Research evaluation of an Australian peer outdoor support therapy program for contemporary veterans’ wellbeing
Bird, K. (2015). Research evaluation of an Australian peer outdoor support therapy program for contemporary veterans’ wellbeing. International Journal of Mental Health, 44, 46-79.
Method: Longitudinal quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted for male contemporary returned post-deployed (CRPD) veteran participants of an Australian 6-day structured peer outdoor support therapy (POST) program.
Results: Results demonstrated significant reductions in depression, anxiety and stress by day 6 compared to baseline, which was maintained at 2 months follow-up. Self-efficacy, overall life satisfaction and satisfaction with mental health also improved significantly. Qualitative analysis identified several key factors experienced: a sense of shared identity, involvement, and belonging with others, and increased self-determination and personal competence.
Conclusion: Such programs may be an important adjunct or precursor to other forms of veteran therapeutic support.