Postdeployment reintegration attitude of injured Dutch service members: a longitudinal study

Loes G.M. de Kruijff*, M. C. Plat, T. van Dongen, R. Hoencamp, P. van der Wurff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: After deployment, service members can experience difficulties reintegrating. Sustaining injuries on the battlefield can disrupt the reintegration period. The first aim was to follow-up the reintegration attitude towards family, work and on a personal level after deployment in Dutch battlefield casualties (BCs). The second was to compare their postdeployment reintegration attitude with that of healthy controls. METHODS: A questionnaire concerning reintegration attitude, the Postdeployment Reintegration Scale (PDRS), was provided to all service members who received rehabilitation after sustaining injuries in Op TASK FORCE URUZGAN. The questionnaire was administered in 27 BCs at a median of 2 years post incident and 5.5 years post incident. At 5.5 years post incident, the PDRS of the BCs was compared with a control group consisting of service members from the same combat units. RESULTS: A significant difference was found for the BCs with an increased negative personal attitude (p=0.02) and a decreased negative attitude towards work (p=0.02) at 5.5 years compared with 2 years post incident. No differences in postdeployment reintegration attitude was observed between the BCs and controls at 5.5 years post incident. CONCLUSIONS: The results showed that for the BCs the personal attitude becomes more negative in time. However, the negative attitude towards work decreases in time after deployment. Particular attention should be paid to traumatic stress and aftercare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-353
Number of pages5
JournalBMJ Military Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

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