Experience of post-traumatic growth in UK veterans with PTSD: a qualitative study

August, 2016

This study examines the lived experience of post-traumatic growth (PTG) in UK veterans who have experienced military trauma and subsequently received treatment for symptoms of PTSD. The manifestation of how PTG is experienced by this sample has been described by the following sub-themes: acceptance of nuance in negative events and emotions, appreciation of the external world, connecting with others, re-evaluating sense of purpose and gradual process of time.


Little is known about the experience of post-traumatic growth (PTG) within UK veterans. To address this, our study aims to understand the lived experience of PTG from the perspective of UK veterans who have received treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The study uses Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to explore qualitative interviews conducted with a sample of veterans who reported experiences of PTG in a quantitative measure. The themes drawn from the interviews describe the veterans' lived experiences of growth following trauma and their understanding of how it occurred. Similarities and differences with the dimensions of a widely used PTG quantitative measure are outlined, and a possible veteran experience of growth and how it develops is described. The conclusions provide a basis for further investigation into the experience, acceptability and clinical application of PTG within a UK veteran-specific population.

Full Reference

Palmer E, Murphy D, Spencer-Harper L. J R Army Med Corps Published Online First: doi:10.1136jramc-2015-000607.

Report a problem with this article