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U.S. Military Surveillance of Mental Disorders, 1998-2013.

Publication Status: Published

Sponsoring Organization: Defense Health Agency (formerly TRICARE Management Activity)

Sponsoring Office: Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences

Congressionally Mandated: No

Funding Source: Undetermined

Release Date/Publication: February 01, 2016

Principle Investigator Status: Academia

Primary DoD Data Source: Review

Secondary DoD Data Source:


Feature articles in the Medical Surveillance Monthly Report (MSMR) reflect the U.S. military's health surveillance priorities. This study examined whether the recent rise in the number of ambulatory encounters for mental disorders in the U.S. military associated with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars was reflected in a proportional increase in MSMR feature articles on this topic.

Articles published in the MSMR from January 1998 to December 2013 were examined to categorize feature articles according to health outcome. The proportion of articles by topic of outcome was compared with the proportion of all ambulatory encounters by category of disorder.

Mental disorders constituted 13% of ambulatory encounters and were the topic of 11% of 329 feature articles during the period, a statistically nonsignificant difference.

The increased number of encounters for mental disorders has been met with a proportional but delayed increase in the number of MSMR feature articles focusing on these disorders.


Wicken C, Nevin R, Ritchie EC. U.S. Military Surveillance of Mental Disorders, 1998-2013. Psychiatr Serv. 2016 Feb 1;67(2):248-51.

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