A comparative study of Dysthymia and life satisfaction in Gulf War Veterans.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Introduction Previous research into military health has disregarded low-level forms of depression such as Dysthymia, whilst failing to address exhibited Dysthymic behaviours such as low life satisfaction in veterans without a pre-existing diagnosis. Existing military research has also failed to address demographics from various warfare scenarios, including that of the British involvement in the Gulf War. This study aimed to overcome these shortfalls by addressing the lack of research regarding Dysthymia and its relation to life satisfaction in Gulf War veterans. Method A quantitative approach was taken using the CDRS and SWLS structured interviews between all male Gulf war veterans and non-veteran cohorts. 78 participants submitted their complete data overall. A Mann-Whitney U test compared CDRS scores between groups, and a spearman’s rank order correlation compared CDRS and SWLS scores. Results Dysthymia was found to have a higher prevalence in Gulf War veterans than non-veteran civilians (p <. 05). Individual items of the CDRS possessed 4 insignificant scores. Low SWLS scores were also found to possess a strong negative correlation to high CDRS scores also (p<.05). SWLS scores were also found possess higher significance in Gulf War veterans in particular. Conclusion In line with extrapolated research, the findings suggest a high prevalence of exhibited Dysthymic traits in veterans compared with civilians. Low life satisfaction was also indicative of high Dysthymia in individuals. Implications are discussed with reference to existing literature. Considerations of research limitations and future methodological improvement are also suggested.
BSc (Hons) Psychology
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