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BMJ Open ; 14(2): e076625, 2024 02 08.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38331861


OBJECTIVES: The literature presents complex inter-relationships among individual-factors and organisational-factors and barriers to seeking mental health support after deployment. This study aims to quantify longitudinal associations between such factors and barriers to mental health support. DESIGN: A longitudinal online survey of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel collected data at 3 months post-deployment (T1), 6 months post-deployment (T2) and 1 year post-deployment (T3). SETTING: In 2020, as part of Canada's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2595 CAF personnel deployed on Operation LASER to support civilian long-term care facilities in Québec and Ontario. PARTICIPANTS: All Operation LASER personnel were invited to participate: 1088, 582 and 497 responded at T1, T2 and T3, respectively. Most respondents were young, male, non-commissioned members. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Barriers to mental health support were measured using 25 self-reported items and grouped into theory-based factors, including eight factors exploring care-seeking capabilities, opportunities and motivations; and two factors exploring moral issues. Logistic regressions estimated the crude and adjusted associations of individual and organisational characteristics (T1) with barriers (T2 and T3). RESULTS: When adjusting for sex, military rank and mental health status, increased meaningfulness of deployment was associated with lower probability of endorsing barriers related to conflicts with career goals and moral discomfort in accessing support at T2. Higher scores in trust in leadership were associated with lower probability of endorsing four barriers at T2, and five barriers at T3. CONCLUSIONS: We identified several modifiable organisational-level characteristics that may help reduce perceived barriers to mental health support in military and other high-risk occupational populations. Results suggest that promoting individuals' sense of purpose, instilling trust in leadership and promoting relatedness among team members may improve perceptions of access to mental health supports in the months following a domestic deployment or comparable occupational exposure.

Trastornos Mentales , Servicios de Salud Mental , Personal Militar , Humanos , Masculino , Personal Militar/psicología , Trastornos Mentales/epidemiología , Estudios Longitudinales , Liderazgo , Pandemias , Confianza , Ontario
JMIR Res Protoc ; 12: e44299, 2023 Nov 06.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-37676877


BACKGROUND: The earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada were marked by a significant surge in COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-related deaths among residents of long-term care facilities (LTCFs). As part of Canada's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel were mobilized for an initial emergency domestic deployment to the hardest-hit LTCFs (Operation LASER LTCF) to support the remaining civilian staff in ensuring the continued delivery of care to residents. Akin to what was observed following past CAF international humanitarian missions, there was an expected increased risk of exposure to multiple stressors that may be psychologically traumatic and potentially morally injurious in nature (ie, related to core values, eg, witnessing human suffering). Emerging data from health care workers exposed to the unprecedented medical challenges and dilemmas of the early pandemic stages also indicated that such experiences were associated with increased risk of adverse mental health outcomes. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to identify and quantify the individual-, group-, and organizational-level risk and resilience factors associated with moral distress, moral injury, and traditional mental health and well-being outcomes of Operation LASER LTCF CAF personnel. This paper aimed to document the methodology, implementation procedures, and participation metrics. METHODS: A multimethod research initiative was conducted consisting of 2 primary data collection studies (a quantitative survey and qualitative interviews). The quantitative arm was a complete enumeration survey with web-based, self-report questionnaires administered at 3 time points (3, 6, and 12 mo after deployment). The qualitative arm consisted of individual, web-based interviews with a focus on understanding the nuanced lived experiences of individuals participating in the Operation LASER LTCF deployment. RESULTS: CAF personnel deployed to Operation LASER LTCF (N=2595) were invited to participate in the study. Data collection is now complete. Overall, of the 2595 deployed personnel, 1088 (41.93%), 582 (22.43%), and 497 (19.15%) responded to the survey at time point 1 (3 mo), time point 2 (6 mo), and time point 3 (12 mo) after deployment, respectively. The target sample size for the qualitative interviews was set at approximately 50 considering resourcing and data saturation. Interest in participating in qualitative interviews surpassed expectations, with >200 individuals expressing interest; this allowed for purposive sampling across key characteristics, including gender, rank, Operation LASER LTCF role, and province. In total, 53 interviews were conducted. CONCLUSIONS: The data generated through this research have the potential to inform and promote better understanding of the well-being and mental health of Operation LASER LTCF personnel over time; identify general and Operation LASER LTCF-specific risk and protective factors; provide necessary support to the military personnel who served in this mission; and inform preparation and interventions for future missions, especially those more domestic and humanitarian in nature. INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT IDENTIFIER (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/44299.

