Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Diane Snow


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of participation in a peer-led, strength-based family education program focused on family resilience factors in returning OIF/OEF veterans and their families. 4 Data sources: De-identified data from Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and veteran family member participants in the 8-week Operation Resilient Families (ORP) program was analyzed. Data analysis included review of demographic information and statistical analysis of pre- and post self-assessment evaluation questionnaires. Results: Demographic data was provided on forty seven of fifty-three known participants - 89%. Data represented veterans and veteran family members, with nineteen (19) reporting veterans and twenty-eight (28) reporting family members. In the veteran participants, the most frequently represented military service branch was the Army (53%), followed by the Navy (16%), Marines (11 %), US Air Force (5%), and not reported (15%). The family participants represented 18% Army, 7% Marine, and 75% not reporting. Veteran participants tended to be older than the family member participant with a mean age of 51 years versus 36 years of age. Veterans reported an average of two deployments with a range of seven to none. Family members reported an average of one deployment for their family member. Statistics were calculated on seventeen matched pre- and post- self assessments. Resiliency scores were significantly increased for both veteran and family member groups. Combined scores calculated for specific resiliency factors - family relationships, family communication and knowledge ofresources - were all significantly increased, as well. The ORF program is composed of a didactic portion (knowledge) and an experiential, practice component. The 8-week format allows participants to practice the skills that were taught in each class session, as well as the opportunity to discuss within the groups any problems that were encountered when trying to implement the skills. An increase in knowledge does not assure changes in behavior. Follow-up is needed to determine if the family wellness recovery plans were implemented. Conclusions: The ORF Program strives to build on and support the strengths ofretuming combat veterans and their families. The curriculum is focused on identifying strengths, teaching coping skills, and providing hope for healthy re-integration after deployment. Healthy relationships, effective family communication, and knowledge ofresources significantly increased for those who participated in the groups.


Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Nursing Commons