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Health and Wellbeing Cohort Study

The King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR) at King’s College London is launching the fourth phase of our long-term study investigating the health and wellbeing of UK military personnel who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

This latest phase of the study will follow-up participants from previous phases to examine how their health and wellbeing has changed over time. It is expected that many of those participating in the study will now have left the Armed Forces, therefore experiences of leaving and life after military service will be an important element in this phase.

The study has been running since 2004 with the primary aim of describing the ongoing health of both regular and reserve UK service personnel deployed on operations in Iraq (Operation TELIC) and Afghanistan (Operation HERRICK). It also includes personnel who were not deployed on either operation. The original phase was conducted in 2004/6, with the second phase in 2007/9 and the most recent in 2014/16.

The primary aim of the fourth phase of the study is to explore, in detail, the experience of leaving the military and the ongoing health and wellbeing of current and former personnel. In addition, the study will explore:

  • post-service mental health and lifestyle, social support and exclusion;
  • factors impacting leaving military service;
  • the impact of military service on marriage and relationships;
  • the health and social impact of alcohol misuse;
  • problem gambling and illicit drug use;
  • self-harm and suicidal thoughts before, during and after military service;
  • anger, aggressive behaviour and domestic abuse;
  • levels of mild cognitive decline, mild traumatic brain injury and post-concussion symptoms;
  • the impact of the British withdrawal from the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

Those taking part will complete an online or paper questionnaire covering a variety of topics including military background, mental and physical health, memory, civilian employment, health behaviours, finances, accommodation, family and social relationships, loneliness, injury, and the impact of the recent Afghanistan withdrawal. The questionnaire takes around 45 minutes to complete.

Participants will be sent an invitation email and letter, and can select their preferred method of responding. If you do not wish to take part please us know by email, phone or post and we will not contact you again about this study. You can also withdraw your questionnaire responses after they have been completed, up until the end of the response period on 31 July 2023.


The study is funded by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, but is conducted by a fully independent research group.

You can read the privacy notice for this study here.

    Project status: Ongoing

    Contact us

    Cohort Study Research Team
    The King’s Centre for Military Health Research (KCMHR)
    Third Floor, Weston Education Centre
    10 Cutcombe Road
    SE5 9R