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Spiritual care for combat trauma: A qualitative evaluation of REBOOT Combat Recovery

APA Citation:

Knobloch, L. K., Owens, J. L., & Gobin, R. L. (2021). Spiritual care for combat trauma: A qualitative evaluation of REBOOT Combat Recovery. Military Psychology, 33, 392–402. https://doi.org/10.1080/08995605.2021.1962183

Abstract Created by REACH:

REBOOT Combat Recovery is a 12-week faith-based program that aims to help combat Veterans and their families recover from the spiritual wounds of war. Using semi-structured interviews, this qualitative study explored Veterans’ (N = 40) experiences with the program (i.e., effectiveness, helpfulness, and general impact). 98% of the sample reported favorable perceptions of the program. The results highlight which aspects of the program were most helpful as well as insights for improvement.


Mental health

Branch of Service:

Air Force
Marine Corps
Coast Guard
Multiple branches

Military Affiliation:

Active Duty

Subject Affiliation:

Active duty service member
Guard/Reserve member


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


Qualitative Study
Cross-Sectional Study


Knobloch, Leanne K., Owens, Jenny L., Gobin, Robyn L.


Combat trauma experienced in a warzone can hamper the physical, mental, and spiritual health of military service members and Veterans for years afterward. Spiritual care for combat trauma is designed to help service members and Veterans find meaning and purpose in their experiences. One such spiritual care program is REBOOT Combat Recovery, a 12-week, Christian-based course led by trained volunteers across the country. An in-depth investigation of the REBOOT program is needed to advance knowledge of spiritual care for combat trauma and to assess the course in attendees’ own words. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 40 course graduates. Experiences of the course were positive. Interviewees identified the program’s emphasis on peer fellowship, spirituality, and the roots of distress as reasons for its effectiveness (RQ1). The most helpful aspects of the program involved the hospitality and family focus; targets for improvement included maintaining fidelity to the curriculum and offering opportunities for continuity upon graduation (RQ2). Interviewees described a variety of ways the course affected their view of self, their relationship with God and others, and their perceptions of combat trauma (RQ3). These findings are valuable for enriching spiritual care, in general, and enhancing the REBOOT Combat Recovery program, in particular.

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, RLG


combat trauma, health, military, REBOOT Recovery, spirituality

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Research Summary

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