Experiences of Wives of Veterans Suffering from Combat-Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Qualitative Content Analysis

Document Type: Original article

Authors

1 Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Nursing, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences (USWR), Tehran, Iran

3 Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Baqiyatalla University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Department of Nursing, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

BackgroundWar as a cause of psychological trauma can lead to unfortunate events in human life. Trauma experienced by one of the family members can affect other members of that family as well. Family members, especially spouses, experience trauma due to permanent encounter with signs of Combat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study was conducted to investigate the experiences of the veterans’ wives.MethodsThe present qualitative study was conducted on 12 veterans’ wives aging 37-50 years. The subjects were selected through purposeful sampling from Bonyad Consultancy Center from early April to late September, 2012. Data were collected using focused group discussion and analyzed through conventional content analysis approach.ResultsThe participants’ experiences were categorized into two main themes and 5 sub-themes. The extracted themes included “disease and family reaction” and “coping with the disease” and the sub-themes included “negative emotions”, “living together but not intimately”, “reprehension and disease stigmatization”, “support motivation”, and “dual role-play”.ConclusionThe results of this study demonstrated that Combat PTSD had a negative effect on family members, especially wives. Thus, eliminating this problem requires health and educational interventions.

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