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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Health of veterans home from war
by Wands, LisaMarie, Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2011, 187; 3480608
Abstract (Summary)

Approximately 1.76 million men and women have served in the Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) military campaigns since October 2001. The transition from living in a war zone to resuming a fulfilling life at home is often difficult for veterans. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to gain understanding of the issues that complicate health for veterans and approaches veterans used to resolve complicating health issues associated with the challenge of coming home from war. Qualitative data collection and analysis was guided by story inquiry method. Quantitative data was collected using the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey, Version 2 (SF-36v2) and analyzed using QualityMetric Health Outcomes™ Score Software, Version 4.0.

Seven OEF/OIF veterans who had completed at least one tour of duty in Iraq since October 2001 participated in this study. Three themes emerged from the qualitative data that capture the complicating health issues that participants encountered when coming home from war: flipping the switch, figuring out how to belong, and living the stress of a new normal. Two themes emerged from the qualitative data that capture approaches used to resolve complicating health issues associated with returning home from war: connecting with others and choosing a positive attitude. Quantitative data revealed that the majority of participants scored at or above general population norms on three of the subscales that measure physical health, as well as on two of the subscales that measure mental health; however a significant percentage scored below norms on the subscale that measures social functioning (57%) and on the subscale that directly measures mental health (43%).

All three themes describing complicating health issues that emerged during qualitative data analysis resonated with the SF-36v2's measures of mental health, especially social functioning which inquires about experiences with social interactions. Both themes describing movement toward resolving resounded strongly with the SF-36v2's measures of mental health.

From this study's findings, changes to policy and practice, education of nurses and post-secondary faculty, and future research have been recommended to continue to assist the war veteran who is coming home.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Liehr, Patricia
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-B 73/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing
Keywords: Caring, DEF/DIF veterans, Story inquiry, Veteran health, War
Publication Number: 3480608
ISBN: 978-1-124-95270-3
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