The Applicability of Resilience Training to the Mitigation of Trauma-Related Mental Illness in Military Personnel

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Ongoing participation by the United States in military operations around the world places military personnel at an increased potential for exposure to trauma, which may directly result in an increased risk for mental health issues. It is important to develop and test new approaches to prevent and mitigate the effects of trauma in military personnel. One such area of research is focused on psychological resilience to prevent the sequelae of trauma. OBJECTIVES: This article examines empirical research of resilience training in military personnel and discusses the potential applicability of such training in this population. DESIGN: In this literature review, four randomized control trials and one retrospective, parallel group study were reviewed. RESULTS: Each intervention had the goal of mitigating behavioral health issues after trauma exposure. The results of the various interventions were wide-ranging from no measurable difference in treatment groups to significant differences in outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the inconclusive results of our review, we have determined that resilience training for active duty service members to help prevent the deleterious effects of trauma on mental health is a compelling and necessary avenue for further research.

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