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July 6, 2005

Screening for Psychological Illness in the Military—Reply

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2005;294(1):42-43. doi:10.1001/jama.294.1.43-a

In Reply: Although it is true that the study by Dr Wright and colleagues1 did not provide sensitivity and specificity, it did provide information on true positives, true negatives, false positives, and false negatives for multiple psychological problems from which these were calculated. Of those soldiers who were true positives, 45% required immediate referral but were assessed as deployable, 48% were assessed as subclinical (indicating a moderate amount of distress not requiring a referral), and 4% were already receiving treatment. Thus, the great majority were able to function without clear indication of need of treatment.

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