You are here

Risk factors, clinical presentations, and functional impairments for generalized anxiety disorder in military personnel and the general population in Canada

TitleRisk factors, clinical presentations, and functional impairments for generalized anxiety disorder in military personnel and the general population in Canada
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsTaillieu, T. L., Afifi T. O., Turner S., Cheung K., Fortier J., Zamorski M., and Sareen J.
JournalCanadian Journal of Psychiatry
Volume63
Pages610 - 619
Keywordsgeneral population, generalized anxiety disorder, impairments, military personnel, symptoms, worries
Abstract

Objective: This study sought to examine differences in sociodemographic risk factors, comorbid mental conditions, clinical presentations, and functional impairments associated with past-year generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) between Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Regular Force personnel and the Canadian general population (CGP). Method: Data were from 2 nationally representative surveys collected by Statistics Canada: 1) the Canadian Community Health Survey on Mental Health, collected in 2012 (N = 25,113; response rate = 68.9%); and 2) the Canadian Forces Mental Health Survey, collected in 2013 (N = 8,161; response rate = 79.8%). Results: The prevalence of lifetime and past-year GAD was significantly higher in the CAF (12.1% and 4.7%) than in the CGP (9.5% and 3.0%). Comorbid mental disorders were strongly associated with GAD in both populations. Although the content area of worry and the GAD symptoms endorsed were similar, CAF personnel were significantly more likely to endorse specific types of worries (i.e., success at school/work, social life, mental health, being away from home or loved ones, and war or revolution) and specific symptoms of GAD (i.e., restless, keyed up, or on edge and more irritable than usual) than civilians, after adjusting for sociodemographic covariates and comorbid mental disorders. CAF personnel with past-year GAD reported significantly higher functional impairment at home than civilians with past-year GAD. Conclusion: GAD is a substantial public health concern associated with significant impairment and disability in both military and civilian populations. GAD in military and civilian populations shows similarities and differences: Key similarities include its extensive comorbidity and significant functional impairment, whereas key differences include the focus of worries and symptom profile.

URLhttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0706743717752878
DOI10.1177/0706743717752878
Document URLhttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0706743717752878