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The REBOOT Combat Recovery program: Health and socioemotional benefits

APA Citation:

Knobloch, L. K., Owens, J. L., Gobin, R. L., & Wolf, T. J. (2022). The REBOOT Combat Recovery program: Health and socioemotional benefits. Military Behavioral Health, 10(4), 408-420. https://doi.org/10.1080/21635781.2022.2067917

Abstract Created by REACH:

REBOOT Combat Recovery (henceforth REBOOT) is a 12-week, faith-based program that aims to help combat Service members, Veterans, and their families recover from spiritual wounds of war (e.g., hampered ability to derive meaning from combat). Using 111 REBOOT program graduates, this study examined whether the REBOOT program improved physical health (e.g., pain interference, pain intensity, fatigue, sleep disturbance), mental health (i.e., anxiety and depressive symptoms), social health (i.e., social participation), and socioemotional well-being (e.g., anger, meaning and purpose in life, social connectedness, forgiveness). The study also examined whether the REBOOT program’s socioemotional benefits were contingent upon people’s intrinsic religiosity (i.e., dedication and devotion to religious beliefs). All analyses accounted for demographics (e.g., sex, number of sessions attended, prior REBOOT participation). Overall, the REBOOT program was associated with improvements in various aspects of physical, mental, and social health, as well as with socioemotional well-being.


Mental health
Physical health

Branch of Service:

Marine Corps
Air Force
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member
Guard/Reserve member


Young adulthood (18 - 29 yrs)
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Thirties (30 - 39 yrs)
Middle age (40 - 64 yrs)
Aged (65 yrs & older)


Quantitative Study
Longitudinal Study


Knobloch, Leanne K., Owens, Jenny L., Gobin, Robyn L., Wolf, Timothy J.


Spiritual care for combat trauma seeks to help military personnel heal by finding meaning and purpose in their warzone experiences. Although prior work suggests that spiritual care for combat trauma is potentially beneficial, questions remain about whether health and socioemotional benefits hinge on intrinsic religiosity. We evaluated these questions in conjunction with the REBOOT Combat Recovery program, which offers Christian-based spiritual care for combat trauma via a 12-week manualized course. We collected self-report data from 111 U.S. service members and veterans during Week 3 and Week 12 of the program. Findings showed gains in pain interference and intensity (|d| = .30 to .37), sleep health (|d| = .44 to .52), mental health (|d| = .68 to .75), and social health (|d| = .54). Socioemotional improvements in anger (|d| = .76), meaning and purpose in life (|d| = .58), social connectedness (|d| = .50), and forgiveness (|d| = .44) also were apparent. Gains were largely unmoderated by intrinsic religiosity, demographic characteristics, and military characteristics. A key direction for future research is to employ a pretest/post-test control group design to further evaluate whether REBOOT Recovery is broadly useful as a spiritual care program for combat trauma.

Publisher/Sponsoring Organization:

Taylor & Francis

Publication Type:

REACH Publication

Author Affiliation:

Department of Communication, University of Illinois, LKK
REBOOT Recovery, JLO
Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois, RLB
Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Missouri, TJW


spiritual care, combat, socioemotional wellbeing

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REACH Publication Type:

Research Summary


Military Service Knowledge Collaborative Seed Grant Award from the Chez Veterans Center at the University of Illinois

REACH Newsletter:

  October 2022

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