Psychol Serv. 2023 Jan 26. doi: 10.1037/ser0000736. Online ahead of print.
Later in life Veterans may report increased thoughts and memories of traumatic military experience in the context of age-related changes, a process called Later-Adulthood Trauma Reengagement (LATR); this process may lead to resilience or distress. We describe the development of a 10-session group intervention with goals of providing psychoeducation about LATR, enhancing stress management and coping skills, and fostering meaning making. We characterize implementation and outcome characteristics for seven group cohorts over 5 years; groups were completed in-person or virtually. Outcomes were measured with the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, Meaning in Life Scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Positive Appraisals of Military experience (PAMES), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-5, and Patient Health Questionnaire-9. Forty-seven Veterans (aged 65-93) began the group, 37 (87%) completed at least six sessions. These 37 Veterans reported an average of eight stressful events in the prior year, mostly major illness, death of a friend, and decline in memory and enjoyable activities, which may have set the stage for LATR. Veterans resonated with the LATR concept on standardized scales and qualitative comments. In pre-post comparisons, participants reported higher levels of PAMES (η² = .225), resilience (η² = .208), and meaning in life (η² = .145), with fewer symptoms of PTSD (η² = .199) and depression (η² = .124). There were no significant differences in outcomes for those who completed the group in-person or virtually. The LATR protocol may provide a framework for working with older adults reporting emergence or exacerbation of thoughts and memories of earlier trauma in later life, fostering positive adaptation. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).