Volume 22 No. 2

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History of Tuberculosis. Part 2 – the Sanatoria and the Discoveries of the Tubercle Bacillus

“If the importance of a disease for mankind is measured by the number of fatalities it causes, then tuberculosis must be considered much more important than those most feared infectious diseases, plague, cholera and the like. One in seven of all human beings dies from tuberculosis.” (Robert Koch, in his address to the Berlin Physiological… Read more »

By John Frith In   Issue Volume 22 No. 2 .

Unjustly accused? Medical authorities and army recruitment in Australia 1914-1918

Abstract: Throughout World One, army recruiting in Australia was subject to wartime demands, demographic constraints and political interference. Australia’s small medical establishment became better in dealing with these issues, helped by the greater combat experience of the Australian Army Medical Corps. Within the political and military constraints of the day it generally responded well to changing Government and military policies at home and abroad. This was despite serious differences in opinion within the senior command of the Corps.

Key words: recruiting, World War One, Australian military, medical officers, physical standards, enlistment standards

By Michael Tyquin In   Issue Volume 22 No. 2 .

Formation of Medical Units in Response to Epidemics in the Australian Imperial Force in Palestine 1918

Summary: In the closing days of the First World War, British cavalry operations defeated the Turkish Armies in Palestine. Australian Light Horse Regiments as part of the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF) were prominent in the capture of Amman, Beirut and Damascus. Epidemic infectious diseases were part of the severe desert environment faced by soldiers in the Middle East. Cholera and dysentery epidemics required reformation of medical units to emphasize mobility in an austere environment. A large epidemic of falciparum malaria coinciding with pandemic influenza shut down military operations and caused many deaths in late 1918. Three separate military medical units were formed in Egypt to address epidemic infectious diseases during mobile operations in the desert: ANZAC Field Laboratory, 5th Malaria Diagnosis Station and 7th Mobile Sanitary Section. Laboratory and preventive medicine units were critical to the military’s ability to conduct operations in the Middle East in 1918 and are likely to become vital for future missions in developing countries. As was the case in 1918, military medical units may have to be acutely restructured to control infectious disease outbreaks.

Key words: Great War, malaria, influenza, military medicine

By Dennis Shanks In   Issue Volume 22 No. 2 .

Inside this Edition

As we move closer to the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, I am constantly reminded of the sacrifices made by our ancestors to fight that war. In this issue, the Journal has reprinted the HMAS Sydney’s Medical Officer’s log for 09 November 1914 as she battled the SMS Emden near the Cocos Islands. In keeping with this World War 1 theme, this issue has two excellent articles on the challenges of Army recruiting during the war and on the formation of medical units in response to the epidemic in the Palestine in 1918. Further articles on World War I will be published in future issues.

This issue also looks at the management of mid-facial fractures, mental distress in military personnel and the history of tuberculosis, a disease that has plagued conflict and humanitarian assistance situations, in two parts.

As Editor, I continue to look for relevant and interesting papers, both academic and operational, for future issues. I encourage all our readers to consider publishing in JMVH in your area of expertise or interest.

By Andrew Robertson In   Issue Volume 22 No. 2 .

Correlates of Frequent Mental Distress among Active and Former Military Personnel


Background: Millions of veterans living in the United States suffer from mental illness. Understanding the correlates of mental illness can help target treatment to individuals in need and prevent mental distress, leading to healthier veterans and lower healthcare costs.

Objective: To examine risk factors for mental illness among those who have served or currently serve in active duty military service in the U.S. armed forces.

Methods: Data were from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Multivariable logistic regression was used to examine the relationship between mental distress and age, race, gender, education, income, employment, time since service, marital status, number of dependent children, physical health, sleep, and emotional support among former or active duty military population.

Results: Almost 9% of respondents reported frequent mental distress (FMD). Those with FMD were more likely to be minorities, young, single and female. The unemployed and those in poor physical health also had greater odds of FMD.

Conclusion: Because individuals with physical ailments and lacking employment were most likely to report distress, physical therapy services and programs to address unemployment and poverty can have a positive impact on the mental health of veterans. Education and training programs and physical therapy offices may be excellent sites for FMD screening.

By Eleanor DiBiasio , Melissa A Clark and Samantha R Rosenthal In   Issue Volume 22 No. 2 .