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The military profession: Veterans, PTSD and moral injury

The aim of the project is to develop a deeper understanding of health-related outcomes following trauma exposure in connection with participation in Swedish international military operations, with a specific focus on PTSD and moral injury.

The project aims to test its relevance to the group of Swedish military veterans abroad (trauma exposure, stress-related transient symptoms and development of PTSD, and moral injury, respectively) and to identify and test the relevance of which variables, namely predictors, mediators and outcomes, are associated with each health-related outcome. The research will specifically consider potential gender differences.

The project consists of two sub-projects running in parallel and aim to address the above issues from different, but interrelated, perspectives.

PTSD and moral injury

The first sub-project will investigate signs of deployment-related symptoms of PTSD and moral injury separately, but also in relation to each other, and from a time perspective with a focus on both short-term, stress-related transient symptoms, as well as long-term symptoms in Swedish veterans who have served abroad. Furthermore, sub-study one aims to identify reliable risk and resistance factors in terms of predictors and mediators.

Preventing and managing problems

The second sub-project will investigate which conditions (individual-, work-, and leadership-related) have a favourable and unfavourable short- and long-term psychological and functional impact on preventing and managing PTSD and moral injury.

Developing support methods

The project will conclude with an action-oriented study, based on the overall results obtained in the project, with the aim of developing support methods and validating instruments for the prevention and treatment of PTSD and moral injury in relation to the specific study group. Given that the state of knowledge is currently greater with regard to support for dealing with PTSD-related symptoms, a slightly greater focus will be placed on moral injury.

More knowledge about the health of Swedish veterans

The project is expected to provide valuable knowledge about the health of Swedish veterans after participation in Swedish international military operations, which can provide a basis for more effective prevention and treatment of long-term health-related problems. This in turn should benefit individual and organisational recovery and operational effectiveness, and in the long term strengthen the Armed Forces from a personnel supply and sustainability perspective. Research findings will also be useful in officer training, and in the planning and implementation of both national and international operations.

A combination of seminars/workshops, popular science reporting and scientific documentation, ensures rapid dissemination and long-term knowledge building.

The research is carried out within the framework of the Armed Forces Research and Technology Development programme.

Responsible Department

Department of Leadership and Command & Control

Partners

Funding

The Swedish Armed Forces

Ongoing

2022-2024

Sofia Nilsson

Associate Professor, Senior Lecturer

Sofia.Nilsson@fhs.se +46 8-55342846
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Published 2022-07-07 Updated 2022-07-07