BMC Health Serv Res ; 22(1): 607, 2022 May 06.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35524306


BACKGROUND: Military health care providers often under access both physical and mental health care, yet research has predominantly focused on barriers to mental health care. This study explored a comprehensive set of barriers using hypothetical scenarios to quantify barrier impact on access to both mental and physical health care. METHODS: Canadian military health services personnel (N = 1033) completed one of two electronic surveys (assessing either physical health or other mental health barriers) that captured participant's demographics, health, endorsement of barriers, intent to seek care, and whether the respondent would access care in different health scenarios (pneumonia, back injury, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder). Logistic regression was used to calculate odds of not accessing care (versus accessing care) for each of the four health scenarios. RESULTS: All barrier factors independently predicted increased odds of not accessing care for all four scenarios. When entered into an adjusted model none of the barrier factors significantly predicted accessing care in the physical health scenarios. Staffing and workload resources and Treatment preferences (e.g., self-treat) were significant predictors of accessing care in the mental health scenarios. Weak general intentions to access care was the strongest predictors of not accessing care across all four scenarios. CONCLUSIONS: The impact of barriers on hypothetical care-seeking behaviour differs depending on the context for which one is accessing care, with access to resources and preference to self-treat driving mental health care seeking. Intent appears to be the most impactful predictor of accessing care potentially mediating the effect of other barrier types on care seeking.

Servicios de Salud Militares , Personal Militar , Canadá , Personal de Salud , Accesibilidad a los Servicios de Salud , Humanos , Estigma Social
Health Promot Chronic Dis Prev Can ; 42(3): 100-103, 2022 Mar.
Artículo en Inglés, Francés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35262311


The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) deployed 2595 regular and reserve force personnel on Operation (Op) LASER, the CAF's mission to provide support to civilian staff at longterm care facilities in Ontario and in the Centres d'hébergement de soins de longue durée in Quebec. An online longitudinal survey and in-depth virtual discussions were conducted by a multidisciplinary team of researchers with complementary expertise. This paper highlights the challenges encountered in conducting this research and their impact on the design and implementation of the study, and provides lessons learned that may be useful to researchers responding to similar public health crises in the future.

There are a number of challenges involved in conducting longitudinal research in an applied military setting during a global public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges include but are not limited to a sudden transition to a distributed remote work environment, tight timelines, the need to obtain approvals from different agencies and departments, having to prioritize multiple study objectives, and survey fatigue. To overcome these challenges in future public health crises, it is important to (1) develop and maintain collaborative networks across government, academia and industry; (2) develop a standard set of pre-deployment demographic and health indicators to establish a baseline; and (3) use mixed methods approaches for a richer understanding of mental health trajectories following stressful events.

La réalisation d'une enquête longitudinale dans un contexte militaire concret pendant une crise mondiale de santé publique, comme la pandémie de COVID-19, vient avec son lot de défis. Parmi ces défis, on peut relever une transition subite vers un environnement de travail à distance, des délais serrés, la nécessité d'obtenir des approbations de différents organismes et ministères, la nécessité de prioriser plusieurs objectifs d'étude et la lassitude à l'égard des enquêtes. Pour relever ces défis au cours des futures crises de santé publique, il sera essentiel : 1) de créer et d'entretenir des réseaux de collaboration qui relieront le gouvernement, le milieu universitaire et les divers secteurs d'activité, 2) de créer un ensemble normalisé d'indicateurs démographiques et sanitaires avant le déploiement, en vue de l'obtention de données de référence et 3) de recourir à des méthodes mixtes pour mieux comprendre les trajectoires en matière de santé mentale à la suite d'événements stressants.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiología , Humanos , Rayos Láser , Ontario/epidemiología , Pandemias , SARS-CoV-2
Mil Psychol ; 34(6): 722-731, 2022.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-38536307


Recent research has found that, while the majority of Veterans report a positive adjustment to post-service life, the number who report experiencing transition difficulties is increasing. This study aims to describe some of the predictors of general health, mental health, and psychological distress, with a focus on recently released Canadian Armed Forces Veterans. Analysis was performed on a sample of Veterans (N=909) who released in the past five years. Separate stepwise logistic regression models explored the odds of reporting each negative health outcome, first controlling for individual and military characteristics, then exploring the relative associations of well-being indicators. Presence of chronic physical and mental health conditions was associated with all negative health outcomes. Other indicators associated with a higher likelihood of negative health outcomes included dissatisfaction with one's main activity since retirement, having a low sense of community belonging, being disabled and not being in the workforce. Higher mastery was associated with a lower likelihood of distress and poor general health, and was marginally significantly associated with a lower likelihood of poor mental health. The results demonstrate the importance of individual factors, social integration, and chronic health conditions in predicting the health outcomes of recently released CAF Veterans.

