Understanding and managing the health needs of veterans
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Understanding and managing the health needs of veterans

Danielle Fullwood Darzi Fellow, Health Education South London, London, England

Military service has many possible consequences for an individual’s health. However, the health needs of veterans are not well understood by healthcare professionals. A veteran may present with overlapping symptoms of mental and physical ill health. Problems such as hazardous levels of alcohol consumption and aggressive behaviour may be evident alongside anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and disfigurement. Female veterans may present with other complex health issues, such as military sexual trauma. The author suggests that pre-registration curricula for all healthcare professionals should include learning on veterans as a vulnerable patient group. Primary care settings often have first contact with veterans and their families, and every new patient should be asked about their employment history. Collaboration between healthcare professions is vital in assessing and managing the health needs of veterans.

Nursing Standard. 30, 10,37-43. doi: 10.7748/ns.30.10.37.s46

Correspondence

danielle.fullwood@southlondon.hee.nhs.uk

Peer review

All articles are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Received: 02 February 2015

Accepted: 07 July 2015