HEALTH / WELL-BEING

The enduring well-being impacts of attending the Battle Back Multi Activity Course for the lives of recovering UK armed forces personnel

Article

This is the first longitudinal study into the effects of an adaptive sport and adventurous training recovery programme on the mental well-being of in-service, wounded, injured and/or sick (WIS) UK armed forces personnel. Participants reported significant and sustainable improvements in their mental well-being throughout the 12-month research period. Engaging in this supportive programme whilst still serving in the armed forces is intended to foster a positive approach in individuals so they can support themselves over what may be a lengthy recovery process. Early intervention with recovering inservice WIS personnel may offset future pressure on dedicated Veterans services.

Abstract

Few adventurous training courses have been formally designed to assist military personnel in their recovery and/or transition into civilian life by supporting psychological health and well-being. This study examines, for the first time, the longitudinal effects of a five-day Multi Activity Course (MAC) on the mental well-being of serving but wounded, injured, and/or sick (WIS) UK armed forces personnel. The MAC is delivered using a participant-centered approach to encourage engagement in adaptive sports, adventurous activities, and personal development coaching sessions. This work extends previous research showing powerful short-term well-being benefits. Measures of positive well-being and psychological need satisfaction were provided by participants before and after attending the course, as well as two weeks, three months, six months and 12 months later. Self-reported well-being measures of psychological need satisfaction and positive mental well-being improved significantly throughout the course. These remained significantly higher at six and 12 months after the course, respectively.

Full Reference

Christopher William Philip Kay & Jim McKenna (2022) The enduring well-being impacts of attending the Battle Back Multi Activity Course for the lives of recovering UK armed forces personnel, Military Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/08995605.2021.2002595