Easing Reintegration

Telephone Support Groups for Spouses of Returning Iraq and Afghanistan Service Members

Linda Nichols, Jennifer Martindale-Adams, Marshall J. Graney, Jeffrey Zuber, Robert Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spouses of returning Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom, OIF) and Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom, OEF) military service members report increased depression and anxiety post deployment as they work to reintegrate the family and service member. Reconnecting the family, renegotiating roles that have shifted, reestablishing communication patterns, and dealing with mental health concerns are all tasks that spouses must undertake as part of reintegration. We tested telephone support groups focusing on helping spouses with these basic reintegration tasks. Year-long telephone support groups focused on education, skills building (communication skills, problem solving training, cognitive behavioral techniques, stress management), and support. Spouse depression and anxiety were decreased and perceived social support was increased during the course of the study. In subgroup analyses, spouses with husbands whose injuries caused care difficulties had a positive response to the intervention. However, they were more likely to be depressed, be anxious, and have less social support compared to participants who had husbands who had no injury or whose injury did not cause care difficulty. Study findings suggest that this well-established, high-access intervention can help improve quality of life for military spouses who are struggling with reintegration of the service member and family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-777
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Communication
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

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Afghanistan
Iraq
reintegration
Self-Help Groups
Spouses
Telephone
spouse
telephone
Communication
Group
Education
Health
husband
2003-2011 Iraq War
social support
Social Support
anxiety
stress management
communication pattern
Wounds and Injuries

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

Cite this

Easing Reintegration : Telephone Support Groups for Spouses of Returning Iraq and Afghanistan Service Members. / Nichols, Linda; Martindale-Adams, Jennifer; Graney, Marshall J.; Zuber, Jeffrey; Burns, Robert.

In: Health Communication, Vol. 28, No. 8, 01.11.2013, p. 767-777.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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