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Health and social outcomes and health service experiences of UK military veterans: a summary of the evidence, November 2009

 

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Health and social outcomes and health service experiences of UK military veterans: a summary of the evidence, November 2009

Health experiences of former members of the armed forces

Each year approximately 24,000 men and women leave the British armed forces and return to civilian life. This report reviewed the available evidence on the health and social outcomes, and the health experiences, of former members of the armed forces.

Key findings included that, whilst in general the health of the veteran community is comparable with that of the general population, rates of heavy drinking are more prevalent among both serving and ex-serving personnel. The study also identified barriers to accessing healthcare for both groups, especially the stigma of admitting a need for help, with veterans reporting an additional problem of not knowing where to go for help. The authors also made several recommendations for further research.