Active Duty to Veteran: Challenges Faced by Service Men and Women Reintegrating to Civilian Life in the South Carolina Lowcountry

An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.


Alyssa B. Mayer, PhD, MPH
Taylor McCune, MOT, OTR/L
Justin T. McDaniel, PhD, MBA
Diana Gill, PhD, CHES
Robert J. McDermott, PhD, FAAHB


One in 4 active-duty US military personnel report needing support for mental health issues. This proportion increases to 41% of all US military veterans, suggesting mental health status may worsen by the transition from active duty to civilian life. In this study, we explore the lived experiences of veterans in the South Carolina Low country as they transition from active service to civilian life, with an emphasis on identifying services and support for this population.


We used a qualitative design employing a grounded theory approach. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 veterans in the first year of reintegration to civilian life that examined the following areas: (1) social isolation; (2) physical isolation; and (3) self-reported levels of mental distress.


Thematic saturation was reached with the following emerging themes: (1) perceived mental distress due to social and physical isolation, (2) difficulty transitioning from the military “family” to one’s actual family, (3) confusion regarding identity and place in society, and an expressed (4) need for services to support this critical period in a veteran’s life.


Our interview data provide insight about the experiences of military veterans as they return to civilian life and offer evidence for the need for better integration into the social and physical fabric of the population using both existing and enhanced community-based support programs.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
Article Link:

2023-08-19T15:40:16-06:00August 6th, 2023|Mental Health, Veterans|

Oral Health and Mental Distress among Military Veteran Cancer Survivors: Insights from the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

An Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.
The full article is available as a PDF download.


Joan M. Davis, RDH, PhD
Justin T. McDaniel, PhD Twitter
Musa Yahaya, MBBS, MPH
Robert J. McDermott, PhD


Mental health issues occur among service members and veterans (SMVs). A cancerdiagnosis exacerbates these issues. Many veterans with poor mental health lack adequate dental care. We examined oral health and mental distress among SMV cancer survivors.


We retrieved data from the 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. We calculated theaverage number of mentally unhealthy days in the last 30 across categories of tooth removal (0, 1-5, ≥ 6 but not all, and all). We calculated state-based percentages of tooth removal (≥ 6 teeth) among SMV cancer survivors.


The greatest percentage of removal of ≥ 6 teeth among SMV cancer survivors occurred in Mississippi (50.3%), West Virginia (49.3%), and Kentucky (46.6%). Mental distress increased with the number of teeth removed. SMV cancer survivors with no history of tooth removal reported 2.08 mentally unhealthy days; 1-5 teeth removed, 2.34 days; ≥ 6 but not all, 3.20 days; and all teeth removed, 4.08 days.


The history of ≥ 6 or more teeth removed increased SMV cancer survivor risk for mental distress. Tooth loss was particularly prevalent among veterans in the Mississippi Delta and Appalachia. Improving oral healthcare among veterans who are cancer survivors may reduce mental distress.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 7, Number 5, October 2020, pp. 452-460(9)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.

2021-04-29T22:12:07-06:00October 15th, 2020|Oral Health, Veterans|
Go to Top