Research spotlight

World's first MT-Ready tool enables screening of mental readiness for military to civilian transition

The 'Mental Readiness for Military Transition Scale (MT-Ready)' is a newly developed questionnaire that aims to capture the likelihood someone will transition well after military discharge. The scale was developed at Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation in partnership with RSL Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. A research article [1] detailing the scale’s development was recently published in the journal BMC Psychiatry. 

The MT-Ready can be used to indicate whether a Service member is at risk of poorer transition outcomes, and pinpoints which factors may be most beneficial to target before separating from the military. Importantly, it is the first measure developed with a specific focus on the psychological and social factors shown to have an impact on transition and reintegration outcomes.  

Australian research indicates that the years following discharge are a high-risk time period for the development of mental health difficulties [2, 3]. The MT-Ready article highlights the potential that psychometric tools can have in enhancing insight and prompting early intervention, and the subsequent impact this can have on an individual’s mental health trajectory over time. 

The article outlines the steps behind the MT-Ready’s development and validation, which included: 

  • a large qualitative study seeking to understand factors important for positive transition and reintegration (n = 100);
  • the development of 50 candidate questionnaire items based on key findings from the qualitative study;
  • administering candidate questionnaire items in a survey alongside mental health and wellbeing questionnaires in 345 current-serving Australian Defence Force members who were preparing to separate from the military;
  • collecting measures in a follow-up survey that included questionnaires assessing mental health, wellbeing, and reintegration outcomes in a portion of participants (n = 146) who had been discharged for 3-months or more; 
  • a series of analyses that aimed to produce a refined version of the scale, and document evidence of the scale’s quality and utility for predicting long-term outcomes.

The MT-Ready tool has 15 items in total and takes just 5 minutes to complete. Questions on the scale group into 3 sub-domains important to overall mental readiness: 

  1. Future Focus and Optimism 
  2. Anger and Perceived Failure 
  3. Civilian Connections and Social Support

Findings showed that the higher participants scored on the MT-Ready before discharge, the better mental health and reintegration outcomes they had after separation from the military. A score of 55 or higher was found to be the best cut-off to indicate if someone is likely to transition well. If the score is below 55, the article outlines recommendations for seeking support depending on someone’s scores on MT-Ready sub-domains. 

The tool unlocks a number of possibilities for research and clinical practice that can enhance mental health in the Veteran community. 

The MT-Ready tool can be used to measure how well-existing transition supports and resources are working to increase mental readiness for transition, allowing for more principled evaluation. It also provides a foundation in which to build new transition support programs, through highlighting psychosocial factors of most relevance.  

Importantly, the MT-Ready provides a free, accessible, and quick tool for any Service member to increase insight and awareness into their mental readiness for transition, and assists them in considering what type of support they may benefit most from, in preparation for discharge.  

The questionnaire is free and readily available online.

Of note, this measure has been developed with/for Australian personnel and Veterans. For use in other countries, additional development may be necessary to ensure it is transferable due to differences in experiences between countries and cultures. 

Thank you to Gina Fisher for writing this spotlight article.


[1] Romaniuk, M., Fisher, G., Sunderland, M., & Batterham, P. J. (2023). Development and psychometric evaluation of the Mental Readiness for military transition scale (MT-ready). BMC Psychiatry, 23 (1).

[2] Van Hooff, M., Forbes, D., Lawrence-Wood, E., Hodson, S., Sadler, N., Benassi, H., Hansen, C., Avery, J., Searle, A., Iannos, M., Abraham, M., Baur, J., Varker, T., O’Donnell, M., Phelps, A., Frederickson, J., Sharp, M., & McFarlane, A. (2018). Mental health prevalence and pathways to care summary report. Department of Veterans' Affairs, Canberra, Australia.

[3] McFarlane, A. C., Hodson, S. E., Van Hooff, M., & Davies, C. (2011). Mental health in the Australian defence force: 2010 ADF mental health and wellbeing study: full report. Department of Veterans' Affairs, Canberra, Australia.


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