Qualitative Analysis of a Supervised Exercise Program for Older Veterans With PTSD.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

OBJECTIVE: Older veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experience substantial physical and mental health challenges. Given the well-known and wide-reaching benefits of exercise, exploring the impact of interventions designed specifically for this population would be valuable. As such, the present study explored perspectives from older veterans with PTSD who participated in Warrior Wellness, a 12-week supervised exercise intervention designed for older veterans with PTSD. This study was aimed at evaluating 1) facilitators of engagement, 2) perceived benefits from the intervention, and 3) recommendations about possible modifications to the intervention. DESIGN: Qualitative study. SETTING: Face-to-face semistructured interviews conducted after the Warrior Wellness trial was completed. PARTICIPANTS: Fifteen veterans (100% male, 93% African American or Black, 100% non-Hispanic or Latinx, average age = 68.7 years) who completed the Warrior Wellness exercise program. MEASUREMENTS: Semistructured interviews were conducted using an interview guide that assessed veterans' experience in Warrior Wellness and recommendations for future intervention modifications. Interviews were subsequently transcribed and analyzed by thematic analysis. RESULTS: Shared experience, program features, camaraderie during workouts, and accountability emerged as facilitators of engagement. Perceived benefits spanned physical health, mental health, and behavioral domains. Finally, veterans provided several suggestions for modifying the intervention such as increasing its duration, adding a nutritional component, and including significant others in enrollment. CONCLUSIONS: This study offers valuable insights into the intervention and interpersonal factors that veterans view as important for their engagement in exercise, the perceived benefits of exercise, and the ways in which interventions designed for this population can be refined.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Browne, J; Medenblik, A; Pebole, M; Gregg, JJ; Hall, KS

Published Date

  • June 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 29 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 565 - 572

PubMed ID

  • 33162307

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1545-7214

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jagp.2020.10.014


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England