ADJUSTMENT DISORDERS IN THE U.S. MILITARY

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

 

Adjustment Disorders are the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorder in the Active Duty U.S. Military population. They are broadly characterized by one's difficulty adjusting in response to a stressor. The symptoms can include excessive worrying about the stressor, recurrent and distressing thoughts about the stressor, or constant rumination about the implications of the stressor. Those diagnosed with an Adjustment Disorder may exhibit depressed mood, anxiety, avoidance behaviors, or impulsivity. The symptoms of Adjustment Disorders can cause significant distress and impairment in daily functioning. Within the US Military population, there are strong links between Adjustment Disorders and suicides, as well as high rates of Adjustment Disorder-related evacuations from combat zones.

There are two main goals for this study. The first is to develop an improved diagnostic tool for Adjustment Disorders in the US Military population. The second is to develop a comprehensive framework and recommendations for provider training to improve diagnosis and treatment for Adjustment Disorders in the U.S. Military population.

  • All participants will first complete the informed consent process by phone with a member of the study team. The study team will review important information about the study and your rights as a research participant before you are asked to verbally consent to participate in the study. 
  • If you are an Active Duty service member and decide to take part in this study, you will be asked to complete several surveys that ask questions about mental health symptoms to help us understand how Adjustment Disorders are experienced in the U.S. Military population. The surveys will take approximately 20-30 minutes total to complete. You may be asked to complete the surveys more than once.
  • If you are a provider who treats the Active Duty U.S. Military population, you may be invited to take part in an interview or focus group to help us understand provider attitudes regarding diagnosing Adjustment Disorders. The interview or focus group will take approximately 60-90 minutes. Alternatively, you may be asked to complete a survey about your attitudes as a provider regarding diagnosing Adjustment Disorders. The survey will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. 

There is no cost to you to take part in this study.

The primary risk to you is the potential for you to feel discomfort, anxiety, embarrassment, or stress with some of the questions in the assessments. You will have the option to skip questions if you do not feel comfortable answering them. You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time with no penalty or loss of military benefit to which you are entitled.

If you experience distress at any time while completing the surveys, you can contact the study team via telephone at 301-295-1951. We are available during normal business hours (0800-1700 Eastern time), but if we miss your call, we will do our best to get back to you within 24 hours. If your need is urgent, please contact the Military Crisis Line (link is external) by calling 1-800-273-8255 and pressing 1, or by texting 838255. In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1 or your location’s appropriate number for emergency services. The contact information for the study team, and for the Military Crisis Line are available on our website

We will make every effort to protect your privacy and confidentiality; however, there are always risks of breach of information security and information loss. You will be provided a unique Participant ID that you will use to complete the study. This ID will be used in place of your name so that information you provide is not directly associated with your personal information. Only approved members of the research team will have access to the document linking Participant IDs to participant names and information. The document will be stored securely with the Principal Investigator of the study.

Any information you provide in the course of this study that is used in the dissemination or publication of this study will be de-identified and presented as anonymous data. After the completion of the study, the document linking your name to your Participant ID will be destroyed.

If you are an Active Duty service member, you will receive a $20 gift card as compensation for your time spent completing the surveys. You must complete the surveys while you are off-duty. 

Your participation in this study would be voluntary. You can choose to withdraw your consent at any time. If you choose to withdraw from the study, it will not affect your eligibility for care or any other benefits you are entitled to. Any information you provide up to the point of withdrawal may be used for analysis.

If you wish to withdraw at any time, please contact the study team. You will be required to notify the principal investigator in writing.  If at any time you have any questions or concerns about the study, or about your participation in the study, please contact the study team by phone at 301-295-1951.

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Contact Information

Alix Fetch, PhD
Research Study Coordinator
phone: 301-295-1951
email: alix.fetch.ctr@usuhs.edu