Four-Year Prospective Study on Military Trainees Returned to Duty Following a Mental Health Evaluation

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The purpose of the study was to determine the long-term outcome for military trainees referred for a mental health evaluation during basic training. Participants were 261 Air Force basic trainees seen for a mental health evaluation during January through October 1997 and returned to duty. Frequency and type of discharge from the military were documented for participants during a 4-yearfollow-up period. The results showed that two-thirds of the study sample failed to complete their obligated tour of duty. Most discharges occurred within a 100-day period from the time of the evaluation. Common discharge types were physical condition interfering with performance of duty, entry-level performance and conduct, fraudulent entry, and character or behavior disorder. Implications of the findings for mental health providers working in a military training environment are discussed.

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