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J Relig Health. 2013 Sep;52(3):719-29. doi: 10.1007/s10943-012-9629-2.

Spiritual experiences of war veterans who suffer from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder: a qualitative study.

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Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Recognition of the spiritual experiences of patients with post-traumatic stress disorder may be helpful in their rehabilitation. Accordingly, the present study has been carried out to determine the spiritual experiences of Iranian Muslim warriors who suffer from the previously mentioned disorder. In this qualitative study, 22 patients were selected using an objective-based sampling method and underwent an individual, semi-structured thorough interview. The data were analyzed using content analysis. The spiritual experiences of the participants were divided into two main categories as follows: (1) religious attitude consisting of three sub-categories known as "religious beliefs," "religious sentiments," and "religious behaviors" and (2) a national sensibility that includes the two sub-categories of "patriotism" and "proud" of being injured for my homeland. The analysis of the participants' spiritual experiences showed that their specific religious orientation and feelings of nationalism assisted with their improved ability to cope with the consequences of their disorder. Therefore, it is recommended that caregivers use patients' spiritual values to help them cope more efficiently.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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