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Improvement of mental health among Chinese plateau military personnel,

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Mengxue Zhao, Zhengzhi Feng, Guoyu Yang

School of Psychology, Army Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Zhengzhi Feng
School of Psychology, Army Medical University, No. 30 Gao Tanyan Street, Sha Pingba District, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 1 322 868 8828
Fax +86 0 236 877 1779

Abstract: Extreme occupational environments influence the military personnel’s psychological functions. This study aims to investigate Chinese plateau soldiers’ mental health, its changes over time and its correlation with social indicators. A cross-temporal meta-analysis of Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90) was employed to resolve these problems. Forty-six valid data with 23,481 samples at high altitude were screened from 34 journal articles between 1993 and 2017. The mental health of Chinese plateau soldiers showed significant improvement. The eight factor scores of SCL-90 showed a significantly negative correlation with years. The scores of Chinese plateau soldiers presented several peaks in the years 2000, 2008, and 2017, suggesting that the mental health may be influenced by momentous military events. The current-year ratio of defense budget to gross domestic product and divorce rate showed a significant correlation with mental health. The improvement of consumption level index could better explain the improvement of mental health in plateau soldiers. Also, the mental health level of soldiers might affect the 5-year-later consumption level index. The influence of social changes on mental health cannot be neglected. The characteristics of military mental health should be considered when designing the prevention, intervention, and treatment programs, and preparing policies to care military service members.

Keywords: cross-temporal meta-analysis, military personnel, mental health, Symptom Checklist-90

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