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Forensic mental health evaluations of military personnel with traumatic life event, in a university hospital in Ankara, Turkey

Balandiz, Huseyin; Bolu, Abdullah

Journal of forensic and legal medicine. Volume 51 (2017, October); pp 51-56 -- Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine

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  • Title:
    Forensic mental health evaluations of military personnel with traumatic life event, in a university hospital in Ankara, Turkey
  • Author: Balandiz, Huseyin;
    Bolu, Abdullah
  • Found In: Journal of forensic and legal medicine. Volume 51 (2017, October); pp 51-56
  • Journal Title: Journal of forensic and legal medicine
  • Subjects: Médecine légale--Périodiques; Forensic Medicine--Periodicals; Forensic sciences--Periodicals; Medical jurisprudence--Periodicals; Forensic medicine--Forensic psychiatry--Military trauma--Posttraumatic stress disorder; Electronic journals; Dewey: 614.1
  • Rights: legaldeposit
  • Publication Details: Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine
  • Abstract: Abstract: Introduction:

    The definition of psychological trauma has been rephrased with the DSM-5. From now on, witnessing someone else's traumatic event is also accepted as a traumatic life event. Therefore, the psychiatric examination of forensic cases gains importance for not overlooking a psychiatric trauma. This research aims to discuss the psychiatric examinations of military personnel who had a traumatic life event and to reveal psychiatric states of soldiers after trauma.

    Materials and methods:

    The forensic reports prepared at Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GMMA), Forensic Medicine polyclinic between January 1, 2011 and November 30, 2014 were examined, and among them the cases sent to GMMA Psychiatry polyclinic for psychiatric examination were analyzed retrospectively.

    Results:

    There were a total of 2408 cases who applied for the arrangement of a judicial report and 167 of them required a psychological examination. Among 167 cases, 165 were male and 2 were female, and the mean age was 25.6 years. Anxiety disorder (53.9%) was the most common diagnosis as a result of the psychiatric examination, following posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (18.6%), and 3.6% had no psychopathology. It was determined that injuries caused by firearms (38.3%) and explosive materials (26.3%) had caused psychological trauma the most. On the other hand, 11 (6.6%) cases were determined to have undergone a psychological trauma on account of being a witness to their friends' injuries during the conflict without experiencing any physical injury. There were not any statistically significant relationships between the severity of physical injury and being PTSD or anxiety disorder.

    Discussion:

    Development of PTSD risk is directly correlated with the nature of trauma. The trauma types of the cases in our study were in the high-risk group because of the military population. Our study is of importance in terms of putting forward the psychiatric disorders seen in the military population with traumatic life history associated with war (combat-related). In this research, 26.1% of the cases followed up due to combat-related trauma were diagnosed with PTSD. Interestingly, this ratio was lower than the studies that have larger case numbers. There is still the need to conduct studies that will involve larger participants.

    Highlights:

    Psychological trauma of military personnel after a traumatic life event is important.

    Anxiety disorder (53.9%) and PTSD (18.6%) were the most common trauma induced diagnoses.

    Injuries caused by firearms and explosive materials were the most common cause.

    Psychological trauma on account of being a witness to their friends' injuries were 6.6%.

    26.1% of the cases followed up due to combat-related trauma were diagnosed with PTSD.


  • Identifier: System Number: LDEAvdc_100049935496.0x000001; Journal ISSN: 1752-928X; 10.1016/j.jflm.2017.07.018
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store

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