Mindfulness-Based Processes of Healing for Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Schure, Mark B.
Simpson, Tracy L.
Kearney, David J.
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OBJECTIVE: U.S. veterans are at increased risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Prior studies suggest a benefit of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) for PTSD, but the mechanisms through which MBSR reduces PTSD symptoms and improves functional status have received limited empirical inquiry. This study used a qualitative approach to better understand how training in mindfulness affects veterans with PTSD. DESIGN: Qualitative study using semistructured in-depth interviews following participation in an MBSR intervention. SETTING: Outpatient. INTERVENTION: Eight-week MBSR program. OUTCOME MEASURE: Participants\' narratives of their experiences from participation in the program. RESULTS: Interviews were completed with 15 veterans. Analyses identified six core aspects of participants\' MBSR experience related to PTSD: dealing with the past, staying in the present, acceptance of adversity, breathing through stress, relaxation, and openness to self and others. Participants described specific aspects of a holistic mindfulness experience, which appeared to activate introspection and curiosity about their PTSD symptoms. Veterans with PTSD described a number of pathways by which mindfulness practice may help to ameliorate PTSD. CONCLUSIONS: MBSR holds promise as a nontrauma-focused approach to help veterans with PTSD.
Schure, Mark B. , Tracy L. Simpson, Michelle Martinez, George Sayre, and David J. Kearney. "Mindfulness-Based Processes of Healing for Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder." Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 24, no. 11(November 2018). DOI:10.1089/acm.2017.0404.