SPIRITUAL WELLNESS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY SOLDIER DEFINITIONS AND OPERATIONALIZATION CHAPLAIN (LTC) THOMAS C. VAIL, PH.D. AMEDD CENTER & SCHOOL
GOALS • Discuss current definitions of spiritual wellness • Describe the implications of the definitions for daily life • Explain the vitas of “knowing” that can illumine a person’s life path • Present a Research Example with implications for Spiritual Care
Spiritual or Religious • Religion: Institutionalized body of believers accepting common set of beliefs, practices, and rituals. • Spiritual: People who have “internalized” beliefs and practices into their lives. Krippner, S. & Welch, P. (1992). Spiritual Dimensions of Healing, Irvington Publishers: NY, p. 6.
Definitions of Wellness/Readiness • Spiritual Wellness/Health • The maturation of our higher consciousness developed through the integration of three facets: 1. Relationship with oneself and others 2. Strong personal value system 3. Meaningful purpose in one's life.1 1Seaward, B.L., (1991a). The inner kingdom: A creative journal workbook for stress management. Burlington, VT, White. Pines Publications. Seaward, B. L. (1991b). Spiritual well-being a health education Model, Journal of Health Education, 22 (3), 166-169. Seaward, B. M. & Seaward B. (1992b), A spiritual well-being program at the United States Postal Service headquarters. Wellness Perspectives, 8, 1-16.
Definitions of Wellness/Readiness • Core Spiritual Experiences --God exists (as he/she defines God) --Feelings of intimate connection to God --Perception of God as the foundational element of a person's core self.2 2Dr. Jared Kass, Personal Conversation. 1999.
Definitions of Wellness/Readiness • Physical Wellness • A level of physical health in which an individual is operating at an optimum level of health which supports normal activities of daily living and long term physical health. • Readiness • The state of being mentally and physically prepared in all the military skills required to successfully complete a mission.
Nature of the Soul • Creative & Destructive • Comical • Passionate • Multi-dimensional • Narrative • Fluid • Projective
OPERATIONALIZING SPIRITUALITY • QUALITATIVE • Hermeneutics: Interpretative • Narrative Based • Meaning Patterns • QUANITATIVE • Probability • Literal • Concrete
TASK FORCE MED FALCON 1B • LOCATION: CAMP BONDSTEEL KOSOVO • TASK FORCE COMPRISED OF UNITS FROM EUROPEAN SOLDIERS FROM 30TH MEDICAL BRIGADE • DEPLOYED NOV 99-APR 00 • SURVEY COMPLETED MID JAN 00 • CO-RESEACHER: LTC JAMES GAMERL, MSC
Home EVACs Trauma Team Work Experiences in Kosovo
Potential Uses of Survey • Collective Unit evaluation • Individual Pastoral Counseling Personal Self-Development
SURVEY Domain 1. My life has meaning and purpose. Meaning 2. I am a spiritually minded person. Identity 3. Participating in a faith community is important to me. Faith Community 4. Religion or spirituality is a factor in my life. Relative Importance 5. Prayer, or meditation, or reflection is important to me. Reflection 6. I am a spiritually fit person. Wellness 7. I have hope because of my faith. Hope 8. Spiritually speaking, I am never alone. Divine Connection 9. My spirituality helps me cope with stress. Stress 10. Feeling accepted by my (God) higher power is important for me. Forgiveness 11. I feel in touch with or connected to people and the world around me. Connectedness 12. My spiritual well being is up to me. Locus of Control
Likert Type Scale Strongly Disagree Disagree Mildly Disagree Neutral Mildly Agree Agree Strongly Agree 1 2 3 0 4 5 6 1-6 Neutral is 0 Score total from 0 to 72
Demographics • N=63 or 42% out of 150 TFMF soldiers • Religious Profile % Catholic=16 26 Jewish=1 2 Muslim=1 2 No Religious Preference=16 26 Buddhist=1 2 Protestant=21 33 Lutheran=1 2 Baptist=5 8
Sample Population Descriptive Statistics Standard Deviation 17.88 Mean 51.43 Median 56.5 Mode 65
90 80 70 60 50 Results 40 30 20 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 N=63 Scatter Diagram of Sample Population Trend line
Correlation coefficient of Questions 1 and 110.11 1 and 20.49 1 and 30.44 1 and 40.91 1 and 50.99 1 and 60.45 1 and 7 0.86 1 and 8 0.98 1 and 9 0.97 1 and 10 0.89 1 and 12 0.94
Q1 My life has purpose and meaning 93% Bar graphs are in percentages
Q19 Own Morale Command Climate Survey 19 Jan 00 N=107 Bar graphs are in percentages
Q12 Level of Stress Command Climate Survey 19 Jan 00 74.5% N=111 Bar graphs are in percentages
Q2 I am a spiritual minded person. 72.66% Bar graphs are in percentages
70 60.5 60 50 40 32.25 27.41 30 24.19 20.2 19.4 20 6 6 10 0 0 0 Agree Neutral Not at all Disagree Mildly Agree Am a member Strongly Agree Active Member Mildly Disagree Strongly Disagree Q3 Participating in a faith community is important to me. 65.66% To what extent do you participate in religious groups? National Geographic Survey 1999 N=32,327 Results in red Bar graphs are in percentages
Q4 Religion or spirituality is a factor in my life. 83.85% Bar graphs are in percentages
Q5 Prayer, or meditation, orreflection is important to me. 77.41% Bar graphs are in percentages
Q6 I am a spiritually fit person. 75.79% Bar graphs are in percentages
Q7 I have hope because of my faith. 80.63% Bar graphs are in percentages
Q8 Spiritually speaking, I am never alone. 79.12% Bar graphs are in percentages
Q9 My spirituality helps me cope with stress. 77.14% Bar graphs are in percentages
Q10 Feeling accepted by my (God) higher power is important to me. 77.41% Bar graphs are in percentages
Q11 I feel in touch with or connected to people and the world around me. 74.18% I feel close to other people in my community? National Geographic Survey 1999 N=32,327 Results in red Bar graphs are in percentages
Q12 My spiritual well being is up to me. 90.31% Bar graphs are in percentages
Implications for Spiritual Care • Need for team and relationship building • Connectivity (training as a unit) prior to arrival • Spiritual programming Include a Spiritual Wellness training course Multidimensional spiritual programming
Future Developments • Relative Spiritual Wellness Scale based upon standard deviations • Need for testing with larger sample populations Internal Validity External Validity • Need for cross comparative studies (i.e. Command Climate Surveys)
Relative Spiritual Wellness Scale • Based on Standard Deviation of 18 • Example: 54-72 Excellent 36-53 Superior 18-35 Good 0-17 Needs Development
Needs Development Good Superior Excellent Mean=51.43 Median=56.5 0-17 18-35 36-53 54-72 Bell Curve of Relative Spiritual Wellness Scale Standard Deviation=18
90 Good Superior Excellent Needs Development 80 70 60 50 Mean=51.43 40 30 Median=56.5 20 0-17 18-35 36-53 54-72 10 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Bell Curve of Relative Spiritual Wellness Scale with Scatter Diagram of Sample Population Standard Deviation=18
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