The King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) has received further funding from the UK Ministry of Defence to continue its research into the health and well-being of military personnel, many of whom have served in Iraq. The research, which began in 2003 as a prospective investigation of the physical and psychological health of over 12,000 UK service personnel serving in Iraq, will be monitoring service personnel more widely, including those deployed to Afghanistan.
It is the largest study of the health of the UK Armed Forces ever undertaken and will also provide for the first time a longer term perspective on the physical, social and psychological aspects of military service in the 21st century.
?Our results, published in The Lancet earlier this year, showed that there had been no new Iraq War Syndrome, and no increase in mental health problems in Regular personnel who served in Iraq, compared to those who served elsewhere. On the other hand, there had been an increase in psychological disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder in Reserve forces, which has led to changes in the way the MOD and NHS manage these problems,’ explains Professor Simon Wessely, Co-Director of KCMHR.
The study will continue to monitor both physical and psychological health, as well as now studying whether or not those in need have been able to access appropriate health care. It will also continue to monitor any possible long term side effects of vaccines given against biological warfare in those who have served in Iraq.
?Everyone who has taken part in the study will be contacted again, together with a further 5,000 people who have joined the Armed Forces since the study began,’ continues Professor Wessely.
The Study will also look at both the costs and benefits of military life, and what happens to people even after they leave the Armed Forces. As before, the research will focus on all three Services and will include both regular and reserve personnel.
KCMHR is based at King’s College London and is headed by Professor Simon Wessely, and Christopher Dandeker, who is Professor of Military Sociology and Head of the School of Social Science & Public Policy.
King’s College London
King’s College London is the fourth oldest university in England with more than 13,700 undergraduates and nearly 5,600 graduate students in nine schools of study based at five London campuses. It is a member of the Russell Group: a coalition of the UK’s major research-based universities. The College has had 24 of its subject-areas awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level, and it has recently received an excellent result in its audit by the Quality Assurance Agency.
King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, international relations, medicine, nursing and the sciences, and has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to four Medical Research Council Centres ? more than any other university.
King’s is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings, with income from grants and contracts of more than ?100 million, and has an annual turnover of more than ?363 million.