Postdeployment health care for returning OEF/OIF Military personnel and their social networks: A qualitative approach

Erin P. Finley, John E. Zeber, Mary Jo V. Pugh, Gabriela Cantu, Laurel A. Copeland, Michael L. Parchman, Polly H. Noel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Little is known regarding the health care needs of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) deployed veterans seeking care outside of Veterans Affairs facilities. Responding to this gap, we conducted a mixed methods study of postdeployment health among veterans and members of their social networks in six communitybased primary care clinics. A total of 347 patients completed a survey dealing with deployment to Iraq/Afghanistan (whether their own or that of a family member, friend, or coworker), and subsequent psychosocial and health problems. A subset of 52 participants responded to an open-ended question requesting additional information about experiences during and postdeployment. Content analysis of these responses revealed five overarching themes: connectedness, perceptions of conflict, consequences of deployment, health and treatment concerns, and respect and concern for service members/veterans. These data point to significant deployment-related disruptions in the well-being of service members and those in their broader social networks, with implications for defining service needs in community health settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)953-957
Number of pages5
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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