Army wives pay a significant price when spouses have lengthy deployment

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According to a study reported in the January 14th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, army wives pay a significant price related to emotional health when spouses are deployed for long periods of time. According to the study, the longer the soldiers spent in Afghanistan or Iraq, the likelihood that their wives would seek out psychiatric treatment increased. These numbers were significantly higher when spouses were deployed for a year or more. The study found that some individual diagnoses were sometimes as high as threefold among wives of soldiers with long deployments. According to Alyssa J. Mansfield, PhD, MPH, of RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., “Overall, our data suggest that the mental health effects of current operations are extending beyond soldiers and into their immediate families… without persuasive evidence that male spouses had a similar pattern of effects, it was not appropriate to generalize these results to husbands and wives. Therefore, we opted to be conservative and restrict our analyses to wives (approximately 95% of the complete sample); this limited the generalizability of our results according.” Click here to read an article from Modern Medicine that discusses this study more.

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