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Family Reintegration Following Guard Deployment

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Final rept. 15 Jul 2005-31 Jan 2010

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Purpose The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore and describe the experiences of family reintegration of Guard members deployed in the Global War on Terror and elicit their perceptions of what would be helpful to them as they face these challenges. Design This was a qualitative descriptive study that used an intensive interviewing method of data collection in individual, couples, and focus groups. Methods Each interview lasted from 90 to 120 minutes, depending upon the amount of information each participant shared. Each participant consented to be interviewed and be tape recorded. All of the interviews were transcribed verbatim and the transcripts were used for data analysis. Sample A total of 45 participants, n26 Guard Members and n19 family members participated in the study. A total of n26 Guard members and n19 family members participated in either individual, couples of focus group interviews. Instrumentation Open ended interviews. Findings Finding their way back in requires quite a bit of self-discovery and thoughtful reflection on the part of the veteran and family members about the changes that have occurred during the separation. Not all members and their families will experience difficulty with this, but for some the problems will be substantial. Participants identified several types of resources and strategies as helpful or potentially helpful. Nursing Implications The most important implication of this study is that we need a means to identify veterans at risk of developing a sense of failed belongingness because they are having difficulty finding their way back in to the family. One big concern identified in this study was the reluctance to seek help noted by the participants in this study. Reintegration support activities that expect both the Guard member and their respective spouse to attend an activity like a couples weekend may be doomed to low participation rates if they are contingent on both the military member and family m

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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