Health Effects Associated with Partners of Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
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Literature regarding the mental and physical health of partners of veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is sparse and there exists little awareness of the unique healthcare needs associated with this population. The purpose of this scoping study was to analyze literature regarding partner health in order to increase awareness among partners and healthcare professionals alike. The ecological theory provides the framework for this study by illustrating how environmental systems affect the veteran family’s health. The literature synthesis was accomplished through a scoping study guided by the Joanna Briggs Institute’s six step guidelines. A brochure and evaluative rubric was created in order to share, validate, and evaluate preliminary results. Results show that partners experience many physical and mental health impacts and that a brochure that highlights these health effects as well as means to seek formal help is a viable method of disseminating this information. In order to provide optimal healthcare to veterans and their families, there is a need to increase awareness and identification among partners and healthcare professionals of the stressful environment that PTSD creates and the subsequent physical and mental health problems experienced by the partners.