Women in the UK military are more commonly diagnosed with a mental health disorder than men, but the reasons for this difference are not fully understood. This literature review identifies the risk factors for mental ill health in military personnel before serving, during service and as a veteran. The interaction of risk factors is complex and, in some cases, may be synergistic, such as experiencing adverse events in childhood and exposure to combat. Identification of risk factors allows further research to better understand differences between men and women, and the impact of these risk factors on army personnel. In turn this will inform better preventive strategies, which could be targeted at the primary, secondary or tertiary levels.
- mental health
- occupational & industrial medicine
- public health
Data availability statement
No data are available. This is not a clinical trial and therefore there is no data.
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Contributors This is a literature review originally carried out by DR, which was used to develop a research protocol to investigate gender and mental ill health in the UK Armed Forces. DR wrote the initial draft based on that review and DFM and BPB provided editorial input to the final version.
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.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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