A high volume of military personnel serving in Iraq are expected to seek treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It is because the rate among armed forces may be as high as 35 per cent, according a research article.
Published in Management Science, the flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS), the write-up points out that the tempo of deployment cycles in the Iraq War is higher than for any war since World War II, and that military survey data suggest that PTSD is common among service members.
Authors Michael P. Atkinson, of the Naval Postgraduate School, and Adam Guetz and Lawrence M. Wein, of Stanford University, write that to assure ample mental health resources to care for returning troops, it is important to forecast the timing and number of new PTSD cases over the coming years, which is complicated by the fact that many cases have delayed onset.
The authors combine a dynamic mathematical operations research model with deployment data and PTSD data from the Iraq War, and estimate that the PTSD rate among Iraq War veterans will be approximately 35 per cent, which is roughly double the rate from the raw survey data.
According to them, this doubling is due to the time lag between the PTSD-generating event and the onset of symptoms and to the fact that many surveyed troops will do subsequent deployments.
Consequently, the authors stress the need for ramping up mental health resources.