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Research on Deployment Health


Research on Deployment Health refers to the scientific investigation of the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of military personnel after experiencing deployments. It encompasses the study of the effects of deployment factors, including combat exposure, environmental hazards, and operational stress, on overall health. The aim is to improve military healthcare practices, facilitate better reintegration, and enhance the long-term health of veterans.

Key Takeaways

  1. Research on Deployment Health involves studying the various physical, psychological, and social issues affecting veterans after their deployment to ensure proper care and support.
  2. This research aims to identify the specific health concerns of deployed service members, enabling the VA to create effective programs and interventions tailored to their unique needs.
  3. Key areas of focus include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), chronic pain, and environmental hazards exposure in different conflict zones.


Research on Deployment Health is an important term within the context of VA benefits as it encompasses the ongoing studies and investigations focused on understanding the physical, mental, and emotional health challenges that veterans face upon returning from military deployment.

These health issues can include combat injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and exposure to environmental hazards.

The findings from this research equip the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with valuable insights and data to help enhance and tailor the support, healthcare, and benefits provided to veterans, ultimately contributing to their successful reintegration into civilian life, improved quality of life, and long-term well-being.


Research on Deployment Health plays a crucial role in understanding and addressing the health concerns of veterans and active military personnel who have been deployed to war zones or other high-risk environments. The primary purpose of this research is to identify health-related issues, trends, and potential risks that may impact individuals who have been deployed and those who are preparing for future deployments.

The findings derived from these studies serve as a foundation for developing targeted interventions, medical treatments, and policy changes that can improve the health and well-being of service members and veterans alike. By examining factors that may contribute to deployment-related health concerns, researchers can better understand the long-term effects of military service, particularly in terms of physical and mental health.

One of the primary uses for Research on Deployment Health is to aid in the development of more effective healthcare strategies and support services tailored specifically to the needs of deployed service members. Through a combination of epidemiological studies, clinical trials, and longitudinal research, researchers are able to assess the overall health of service members pre- and post-deployment, track changes over time, and establish evidence-based protocols for addressing the unique health needs of this population.

By gaining a better understanding of the specific risks and challenges faced by those who have been deployed, the VA and other healthcare providers can create more targeted interventions, improve diagnostic tools, and implement preventive measures to reduce the incidence of deployment-related health issues. Ultimately, Research on Deployment Health is critical to ensuring that service members receive the comprehensive care they need and deserve, both during and after their time in the military.

Examples of Research on Deployment Health

Gulf War Illness Research: Gulf War Illness (GWI) is a chronic multi-symptom disorder affecting veterans who served in the 1990-1991 Gulf War. To understand and address the unique health concerns of these veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has conducted and sponsored extensive research on deployment health related to Gulf War service. This research has contributed to the development of new diagnostic tools, treatments, and preventive measures for veterans affected by GWI, improving their quality of life.

Mental Health Research for OEF/OIF Veterans: The conflicts in Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom, OIF) and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom, OEF) have presented new challenges for the VA, particularly in the area of mental health. Studies on the effects of these conflicts on veterans’ mental health have focused on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other deployment-related stressors. This research has allowed the VA to develop targeted mental health programs for OEF/OIF veterans, effectively addressing the unique needs of this population.

Environmental Exposure Research: Military service may expose veterans to various environmental hazards, such as Agent Orange during the Vietnam War or burn pits during the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The VA conducts research on the health effects of these exposures to better understand the associated risks, develop methods for early detection of related illnesses, and create effective treatments for affected veterans. This research ultimately helps the VA to better serve and care for veterans who have been exposed to harmful environmental agents during their military service.

FAQ: Research on Deployment Health

What is Research on Deployment Health?

Research on Deployment Health (RDH) is an initiative by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) focusing on understanding, diagnosing, and treating health conditions related to military deployment in an effort to provide the best care to Veterans.

Why is Research on Deployment Health important?

Understanding deployment-related health issues is crucial for providing adequate support to Veterans who may be experiencing unique challenges and health concerns as a result of their service. By conducting research and gathering information, the VA can better understand the health impact of deployment, provide accurate diagnoses, and develop effective treatments for various conditions.

What health issues are being researched under Deployment Health?

The VA researchers are studying a wide range of health concerns affecting deployed Veterans including mental health, infectious diseases, environmental exposures, traumatic brain injuries, and other medical conditions specific to the environments and experiences of military service members.

How can Veterans participate in Research on Deployment Health studies?

Veterans who are interested in participating in research studies can visit the VA’s Research on Deployment Health website to learn more about ongoing studies and find out if they are eligible for any current research projects. Participation in these studies can help advance knowledge and improve care for Veterans affected by deployment-related health issues.

Where can I find more information about the research being done on Deployment Health?

For more information on Research on Deployment Health, visit the VA’s Research on Deployment Health website. There, you will find details on current research projects, initiatives, and resources related to deployment health, as well as contact information for specific research programs.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Epidemiological Studies
  • Post-Deployment Health Assessments
  • Mental Health Screening
  • Exposure-related Medical Conditions
  • Traumatic Brain Injury Research

Sources for More Information

  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – Official website of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, offering comprehensive information on VA benefits, including deployment health research.
  • VA Office of Public Health – Offers multiple research programs focusing on deployment health, as well as resources for improving the health of veterans.
  • VA Research & Development – Showcases an extensive array of research projects related to deployment health, as well as other Veteran health issues.
  • RAND Corporation – A global research organization studying issues that impact public policy, including military and veteran healthcare, deployment, and transition.