Veteran resilience following combat-related amputation

September, 2019

This paper explores the experiences of veterans with combat-related amputation and pathways to resilient behaviours.


Introduction: Amputation following combat-related injury places substantial stress on sur vivors and their spouses. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of combat-related amputation among military Veterans and explore pathways to resilient behaviours. Methods: This qualitative study used a purposeful sample of male US military Veterans and their partners. We used the Metatheory of Resilience and Resiliency (MRR) as a conceptual framework for understanding the drives that promote growth through adversity and disruptions. MRR was also used to characterize each Veterans’ state of resilience after the amputation. Results: The majority of Veterans returned to their baseline level of functioning (reintegration back to homeostasis) and that some Veterans are functioning better than before the amputation (resilient reintegration). Discussion: Veterans who appear to have built a life post-amputation exhibited the following resilience drives: finding perspective and purpose (universal resilience), living consistent with one’s values and character strengths (character resilience), and accessing positive social support (ecological resilience). Practitioners should be alert to these themes among Veterans with traumatic amputation.

Full Reference

Jeppsen, J. M. C., Wood, D. S. and Holyoak, K. B., 2019. Veteran resilience following combat-related amputation. JMVFH, 5(2), pp. 60-66. doi: 10.3138/jmvfh.2018-0053.

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