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Do Military Uniform and Rank Impact on the Therapeutic Relationship between Military Mental Health Clients and Clinicians?
  1. MM Wilson, Community Psychiatric Nurse1,
  2. PD McAllister, Command Psychiatrist2,
  3. Dr Jamie Hacker Hughes, Senior Lecturer in Military Psychology, Head of Defence Clinical Psychology3 and
  4. NT Fear, Senior Lecturer in Military Epidemiology4
  1. 1Headquarters Northern Ireland
  2. 2Headquarters Northern Ireland
  3. 3Academic Centre for Defence Mental Health
  4. 4Academic Centre for Defence Mental Health.
  1. Floor 7 Zone B St George’s Court, 2-12 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2S jamie.hackerhughes290{at}


Objective To measure the perceptions of military staff of the impact of wearing military uniform on the therapeutic relationship with mental health clients.

Method A brief questionnaire was distributed to all military clinicians in Departments of Community Mental Health to measure their attitudes.

Results There was a 67.9% (n=70) response rate regarding the impact of uniform on the therapeutic relationship. 20% of responses were positive, 31% negative, 37% mixed and 12% gave no answer.

Conclusion There was no clear pre-existing literature on this issue. Overall, the wearing of uniform appeared to be perceived positively positive. There is a need to assess clients’ points of view in future studies.

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