Religious functioning and trauma outcomes among combat veterans

Counselling and Spirituality - 2011-01-01Ogden H, Harris JI, Erbes CR, Engdahl B, Olson RHA, Winskowski AM, McMahill J
Recent research on primarily civilian trauma survivors has identified patterns of religious functioning that are related to positive and negative outcomes from trauma. Specifically, those who use their faith as a source of comfort, are active in using prayer as a coping resource, and are involved in supportive relationships with their religious peers and leaders, evidence higher levels of posttraumatic growth. In contrast, those who experience high levels of religious fear and guilt, a disrupted relationship with G-d, and conflict in relationships with religious peers and leaders, evidence more symptoms of
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A complex psychiatric syndrome that develops in response to trauma exposure. Individuals with PTSD experience intrusive recollections or reexperiencing of the traumatic event, avoidance of trauma reminders, emotional numbing, and hyperarousal. In addition, PTSD is associated with high rates of concomitant physical and mental health problems, increased health care use, and impairment in social and occupational functioning. Almost 7% of the general population and up to 30% of veterans meet lifetime criteria for PTSD. Indeed, PTSD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, representing a significant and costly public health concern.
. This study is an attempt to replicate these findings among veterans of combat trauma. In a sample of veterans recently returned from combat (N = 110) high levels of religious distress were related to more symptoms, and higher levels of religious comfort and useful religious coping strategies were related to posttraumatic growth.