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Postdeployment reintegration attitude of injured Dutch service members: a longitudinal study
  1. Loes G M de Kruijff1,2,
  2. M-C Plat3,
  3. T van Dongen4,5,
  4. R Hoencamp4,5,6,7,8 and
  5. P van der Wurff1,9
  1. 1Research & Development, Military Rehabilitation Centre Aardenburg, Doorn, The Netherlands
  2. 2Rehabilitation center De Hoogstraat, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3Ministry of Defence, Expert Center Force Health Protection, Doorn, The Netherlands
  4. 4Defence Healthcare Department, Ministry of Defence, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  5. 5Department of Surgery, Alrijne Hospital Location Leiderdorp, Leiderdorp, The Netherlands
  6. 6Trauma Research Unit, Department of Surgery, Erasmus MC,University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  7. 7Department of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands
  8. 8Department of Surgery, Central Military Hospital, Ministry of Defense, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  9. 9Research & Development, Military Rehabilitation Centre, Doorn, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Loes G M de Kruijff, Research & Development, Military Rehabilitation Centre Aardenburg, Doorn 3940, The Netherlands; loesdekruijff{at}


Objective After deployment, service members can experience difficulties reintegrating. Sustaining injuries on the battlefield can disrupt the reintegration period. The first aim was to follow-up the reintegration attitude towards family, work and on a personal level after deployment in Dutch battlefield casualties (BCs). The second was to compare their postdeployment reintegration attitude with that of healthy controls.

Methods A questionnaire concerning reintegration attitude, the Postdeployment Reintegration Scale (PDRS), was provided to all service members who received rehabilitation after sustaining injuries in Op TASK FORCE URUZGAN. The questionnaire was administered in 27 BCs at a median of 2 years post incident and 5.5 years post incident. At 5.5 years post incident, the PDRS of the BCs was compared with a control group consisting of service members from the same combat units.

Results A significant difference was found for the BCs with an increased negative personal attitude (p=0.02) and a decreased negative attitude towards work (p=0.02) at 5.5 years compared with 2 years post incident. No differences in postdeployment reintegration attitude was observed between the BCs and controls at 5.5 years post incident.

Conclusions The results showed that for the BCs the personal attitude becomes more negative in time. However, the negative attitude towards work decreases in time after deployment. Particular attention should be paid to traumatic stress and aftercare.

  • rehabilitation medicine
  • trauma management
  • mental health

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  • Contributors LGMdK is responsible for design of the study, acquisition of data, statistical analysis and interpretation of the data and drafting the manuscript. M-CP is responsible for the design of the study, statistical analysis and interpretation of data and critical revision. TvD contributed to the acquisition of data and critical revision. RH contributed to the design of the study, acquisition of data and critical revision. PvdW contributed to the design of the study, analysis of the data and critical revision.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Ministry of Defence, Military Health Care Organization, or the Netherlands’ government.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the Defence Healthcare Organisation of the MOD and the Medical Ethics Committee (MEC) of Leiden University, the Netherlands (p11.184).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. The Ministry of Defence, Military Health Care Organization is the proprietor of the data. They have the database stored.

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