MEAO Health Study
The Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) Health Study investigated the health of more than 14,000 ADF members who deployed to the MEAO over the last decade. The study was contracted by the Department of Defence and conducted by CMVH nodes at The University of Queensland and the University of Adelaide.
The key findings of the Middle East Area of Operations Census and Prospective Health Studies were launched in Canberra on 8 August 2013 by the Chief of Defence Force, General David Hurley. The Mortality and Cancer Incidence study is yet to be released.
The MEAO Health Study had four components:
l The MEAO Census Study, was conducted by The University of Queensland node of CMVH. This study was a retrospective, self-report survey of around 27,000 ADF members who deployed to the MEAO between 2001 and 2009.
l The MEAO Prospective Study was a follow up study collecting pre- and post-deployment data on about 3,000 members who deployed in 2010/11. It was conducted by CMVH’s University of Adelaide node. Along with the self-report survey, selected members also participated in physical and neuro-cognitive testing.
l The MEAO Mortality and Cancer Incidence Study was based on record linkage to national databases. Death and cancer incidence data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) were linked with the MEAO nominal roll and compared with rates of death and cancer rates for the general Australian population.
l The MEAO Preliminary Study was conducted in 2009. The purpose was to gain stakeholder input into the development of the instruments and modes of data collection for the Census and Prospective Studies. Defence Force Units, ex-service organisations and other veterans’ groups were involved in meetings and focus groups.
The MEAO Health Study was rolled out as part of the Military Health Outcomes Program (MilHOP). The first part of this program, the 2010 ADF Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study, was completed in 2011 and the report is available here.