World-first Vietnam Veterans' Family Study Begins

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22nd May 2008, 12:59pm - Views: 700

Government Government Minister For Veterans' Affairs 1 image

The Hon Alan Griffin MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs


Thursday, 22 May 2008


One of the most significant research programs ever undertaken into the health of Australia’s veteran

community is underway and veterans of the Vietnam War era and their families are being urged to get


The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, said the program’s $11.5 million Vietnam Veterans’ Family

Study would include Vietnam veterans, other ex-servicemen and women, children, step-children, nieces

and nephews, and partners and ex-partners.

“This study will help identify health problems that may have occurred as a result of service in Vietnam

along with protective factors and characteristics that help build resilience in families of veterans,” Mr

Griffin said.

“Invitations to participate are about to be sent to around 20,000 servicemen of the Vietnam era, about

half of whom served in the Army in Vietnam and about half who served but weren’t deployed.

“The study’s scientific validity relies on adequate registration numbers of the two key groups involved:

invited Vietnam veterans and a comparison group––Army members of the time who didn’t go to Vietnam.

“This is world-first research but the greatest challenge to its success lies in recruiting a sufficient number

of both Vietnam veteran families and families of those who did not serve in Vietnam.

“My Department cannot directly contact the family members of invited veterans due to privacy laws, so

it’s vital that invited veterans contact their children and family members to encourage them to register.

“So please talk to your Army mates who did not go to Vietnam and talk to your families––tell them how

important this study is and get them to be a part of it.

“Participation in the study is voluntary, but I strongly urge invited veterans and their families to give it their

full support.”

Mr Griffin said the Vietnam Veterans’ Family Study may involve up to 200,000 participants and will look at

the functioning of the family unit as well as health, social and wellbeing issues.

“The support of veterans and their families for this study will pave the way for future research to benefit

the families of younger veterans from more recent deployments, such as East Timor,” he said.

Veterans who were deployed to Vietnam have been randomly selected from the Nominal Roll.  Those not

deployed have been randomly selected from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data.

The study is expected to be completed by 2016 although results will become available throughout the

course of the study.

or through the health study telephone line, 1800 502 302.

Media inquiries: Laura Ryan 0437 863 109

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