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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health