Original research| Volume 99, ISSUE 2, SUPPLEMENT , S65-S71, February 2018

Contextual Facilitators and Barriers of Community Reintegration Among Injured Female Military Veterans: A Qualitative Study

Published:August 30, 2017DOI:



      To understand the facilitators and barriers to community reintegration (CR) among injured female veterans.


      Phenomenologic qualitative design.




      Community-dwelling female veterans with physical and/or psychological injury (N=13).



      Main Outcome Measures



      Conventional content analysis revealed 3 types of facilitators, including (1) strong social support, (2) impactful programs, and (3) protective personal beliefs. Six types of barriers included (1) inadequate services, (2) lack of access to services, (3) poor social support, (4) difficulty trusting others, (5) nonsupportive personal beliefs, and (6) injury factors. Multiple environmental and personal factors acted as facilitators and barriers to CR. Findings are relatively consistent with previous veteran and civilian community reintegration research that indicates the importance of health-related services, attitudes of others, and social support. However, women in this study reported being effected by many of these facilitators and barriers because of their sex.


      This study supports the need to foster social support among injured female veterans throughout the rehabilitation process to promote CR. Long-term social support can be gained by incorporating services (eg, adjunctive therapies, recreation, other social programming) into the rehabilitation repertoire to help with CR for all veterans, particularly women.


      List of abbreviations:

      CR (community reintegration), MST (military sexual trauma), PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder), VHA (Veterans Health Administration)
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