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After the completion of a deployment, begins the 3–6-month period of reintegration. The reintegration of an integral member of the family who has been absent for 6-12 months means re-establishing occupations, relationships, roles, and routines (Walsh & Rosenblum, 2018). Many MSMV experience stress from re-establishing the bond between themselves and their child, and their spouse (Arvanitis, 2013). The post-deployment reintegration process is even more challenging if the MSMV is experiencing trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, or other mental health or physical health challenges (Walsh & Rosenblum, 2018).

The purpose of this project was to research the occupational impact of military reintegration, as well as identify and expand the potential role of OT with this population, resulting in a more successful transition between the occupations, roles, and routines from active deployment to post-deployment stages.

Sixty (n=60) subjects participated in this Phenomenological mixed methods study which included the completion of an online survey (n=60) and optional virtual interviews (n=7) to collect data on the lived experiences and challenges of military servicemembers and their spouses. All survey and interview questions were routines-based and guided by the Person Environment Occupation (PEO) model and the Quality-of-Life Scale (QOLS). The open-ended interview was semi-structured. The online survey asked participants to rate their satisfaction and personal experiences with reintegration.

Five primary research themes were developed during the data analysis phase: 1) Servicemember Comes First, 2) Finding Balance 3) Managing Expectations, 4) Gain/Loss of Independence 5) Lack of Resources

The results of this study concluded that many military servicemembers and their spouses experience difficulty with role fulfilment, routine adherence, occupational performance, and some QOL factors following the return from deployment. While many participants spoke to their challenges during reintegration, the survey results did indicate that not all individuals who participated share the same degree of struggle during post deployment reintegration.

Publication Date

Summer 8-12-2021

Publisher

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Medical Subject Headings

Miltary Personnel, Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic, Quality of Life, Depression, Anxiety, Mental Health, Family, Occupational Therapy, Surveys and Questionnaires, Qualitative Research

Comments

Poster presented at the Summer 2021 Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences held online on August 12, 2021.

The Occupational Impact of Reintegration After Military Deployment

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