Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme

In 2014 the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), in collaboration with Defence, commissioned one of the largest and most comprehensive military research programs undertaken in Australia. The Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme examined the mental, physical and social health of serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel and their families.

The program was conducted by a consortium of 6 of Australia’s leading research institutions led by the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies (CTSS) at the University of Adelaide, and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).

The program comprised 3 separate but related studies. Eight reports were released between April 2018 and July 2020:

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Transition study
  • Impact of Combat study
  • Family Wellbeing study.

Reports

Transition and Wellbeing overview fact sheet (2019) (PDF, 180.51 KB)

Transition and Wellbeing key findings report (2019) (PDF, 1.15 MB)

Transition and Wellbeing key findings fact sheet (2019) (PDF, 146.99 KB)

Transition and Wellbeing Government actions information sheets (2019 - 2020) (PDF, 812.26 KB)

Mental Health and Wellbeing Transition study

Five reports were produced using data collected through the Mental Health and Wellbeing Transition study.

The Mental Health Prevalence report estimated the prevalence of mental disorders across the mental health spectrum, trauma exposure and suicidal ideation, and self-reported mental health symptoms among transitioned ADF members. It also compared self-reported symptom levels in transitioned ADF members with community rates, as well as a comparison to the 2015 regular ADF.

Mental Health Prevalence key findings report (2016) (PDF, 5.31 MB)

Mental Health Prevalence key findings fact sheet (2016) (PDF, 148.8 KB)

The Pathways to Care report examined how 2015 regular ADF and transitioned ADF members accessed mental health services, usage patterns, and pathways to care. This included help-seeking behaviour, services used, satisfaction with services, pathways into care, and perceived barriers and stigma to care.

Pathways to Care key findings report (2016) (PDF, 4.57 MB)

Pathways to Care key findings fact sheet (2016) (PDF, 148.66 KB)

The Physical Health Status report examined the physical health status of 2015 ADF and transitioned ADF members. Particular emphasis was placed on symptom reporting, self-reported pain, doctor-diagnosed medical problems or conditions, physical injuries, sleep problems, and satisfaction with health.

Physical Health Status key findings report (2016) (PDF, 10.79 MB)

Physical Health Status key findings information sheet (2016) (PDF, 452.35 KB)

The Technology Use and Wellbeing report was one of the first studies conducted worldwide to investigate use of the internet and new and emerging programs and technologies that support the wellbeing and mental health of serving and ex-serving military members.

Technology Use and Wellbeing key findings report (2016) (PDF, 4.25 MB)

Technology Use and Wellbeing key findings information sheet (2016) (PDF, 433.9 KB)

The Mental Health Changes Over Time: a Longitudinal Perspective report examined the shifts in mental health status over a five–year period (2010–2014) in those who had transitioned out of regular, full–time military service compared with those who remained in the regular Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Mental Health Changes Over Time key findings report (2016) (PDF, 2.91 MB)

Mental Health Changes Over Time key findings information sheet (2016) (PDF, 259.32 KB)

Impact of Combat study

The Impact of Combat study was the third wave of data collection of participants of the Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) Prospective Health study who deployed to the MEAO between 2010 and 2012. The study examined the changes over time in mental, physical and neurocognitive health and wellbeing of the cohort.

Reports

Impact of Combat key findings report (2016) (PDF, 4.88 MB)

Impact of Combat key findings information sheet (2016) (PDF, 307.15 KB)

Family Wellbeing study

The Family Wellbeing study examined the experiences and perspective of family members regarding the impact of military service on families and the pathways to available care.

Reports

Family Wellbeing Study key findings report (2016) (PDF, 6.51 MB)

Family Wellbeing Study key findings information sheet (2016) (PDF, 387.88 KB)