The Psychosocial Effects of Physical Activity on Military Veterans That Are Wounded, Injured, and/or Sick: A Narrative Synthesis Systematic Review of Quantitative Evidence
Smith, Paul M.
Taylor and Francis
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Physical activity (PA) for military veterans that are wounded, injured and/or sick (WIS) is becoming increasingly recognized as an advantageous method of increasing wellbeing. A narrative synthesis approach was used to systematically review current quanti‐ tative evidence exploring the psychological effects of PA on veterans that are WIS. Key databases were searched resulting in the inclusion of 19 studies. PA was shown to have a positive effect on post‐traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, stress, quality of life, social wellbeing, sleep quality, perceived functional impairment, participant mindfulness, and positive/negative affect; with im- provements in stress, social well-being, and positive/negative effect being greater among veterans that are WIS with lower health statuses. After comparing PA types, outdoor recreation appeared to more consistently reduce PTSD symptoms post‐intervention; whereas, yoga and horse riding were more effective in reducing anxiety and stress. Furthermore, where significant others were included in PA interventions/programs for veterans that are WIS, longer‐lasting benefits have been reported. However, in line with other reviews in this area, the methodological weaknesses of current research and non-standardized delivery of PA interven- tions limits the generalisability of the findings of this review.
Military Behavioral Health;
Article published in Military Behavioral Health on 14 April 2020, available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/21635781.2020.1746445.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
This research was funded by the European Social Fund’s Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarship (KESS) 2 supported by Help for Heroes: United Kingdom Armed Forces and Military Veterans Charity.
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