Exploring the post-deployment reintegration experiences of veterans with PTSD and their significant others
Freytes, I. M., LeLaurin, J. H., Zickmund, S. L., Resende, R. D., & Uphold, C. R. (2017). Exploring the post-deployment reintegration experiences of veterans with PTSD and their significant others. The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 87(2), 149-156. https://doi.org/10.1037/ort0000211
Abstract Created by REACH:
While many Veterans experience reintegration without major problems, a sizable portion struggle with difficulties, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), during the transition back to their families and communities following deployment. This study is a qualitative investigation of Veterans with PTSD or TBI and their significant others' perceptions of family functioning. Findings indicate that deployment led to changes in family functioning that persisted for years following reintegration.
Branch of Service:
Adulthood (18 yrs & older)
Freytes, I. Magaly, LeLaurin, Jennifer H., Zickmund, Susan L., Resende, Rosana D., Uphold, Constance R.
Veterans with family support have better functional recovery and reintegration outcomes. However, families’ ability to support the veteran with PTSD’s rehabilitation and reintegration oftentimes is hindered by interpersonal challenges. We report findings of a qualitative study that examined OEF/OIF veterans with PTSD/TBI and their significant others’ (SOs’) perceptions of family functioning. We conducted 24 in-depth interviews with 12 veteran/SO dyads using an adapted version of the Family Assessment Device Structured Interview. Descriptive qualitative analytic methods were used to analyze the data. Data show that the impact of deployment and the resulting changes in the individuals and the family dynamics lingered years after the veterans returned home and had a lasting influence on veterans’ and SOs’ perceptions of family functioning. Most couples acknowledged growth in their relationships several years postdeployment. However, many continued to struggle with disruptions generated by deployment. Four themes emerged from the data: individual changes, coping strategies, relationship changes, and a “new normal.” Postdeployment family functioning was influenced by a dynamic interplay of individual and relationship factors and the development of coping strategies and a new normal. This study contributes to the understanding of the prolonged postdeployment family reintegration experiences of veterans and their SOs. Findings underscore the importance of continuing to advance the current knowledge base about the long-term impact of deployment on veterans and their families, especially factors that contribute to positive postdeployment family functioning. Additional empirical studies are needed to provide more in-depth understanding of the long-term postdeployment reintegration experiences of veterans and their families. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
American Psychological Association
Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (CINDRR), North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, IMF
Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (CINDRR), North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, JHL
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, VA Pittsburgh Health Care System, SLZ
Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, RDR
Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, CRU
posttraumatic stress disorder, military veterans, family, military deployment, traumatic brain injury, family relations, reintegration
REACH Publication Type: