Changes in perceived social support and PTSD symptomatology among Danish army military personnel

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PURPOSE: Previous research has identified social support to be associated with risk of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms among military personnel. While the lack of social support influences PTSD symptomatology, it is unknown how changes in perceived social support affect the PTSD symptom level in the aftermath of deployment. Furthermore, the influence of specific sources of social support from pre- to post-deployment on level of PTSD symptoms is unknown. We aim to examine how changes in perceived social support (overall and from specific sources) from pre- to 2.5 year post-deployment are associated with the level of post-deployment PTSD symptoms.

METHODS: Danish army military personnel deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 and 2013 completed questionnaires at pre-deployment and at 2.5 year post-deployment measuring perceived social support and PTSD symptomatology and sample characteristics of the two cohorts. Data were analyzed using univariate and multivariate nominal logistic regression.

RESULTS: Negative changes in perceived social support from pre- to post-deployment were associated with both moderate (OR 1.99, CI 1.51-2.57) and high levels (OR 2.71, CI 1.94-3.78) of PTSD symptoms 2.5 year post-deployment (adjusted analysis). Broadly, the same direction was found for specific sources of social support and level of PTSD symptoms. In the adjusted analyses, pre-deployment perceived social support and military rank moderated the associations.

CONCLUSIONS: Deterioration in perceived social support (overall and specific sources) from pre- to 2.5 year post-deployment increases the risk of an elevated level of PTSD symptoms 2.5 year post-deployment.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
ISSN0933-7954
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

Bibliografisk note

© 2021. The Author(s).

ID: 276330043