2012 National Meeting

3134 — The Impact of Deployment and Other Factors on Veteran Community Reintegration as Measured by the CRIS-CAT

Resnik L, and Borgia M, Providence VA Medical Center;

The purpose of the study was to identify factors associated with community integration of Veterans as measured by the CRIS-CAT scale.

517 Veterans were administered the CRIS-CAT items and questions about demographics and health history. CRIS-CAT scores for the three scales (Extent, Perceived Limitations and Satisfaction) were calculated using computer simulation. We examined sample descriptives and bivariate relationships to identify factors associated with CRIS-CAT scales. CRIS-CAT scores were logarithmically transformed to address violations of residual homoskedasticity and normality, and 3 multivariate regression models were run using factors identified as significant in bivariate analyses.

Veterans who had returned from deployment less than one year prior had 6% lower Extent scores (p = 0.003) and 4% lower Perceived Limitations scores (p = 0.045) than Veterans who had never been deployed. Veterans who returned from deployment one year or more prior had 7-8% lower CRIS-CAT scores (p <0.001). Veterans with depression had 8% lower Extent scores (p <0.001). Those with alcohol or drug abuse history had 4% lower Perceived Limitation scores (p <0.05), and those with PTSD or other mental health diagnosis had 5-9% lower scores on all (p <0.05). For each ADL difficulty, Veterans had 3-4% lower CRIS-CAT (all scales) (p <0.001). Veterans who were divorced, separated or widowed had 5% higher Perceived Limitation scores than did married Veterans (p-0.021). Veterans with high school education or less had 6% lower scores as compared to those with more education (p <0.05).

The following factors were independently associated with community integration: time since returning from deployment, depression, PTSD, mental illness, and alcohol or drug abuse diagnoses, number of ADL difficulties, marital status, and education. Our findings confirm observational reports that community reintegration is impacted after returning from deployment. Our results suggest that this impact persists beyond a year and worsens with time.

VA programs to enhance post-deployment adjustment are needed years after return from combat.