Hourani L, Bender R, Weimer B, Larson G. Comparative analysis of mandated versus voluntary administrations of post-deployment health assessments among Marines. Mil Med. 2012 Jun;177(6):643-8. doi: 10.7205/milmed-d-11-00421

Little empirical data exist regarding candidness of service members' responses on the mandated Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA) administered 3 to 6 months postdeployment. This study reports on the agreement between responses from U.S. Marines on a subset of the military-administered mandatory PDHRA items and answers to the same subset of items embedded in confidential research surveys. Results show that personnel are clearly underreporting certain symptoms and conditions on the mandatory PDHRA. The most dramatic increases in reporting on the research study's PDHRA items, as indicated by the percentage ratio, were for self-harming ideation and concern about harming others, each of which has about 14 times the endorsement percentage on the survey as on the official PDHRA. Lack of agreement for some items may be the result of resolution or onset of more acute conditions, but disagreement on sensitive behavioral concerns suggests that mandated PDHRAs are not effective screens for those domains.

Share on: