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Activity Number: 224
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Monday, August 5, 2013 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Mental Health Statistics Section
Abstract - #307924
Title: Assessing Alcohol and Drug Use Following Return from Deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan: A Statistical Perspective
Author(s): Mark Glickman*+ and Sue Eisen and Mark Schultz
Companies: Boston University and Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economics Research and Center for Health Quality, Outcomes and Economics Research
Keywords: alcohol abuse ; stratified sampling ; repeated measures ; veteran health

The mental and physical health of veterans returning from war zone deployment is of substantial concern to the public as well as military leaders and civilian policy makers. Although most veterans return from deployment without suffering long-term consequences, a non-trivial number experience serious psychological harm, and this may be manifested in worsening alcohol abuse over time. Based on a national random sample of US OEF/OIF veterans surveyed within 12 months of returning from deployment, we constructed models that increase insight into factors that may lead to worsening alcohol abuse. In addition to the modeling details, we describe how design issues, including potential selection and non-response biases, may shape inferential and actionable results. Ongoing multidimensional assessment of post-deployed veterans is valuable in providing key information about veterans' mental health and functioning, as contextual factors such as the inclusion of women in combat continue to change.

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