Volume 47 Number 9, 2010
Pages 825 — 840
Abstract — Family members play an important role in the physical and mental recovery of soldiers returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with strained marital and family relations and parenting difficulties, and many veterans with PTSD experience difficulty finding and maintaining employment. Family members who assist with the veteran's recovery also experience significant strain and may have to leave employment to care for the veteran. Our objective was to identify appropriate assessment measures for examining the well-being of spouses assisting with veterans' recovery and to identify opportunities for supporting veterans' spouses. We used a combination of expert panel input and qualitative methods (focus group interviews) to develop a battery of instruments for use in future research with OIF/OEF family members to examine well-being. Research is needed to elucidate and refine the special needs and issues surrounding PTSD in current and future OIF/OEF veterans and their families. This study provides a first step toward understanding appropriate measures. Expert panel methods and focus group interviews yielded valuable input on the domains and measures that should be included in the assessment battery as well as opportunities for assisting spouses.
Key words: assessment, burden, caregivers, expert panel methods, focus groups, OIF/OEF, PTSD, quality of life, rehabilitation, veterans.
Last Reviewed or Updated Monday, December 6, 2010 1:00 PM