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Research Topics
Health and Human Services Department of Defense Veterans Affairs Health and Human Services Gulf War Information Department of Defense Gulf War Information Veterans Affairs Gulf War Information Home Home Advanced Search Glossary FAQs Site Map Contact Us
 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas
Research Topics
ACCIDENTS & INJURIES
BONE, JOINT & MUSCLE
BRAIN & NERVOUS
CANCER
CARDIOVASCULAR
CHEMICAL WARFARE
DIGESTIVE HEALTH
ENVIRONMENTAL & OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
FAMILY HEALTH
GENERAL HEALTH & PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
GENETIC STUDIES
HEALTH RESEARCH OF ALLIED FORCES
IMMUNE/BLOOD SYSTEM
INFECTIONS
LUNG & RESPIRATORY
MENTAL HEALTH
MILITARY WORKING DOGS
MORTALITY/DEATH
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH/OUTCOMES
SLEEP DISORDER
Treatment
VACCINES & PROTECTIVE MEDICATIONS
General Health & Physical Symptoms
General
Project Summary

Title: Relationship of Stress Exposures to Health in Gulf War Veterans
Synopsis: The aim of this study is to enhance understanding of undefined Gulf War Illnesses by examining the relationships of stress exposures encountered by Gulf War Veterans.
Overall Project Objective: Research on Gulf War (GW) illnesses leaves many questions unanswered about diagnostic syndromes of GW illnesses, dimensions of stressor exposures encountered by GW veterans, relations among stressor exposures and GW syndromes or symptoms, and factors that may mediate these relationships. The proposed study has five key aims intended to address these gaps and enhance understanding of illnesses reported by GW veterans: (1) To identify and examine dimensions of illnesses and health problems commonly reported by GW veterans; (2) To assess exposures to environmental toxins and psychosocial stressors comprehensively and to identify the dimensions of these exposures; (3) To examine the extent to which particular types of dimensions of exposure experienced during deployment and participation in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (ODS/S) are associated with the commonly reported and undefined post-war health problems of GW veterans; (4) To clarify how premilitary and predeployment adversities, risk factors, and protective factors affect GW illness outcomes; (5) To examine the mediating role of post-ODS/S factors (e.g., instrumental and emotional social support, general psychological functioning, specific comorbid psychiatric disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder and depression) on GW illness outcomes.
Status/Results to Date: Used the public use COMPREHENSIVE CLINICAL EVALUATION PROGRAM FOR PERSIAN GULF WAR VETERANS (CCEP) files to develop a stratified systematic sample design. Received sample files from DMDC, developed data collection procedures and fielded the mail survey. To date, 5,105 Gulf War veterans have completed the mail survey questionnaire. Variable codebooks have been created that provide detailed specifications of all survey instructions, survey questions, survey variables, derived variables and control system variables.
Project:DoD-74
Agency:Department Of Defense
Location:Duke University Medical Center
P.I. Name:John Fairbank, Ph. D.
Research Type:Epidemiology
Research Focus:Symptoms & General Health
Focus Category:General Health & Physical Symptoms
Status:Ongoing
Study Start Date:October 01,1998
Estimated Completion Date:September 30,2002
Specific Aims: The six key aims of the study are: 1) to identify and examine dimensions of illnesses and health problems commonly reported by GW veterans; 2) to assess exposures to stress and to identify the specific variables comprising stress; 3) to examine the extent to which exposures to particular dimensions of stress during deployment and participation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm (ODS/S) are associated with the commonly reported and undefined post-war health problems of GW veterans; 4) to clarify how premilitary and predeployment adversities, risk factors, and protective factors affect GWI outcomes; 5) to examine the role of perceived exposure to environmental toxins during ODS/S; and 6) to examine the mediating role of post ODS/S factors (e.g. instrumental and emotional social support general psychological functioning, specific co-morbidpsychiatric disorders: e.g. post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] and depression), and GWI outcomes.
Methodology: These aims will be achieved by obtaining in-depth data from a national probability sample of GW veterans, including both men and women in active and reserve components, provided by files maintained by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC). The study will obtain information on health conditions, military stress exposures, premilitary and predeployment adversities, risk factors, and protective factors, psychiatric illness and psychological functioning through a large-scale mail survey stratified by gender (men, women) and military component (active, reserve). Multivariate models will be developed for men and women and will compare outcomes for respondents with and without GWI.
Most Recent Publications:
None to date.