PLoS One ; 14(1): e0209886, 2019.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30608976


Wetland ecosystems are known to mitigate high nutrient loadings and thus can improve water quality and prevent potential biodiversity loss caused by eutrophication. Plant traits affect wetland processes directly through effects on accumulation or metabolization of substances, and indirectly by affecting microbial transformation processes in the soil. Understanding the causes and consequences of intraspecific variation in plant functional traits and associated ecosystem processes can aid applied ecological approaches such as wetland restoration and construction. Here we investigated molecular variation and phenotypic variation in response to three levels of nitrogen availability for a regional set of populations of the common wetland plant Juncus effusus. We asked whether trait expression reveals signatures of adaptive differentiation by comparing genetic differentiation in quantitative traits and neutral molecular markers (QST-FST comparisons) and relating trait variation to soil conditions of the plant's origin. Molecular analyses showed that samples clustered into three very distinct genetic lineages with strong population differentiation within and among lineages. Differentiation for quantitative traits was substantial but did not exceed neutral expectations when compared across treatments or for each treatment and lineage separately. However, variation in trait expression could be explained by local soil environmental conditions of sample origin, e.g. for aboveground carbon-to-nitrogen (C:N) ratios, suggesting adaptive differentiation to contribute to trait expression even at regional level.

Aclimatación/genética , Magnoliopsida/genética , Nitrógeno/análisis , Adaptación Fisiológica/genética , Biodiversidad , Clima , Ecosistema , Flujo Genético , Variación Genética/genética , Fenotipo , Plantas/genética , Selección Genética/genética , Suelo/química , Microbiología del Suelo , Humedales
Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol ; 54(2): 145-156, 2019 Feb.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30027449


PURPOSE: Mental health problems are prevalent after combat; they are also common in its absence. Estimates of deployment-attributability vary. This paper quantifies the contribution of different subtypes of occupational trauma to post-deployment mental health problems. METHODS: Participants were a cohort of 16,193 Canadian personnel undergoing post-deployment mental health screening after return from the mission in Afghanistan. The screening questionnaire assessed post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and exposure to 30 potentially traumatic deployment experiences. Logistic regression estimated adjusted population attributable fractions (PAFs) for deployment-related trauma, which was treated as count variables divided into several subtypes of experiences based on earlier factor analytic work. RESULTS: The overall PAF for overall deployment-related trauma exposure was 57.5% (95% confidence interval 44.1, 67.7) for the aggregate outcome of any of the four assessed problems. Substantial PAFs were seen even at lower levels of exposure. Among subtypes of trauma, exposure to a dangerous environment (e.g., receiving small arms fire) and to the dead and injured (e.g., handling or uncovering human remains) had the largest PAFs. Active combat (e.g., calling in fire on the enemy) did not have a significant PAF. CONCLUSIONS: Military deployments involving exposure to a dangerous environment or to the dead or injured will have substantial impacts on mental health in military personnel and others exposed to similar occupational trauma. Potential explanations for divergent findings in the literature on the extent to which deployment-related trauma contributes to the burden of mental disorders are discussed.

Personal Militar/psicología , Enfermedades Profesionales/epidemiología , Trastornos por Estrés Postraumático/epidemiología , Adulto , Campaña Afgana 2001- , Trastornos de Ansiedad/epidemiología , Trastornos de Ansiedad/psicología , Canadá/epidemiología , Estudios de Cohortes , Trastorno Depresivo/epidemiología , Trastorno Depresivo/psicología , Femenino , Humanos , Modelos Logísticos , Masculino , Enfermedades Profesionales/psicología , Trastorno de Pánico/epidemiología , Trastorno de Pánico/psicología , Prevalencia , Trastornos por Estrés Postraumático/psicología , Adulto Joven
Health Psychol ; 2016 Apr 07.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27054303


OBJECTIVE: Heavy drinking increases the risk of injury, adverse physical and mental health outcomes, and loss of productivity. Nonetheless, patterns of alcohol use and related symptomatology among military personnel remain poorly understood. A latent class analysis (LCA) was used to explore the presence of subgroups of alcohol users among Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Regular Forces members. Correlates of empirically derived subgroups were further explored. METHODS: Analyses were performed on a subsample of alcohol users who participated in a 2008/09 cross-sectional survey of a stratified random sample of currently serving CAF Regular Force members (N = 1980). Multinomial logistic regression models were conducted to verify physical and mental health differences across subgroups of alcohol users. All analyses were adjusted for complex survey design. RESULTS: A 4-class solution was considered the best fit for the data. Subgroups were labeled as follows: Class 1 - Infrequent drinkers (27.2%); Class 2 - Moderate drinkers (41.5%); Class 3 - Regular binge drinkers with minimal problems (14.8%); and Class 4 - Problem drinkers (16.6%). Significant differences by age, sex, marital status, element, rank, recent serious injuries, chronic conditions, psychological distress, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression symptoms were found across the subgroups. Problem drinkers demonstrated the most degraded physical and mental health. CONCLUSION: Findings highlight the heterogeneity of alcohol users and heavy drinkers among CAF members and the need for tailored interventions addressing high-risk alcohol use. Results have the potential to inform prevention strategies and screening efforts. (PsycINFO Database Record

Implement Sci ; 7: 93, 2012 Sep 21.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22999460


BACKGROUND: Evidence of variations in red blood cell transfusion practices have been reported in a wide range of clinical settings. Parallel studies in Canada and the United Kingdom were designed to explore transfusion behaviour in intensive care physicians. The aim of this paper is three-fold: first, to explore beliefs that influence Canadian intensive care physicians' transfusion behaviour; second, to systematically select relevant theories and models using the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) to inform a future predictive study; and third, to compare its results with the UK study. METHODS: Ten intensive care unit (ICU) physicians throughout Canada were interviewed. Physicians' responses were coded into theoretical domains, and specific beliefs were generated for each response. Theoretical domains relevant to behaviour change were identified, and specific constructs from the relevant domains were used to select psychological theories. The results from Canada and the United Kingdom were compared. RESULTS: Seven theoretical domains populated by 31 specific beliefs were identified as relevant to the target behaviour. The domains Beliefs about capabilities (confident to not transfuse if patients' clinical condition is stable), Beliefs about consequences (positive beliefs of reducing infection and saving resources and negative beliefs about risking patients' clinical outcome and potentially more work), Social influences (transfusion decision is influenced by team members and patients' relatives), and Behavioural regulation (wide range of approaches to encourage restrictive transfusion) that were identified in the UK study were also relevant in the Canadian context. Three additional domains, Knowledge (it requires more evidence to support restrictive transfusion), Social/professional role and identity (conflicting beliefs about not adhering to guidelines, referring to evidence, believing restrictive transfusion as professional standard, and believing that guideline is important for other professionals), and Motivation and goals (opposing beliefs about the importance of restrictive transfusion and compatibility with other goals), were also identified in this study. Similar to the UK study, the Theory of Planned Behaviour, Social Cognitive Theory, Operant Learning Theory, Action Planning, and Knowledge-Attitude-Behaviour model were identified as potentially relevant theories and models for further study. Personal project analysis was added to the Canadian study to explore the Motivation and goals domain in further detail. CONCLUSIONS: A wide range of beliefs was identified by the Canadian ICU physicians as likely to influence their transfusion behaviour. We were able to demonstrate similar though not identical results in a cross-country comparison. Designing targeted behaviour-change interventions based on unique beliefs identified by physicians from two countries are more likely to encourage restrictive transfusion in ICU physicians in respective countries. This needs to be tested in future prospective clinical trials.

Comparación Transcultural , Transfusión de Eritrocitos/estadística & datos numéricos , Unidades de Cuidados Intensivos , Percepción , Médicos/psicología , Canadá , Competencia Clínica , Femenino , Conocimientos, Actitudes y Práctica en Salud , Humanos , Masculino , Rol del Médico , Pautas de la Práctica en Medicina , Teoría Psicológica , Investigación Cualitativa , Medio Social , Reino Unido