evidence about the presence of PTSD among military personnel from a low-income country who were exposed to insurgency and terrorism. It revealed valuable information on the correlates of PTSD among the military personnel. This information can enhance the military’s operational effectiveness and influence the formulation of policies regarding PTSD by the Appropriate Superior Authorities (ASA) of the military.

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