Navigation Links
Killing in war linked with suicidal thoughts among Vietnam veterans, study finds
Date:4/18/2012

The experience of killing in war was strongly associated with thoughts of suicide, in a study of Vietnam-era veterans led by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center (SFVAMC) and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

The scientists found that veterans with more experiences involving killing were twice as likely to have reported suicidal thoughts as veterans who had fewer or no experiences.

To evaluate the experience of killing, the authors created four variables killing enemy combatants, killing prisoners, killing civilians in general and killing or injuring women, children or the elderly. For each veteran, they combined those variables into a single composite measure. The higher the composite score, the greater the likelihood that a veteran had thought about suicide.

The relationship between killing and suicidal thoughts held even after the scientists adjusted for variables including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, substance use disorders and exposure to combat.

The study, which was published electronically on April 13 in the journal Depression and Anxiety, was based on an analysis of data from the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Survey, a comprehensive study of a nationally representative sample of Vietnam-era veterans.

The authors cited other research indicating that veterans are at elevated risk of suicide compared to people with no military service. They noted that by 2009, the suicide rate in the U.S. Army had risen to 21.8 per 100,000 soldiers, a rate exceeding that of the general population.

"The VA has a lot of very good mental health programs, including programs targeting suicide prevention. Our goal is to make those programs even stronger," said lead author Shira Maguen, a clinical psychologist at SFVAMC and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at UCSF. "We want clinicians and suicide prevention coordinators to be aware that in analyzing a veteran's risk of suicide, killing in combat is an additional factor that they may or may not be aware of."

Notably, the scientists found that the only variable with a significant link to actual suicide attempts among the veterans was PTSD a finding that replicated earlier studies, according to Maguen. Thus, she said, the link between killing and suicide attempts was not as significant as the link between killing and suicidal thoughts.

Maguen noted that, currently, the mental health impact of killing is not formally evaluated as part of VA or Department of Defense mental health treatments, nor typically taken into consideration when assessing a veteran's risk of suicide.

"We know from our previous research how hard it is to talk about killing," Maguen cautioned. "It's important that we as care providers have these conversations with veterans in a supportive, therapeutic environment so that they will feel comfortable talking about their experiences."

The overall goal, she said, "is to look back and understand some lessons of the past that we can apply to the present. Talking with people who have had suicidal thoughts can potentially give us insights into why suicides occur, and hopefully help us prevent them."


'/>"/>

Contact: Steve Tokar
steve.tokar@ncire.org
415-221-4810 x5202
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Plasmacytoid DCs: Tumor-killing immune cells
2. Cancer-killing compound spares healthy cells
3. Cancer-killing cells are caught on film in more 3-D detail than ever before
4. Led by advances in chemical synthesis, scientists find natural product shows pain-killing properties
5. New dishware sanitizers prove more effective at killing harmful bacteria
6. Compound enhances cancer-killing properties of agent in trials
7. Button Batteries Killing, Disabling Children
8. Is Our Junk Food Diet Killing America?
9. Online Tool Created to Contact Vatican Officials: Why Are American Bishops Allowed to Defy the Popes Words Concerning Child Killing and the Eucharist?
10. Is Your Exercise Routine Killing You?
11. Anxiety Linked to Smarts in Brain Study
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... Year at VitaFoods 2016. , Nominated in the Healthy Ageing category, Cognizin® is ... and safety. The Healthy Ageing division can include everything from antioxidants, lipids, proteins, ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... Sharing and Collaboration Platform™ , today announced a new Residency Education & ... access to medical knowledge, educational resources, and a host of collaboration tools ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... 28, 2016 , ... Metabolic Nutrition today announced the upcoming launch ... Europa Games Get Fit and Sports Expo in Orlando, Florida. Attended by ... up April 29-30, was selected as the perfect event to introduce the highly anticipated ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... 2016 , ... For the 10,000 Americans who turn 65 on any given ... overall well-being: mental health. Now, a new book—Staying Sharp For Dummies (Paper; ISBN: 978-1-119-18779-0; ... which can include everything from honing your memory and managing stress to eating healthy ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... 2016 , ... For many, a diet is only as good as it looks. No matter ... good. In addition, an individual cannot deny the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and ... worked to create a product range that could entice people to eat clean and enjoy ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... a developer of a new generation of drugs ... overall survival results for Paclical/Apealea in the Phase ... patients with epithelial ovarian cancer. These preliminary results ... in combination with carboplatin versus Taxol in combination ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , April 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ...  is expected to reach USD 2.06 billion by ... View Research, Inc. Increasing consumer awareness towards a ... over the next seven years.      ... Improper diet intake coupled with rising health treatment ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 26, 2016 Diplomat Pharmacy, ... of Jennifer Hagerman , Pharm D., to Vice ... growing role at Diplomat, Hagerman will continue to lead ... company that delivers custom education and training to Diplomat ... specialty pharmacy industry. Diplomat University also houses the quality ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: