A spiritually based group intervention for combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: feasibility study

J Holist Nurs. 2008 Jun;26(2):109-16. doi: 10.1177/0898010107311276. Epub 2008 Mar 20.


Purpose: To assess the feasibility, effect sizes, and satisfaction of mantram repetition -- the spiritual practice of repeating a sacred word/phrase throughout the day -- for managing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans.

Design: A two group (intervention vs. control) by two time (pre- and postintervention) experimental design was used.

Methods: Veterans were randomly assigned to intervention (n = 14) or delayed-treatment control (n = 15). Measures were PTSD symptoms, psychological distress, quality of life, and patient satisfaction. Effect sizes were calculated using Cohen's d.

Findings: Thirty-three male veterans were enrolled, and 29 (88%) completed the study. Large effect sizes were found for reducing PTSD symptom severity (d = -.72), psychological distress (d = -.73) and increasing quality of life (d = -.70).

Conclusions: A spiritual program was found to be feasible for veterans with PTSD. They reported moderate to high satisfaction. Effect sizes show promise for symptom improvement but more research is needed.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Relaxation Therapy*
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Spirituality*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / therapy*
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Veterans / psychology*