A phenomenological study of female military servicemembers' adjustment to traumatic amputation
Over 220,000 servicewomen have fought in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars where there is no safe zone. In addition, many women actively engaged in combat with over 128 dying, over 600 injured, and more than 20 experiencing traumatic amputations. When there is no research on the adjustment of women to amputation or on military women's adjustment to trauma, the phenomenological approach provides a basic understanding of this life experience. Six Army/Army National Guard women shared their experience via Internet interviews using Skype. They were challenged by physical adjustment, personal safety fears, grief and loss and coping with the attitudes of others. While recovering from amputation in a military environment promoted a "kick-butt" attitude, the most important factors in their recovery were a positive attitude, social support, personal courage, and the belief their loss had meaning. Other important factors were realizing it could have been worse, hardiness, resiliency and military training, and a sense of humor. Their experiences were compared to three theories of psychosocial adaptation to disability.
0453: Womens studies
0603: Counseling Psychology
0622: Clinical psychology
0750: Military studies