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J Rehabil Res Dev. 2015;52(5):527-41. doi: 10.1682/JRRD.2014.08.0196.

Understanding contextual influences of community reintegration among injured servicemembers.


As part of a larger mixed-methods research project investigating the influence of contextual factors on community reintegration (CR), this qualitative study sought to understand the subjective experiences of injured servicemembers and their perception of how contextual factors influenced their CR. More specifically, this article addresses how the influences of contextual factors differ between injured servicemembers with different levels of CR. Using a phenomenological framework, semistructured interviews were conducted with nine injured, community-dwelling servicemembers with low, moderate, and high levels of CR (three per category). Participants provided in-depth descriptions of the contextual barriers and facilitators of CR. Thematic analysis indicated the importance of social support and personal factors (e.g., self-efficacy, personal motivation) as the primary means for being reintegrated into their homes and communities. Other themes indicated factors that had an indirect but important influence on CR, including adapted sports, recreation, and other social programs; rehabilitation programs and therapists; school, work, and volunteering; and organizations and policies in developing social supports and personal factors. Comparisons between servicemembers indicated participants with low CR described many more contextual barriers and far fewer contextual facilitators to reintegration than those with high CR. Those with moderate CR were unique in that they described many facilitators and barriers to reintegration.


community reintegration; community-dwelling; contextual factors; environmental factors; general self-efficacy; injured military servicemembers; personal factors; phenomenology; rehabilitation; social support

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