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Int J Behav Med. 2012 Dec;19(4):496-502. doi: 10.1007/s12529-011-9186-1.

Spiritual wellbeing mediates PTSD change in veterans with military-related PTSD.

Author information

  • 1Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health (CESAMH), Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS), San Diego, CA 92161, USA. jill.bormann@va.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A portable practice of repeating a mantram-a sacred word or phrase-has been shown to reduce the severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms in veterans with military trauma. It is thought that the intervention re-directs attention and initiates relaxation to decrease symptom severity, but there may be other mechanisms that may contribute to this improvement.

PURPOSE:

We tested the hypothesis that increases in existential spiritual wellbeing (ESWB) would mediate reductions in self-reported PTSD symptoms following a group mantram intervention.

METHOD:

Veterans diagnosed with PTSD from war-related trauma completed 6 weeks of case management plus a group mantram intervention (n = 66) as part of a randomized trial. Measures included PTSD Checklist (PCL) and Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Wellbeing. Path analysis was conducted on those who completed treatment to assess ESWB as a possible mediator of change in PCL from baseline to post-treatment.

RESULTS:

A significant indirect effect, -2.24, 95% CI (-4.17, -1.05) of the mantram intervention on PCL change was found. The path from the mantram intervention to ESWB change was significant and positive (B = 4.89, p < 0.0001), and the path from ESWB change to PCL change was significant and negative (B = -0.46, p = 0.001), thus supporting the hypothesis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings suggest that one contributing mechanism that partially explains how the mantram intervention reduces PTSD symptom severity in veterans may be by increasing levels of ESWB.

PMID:
21874605
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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