Psychosocial outcomes of an inclusive adapted sport and adventurous training course for military personnel

David Carless*, Suzanne Peacock, Jim McKenna, Carlton Cooke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To explore the psychosocial outcomes of an inclusive adapted sport and adventurous training course that aims to support the rehabilitation and personal development of military personnel who have sustained physical and/or psychological disability.

Method: Narrative life story interviews were conducted with 11 men aged 20–43 taking part in one of the 5-day courses. A thematic narrative analysis was conducted, focusing on accounts that provided insights into personally meaningful psychosocial outcomes of the course.

Findings: We identified six themes, falling into two distinct clusters. “Bringing me back to myself” was achieved through the themes of (1) returning to activity, (2) rediscovering a sense of purpose, and (3) reconnecting to others. “New rooms to explore” was realised through (4) experiencing new activities, (5) being valued/respected/cared for and (6) being inspired by other people.

Conclusion: Involvement in the course stimulated a balance of present- and future-oriented psychosocial outcomes through which participants both recreated aspects of themselves that had been lost through injury/trauma and moved forward with their lives as a result of new horizons of possibility.

Implications for Rehabilitation This 5-day inclusive adapted sport and adventurous training course offered meaningful psychosocial outcomes among military personnel who had experienced physical and/or psychological disability.

The course helped participants recover aspects of their previous life and self through becoming physically active again, rediscovering a sense of purpose and reconnecting to others.

Participants describe a broadening of life horizons as a result of the course, through new activities, being valued/respected/cared for, and being inspired by other people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2081-2088
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume35
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • armed forces
  • mental health
  • narrative
  • physical activity
  • recovery
  • soldiers

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