Staying connected and navigating the pandemic: A mixed-methods study into the impact of COVID-19 on UK Veterans

Brooks, Dan (2021) Staying connected and navigating the pandemic: A mixed-methods study into the impact of COVID-19 on UK Veterans. DClinPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Background: The 2019 coronavirus pandemic has posed a challenge to society to cope with an unprecedented threat. Veterans with pre-existing mental health conditions, such as PTSD, may be susceptible to further re-traumatisation due to COVID-19 restrictions and increased anxiety and depression. Bonding and a sense of connectedness with others are seen as basic psychological needs for maintaining wellbeing. Decreased social connectedness can play a significant role in creating barriers to coping and worsening psychological problems. As the pandemic progresses, the current UK restrictions may challenge veterans’ ability to function, and their abilities to cope, stay connected and adapt.

Aims: This thesis had three primary aims: (1) to investigate the relationship between coping, depression, anxiety, traumatic stress, coronavirus anxiety, and social connectedness following COVID restrictions using a cross-sectional survey, (2) to use the results from the survey to inform qualitative data collection and recruitment to interviews, and (3) to gain an experiential understanding of the impact that COVID restrictions may have had from the veteran perspective.

Method: A two-phase sequential explanatory design was used and involved two phases: (1) a cross-sectional survey exploring social connectedness, anxiety, depression, traumatic stress, coronavirus anxiety, and coping amongst UK veterans from all branches of the military (n=130). Participants were selected for interview from phase one using a ‘participant selection model’, and overall sample data informed the development of the interview schedule (2) a qualitative exploration of the impact of the pandemic on a sub-sample of the population (n=11) using semi-structured interviews, with transcripts being analysed using reflective thematic analysis. Participants were primarily recruited through social media and veteran charities. Maximum variation sampling was used to select participants for interviews.

Results: Phase 1: Spearman’s rank correlations demonstrated a negative association between traumatic stress and social connectedness (

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DClinPsy)
Supervisors: Schroder, Thomas
Sabin-Farrell, Rachel
Keywords: Social connectedness, Veterans, COVID-19, Coping
Subjects: W Medicine and related subjects (NLM Classification) > WM Psychiatry
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Item ID: 66862
Depositing User: Brooks, Daniel
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2021 04:40
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2021 04:40

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