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Veterans with muscle injuries and mental health conditions more likely to end service
Date:7/2/2014

ren't related to combat."

Post-traumatic stress disorder, low back pain and traumatic brain injury topped the list of reasons soldier were found unfit to continue service by the military's Physical Evaluation Board (PEB).

Authors say psychological disorders and lower social status may actually hinder an individual's recovery from a musculoskeletal injury.

"Our findings suggest that trauma from the incident that caused the injury may not only have long-lasting negative mental health effects but may also impede the physical recovery itself," says Schoenfeld, who is also a member of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

"In the civilian world, people may experience the same kind of injuries from events such as car or motorcycle accidents. Recollection of the accident that caused the injury, witnessing a loved one get hurt or killed or complications stemming from the injury may also be triggers for psychological issues that cause difficulties for recovery."

One hundred sixty survivors in the study had sustained a musculoskeletal injury from combat while 587 had a non-combat musculoskeletal injury. Another 331 surviving soldiers sustained war trauma, with 36 percent of combat-related injuries involving the head and neck.

Schoenfeld spent four years on active duty with the U.S. Army and served in Afghanistan and as the clinical director of the Medical Evaluation Board at Fort Bliss Texas. He was also the director of orthopaedic research for the William Beaumont Army Medical Center/Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Orthopaedic Residency Program.

"The model that we developed, including the identification of behavioral health conditions and social status as potent predictors of poor health consequences following musculoskeletal injury, has the potential to improve the care of trauma patients in both the military and civilian setting," he says.


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Contact: Beata Mostafavi
bmostafa@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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